Thursday, February 28, 2013
That's how I tried to sum up my blog at the Hocoblogs party a couple of nights ago. When I started the blog, I assigned myself a classical music, mostly opera, agenda, but as time passed I clearly wanted a chance to harp on other issues, too. I also enjoy and post about gardening, cats, movies and books.
I slipped out early from the party at Union Jack's, but I'm glad I had a chance to meet our local blog network in person. I'll try to stay longer at the next party!
The photo: It's a running theme, the same view of Lake Kittamaqundi as it appears at different times of the year in different conditions. I also want to document how it changes under other influences, which brings up an environmental issue now. You see the taller, darker tree towards the right edge of the photo? That was the bald eagle's perch featured in a recent post here. I'm afraid the tree is an ash -- looking at one of the first photos I took of this view last summer, I see that its leaf cover is very poor, like that of ash trees recently cut down around Columbia and Howard County. An insect called the emerald ash borer is killing the county's numerous ashes, and the county must cut them down and remove them as they deteriorate. So sooner or later, that distinctive tree in this view of the lake must disappear.
We'll also see how things change as a proposed multi-use path eventually encircles the lake. At present, a paved path goes around only the southern half, then you're roughing it on a dirt, sometimes mud, path if you want to walk all the way around the lake.
Another development in this view: Those white scars visible on the far bank are sand or sediment deposited when Hurricane Sandy blew by last year and caused the nearby Little Patuxent River to burst its banks and cascade into the lake.
For my classical music agenda: If life has a soundtrack, perhaps Smetana's dramatic tone poem depicting the course of the Moldau River from its source to its mouth is appropriate here. If you want to find a recording, the German title is "Die Moldau" and the Czech title is "Vltava". It's part of a cycle of tone poems by Smetana called "Ma Vlast", or "My Fatherland". I have the Naxos recording of an excellent performance of the cycle by conductor Antoni Wit and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I just had dinner for the first time at Union Jack's in Columbia Town Center and hope to be back there for the Hocoblogs party on February 26. See the details on hocoblogs.com (also linked in my blog margin). I started to register on the Eventbrite page, but I really hate filling out forms on the Internet. So I hope I can be a walk-in at the party, and I look forward to meeting other bloggers and readers in the Hocoblogs network.
Stormwater run-off management is an issue now getting more attention in Columbia and Howard County. The county is preparing to levy a stormwater fee and encourage residents to landscape and garden with run-off control in mind. My condominium and my own unit have some serious run-off problems, and I've been working on a rain garden in my back patio area. There's a big meeting addressing this issue at Slayton House in Wilde Lake tomorrow evening.
So this is a classical music blog, and I have to lead into one of my regular playlists here. For the classical music blog network, some recordings that have been on my CD player lately....
~ While browsing the collection last night, my fingers stumbled on DG's remasters of conductor Hans Rosbaud's eclectic recording legacy. I listened to the disc of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 and two Haydn symphonies (the Oxford and the London). Other discs in the set cover Beethoven, Boris Blacher, Stravinsky and a whole disc of Sibelius.
~ More Arensky and Taneyev, mainly the symphonies by these two contemporaries and students of Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky. Chandos recordings. They might make us think about what makes those better known composers geniuses, but there are gems in the music of the minor Russian composers. I have to revisit Arensky's lovely Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, which celebrate the poignant melody of Tchaikovsky's song dealing with the Legend of the rose. However, on revisiting the recording of Boris Christoff singing this song, I'm afraid there might be some 19th century Jewish-Christian religious conflict mixed into the Russian lyrics.
~ Daniele Gatti's survey of Tchaikovsky's Symphonies 4, 5 and 6 with selected shorter orchestral works on each disc. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Harmonia Mundi. (The Romeo and Juliette Overture has been ringing in my ears since I listened to the performance in this set.)
~ Coincidentally, soon after buying the Gatti and RPO Tchaikovsky set, I happened to pull out the EMI remaster of Sir Thomas Beecham and the RPO playing French ballet music.
~ The Phantasm viol ensemble's new recording of the complete viol consort music of William Byrd. Absorbing and very relaxing, whether one is concentrating on the music or playing the disc for background. Obligatory companion to Phantasm's earlier disc of music by Orlando Gibbons.
///Unlabeled photos in my posts are usually snapshots taken in the environs of Lake Kittamaqundi here in Columbia Town Center.///
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Sunday, February 3, 2013
More snapshots of Lake Kittamaqundi. Thawing spots in the ice last weekend provided some interesting scenery, and there's one shot of some entertainment I arranged for my cat...As usual, you can click on the photos for a larger view and slide presentation...