Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

300th Post

I am proud to say that this is the 300th post on Felsenmusick. So thanks for reading, and as a reward,something truly remarkable (sent from my friend Jeff Buddle via Andrew Sullivan).

I think old Mozart would be proud.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

As The World Unravels

Spoke in very hushed tones is the impact of the Greatest Financial Crisis to Hit Our Country Since the Great Depression on the as-always dependent-on-the-kindness-of-strangers arts. And yes, daily sad news of our economic downward spiral--this bank closing, this corporation laying off hundreds of people, this Dow Jones somersault or crash--has become the same white noise as casualties in Iraq (never reported). But how will this affect us?

Here's a sad tidbit to give a general indication, from the Argosy Foundation, which is not giving any money out, not any more.

I suspect there will be a lot more to say on this one. Needless to say, in a few years, when those kind souls who usually donate don't feel up to it, who knows where we will all be...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not Something I Do a Lot, But...

When I started this blog, I swore off a few things save for only the most excruciating moments: left-wing politics (there are many many many others who do this far better than I), movies, and books, even though these things consume a fair amount of my time. But just having finished all-but one part of Roberto Bolano's newest (and sadly last; he died in 2003) book 2006 I am now not only about to break a rule by discussing, but I am also going to praise heavily a book I've not yet finished.

It looks daunting, weighing in at just under 900 pages, but whoa man does it fly! Borges meets Cormac McCarthy with double acts worthy of Pessoa or Charlie Kaufman. Lit crit, brutal murder, politics, film, all of it mixed into a gorgeous south-of-the-border bouillabaisse and roasted on high heat for just under a thousand pages.

More when I finish it, but for fellow New Yorkers who fear the simply wrist-crushing weight of the hardback, why not instead purchase the conveniently partitioned paperback boxed set?

And FYI, what got me to rush out was Jonathan Lethem's carefully considered and brilliantly written review in the Times.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bernstein at Harvard

I am very impressed that the American Scholar published what might be Leonard Bernstein's last speech. More later on its content, but read it here.

Dust Ring of Formalhaut

According to the Times, we've just gotten our first glimpse at a planet outside of our solar system. Amazing news, especially as it seems our Mars rover has gone dark.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Allow me to be the last to weigh in on the confusing news of Gerard Mortier's non-departure from the post of director at City Opera. Private emails about this have been no doubt raging throughout interested parties in the New York music world, myself very much included. I myself dream of an opera house where an American piece is not exactly an event, where I can walk in and see Blitzstein's Regina or Porgy and Bess without it being some kind of touted, blessed event. Meantime, we all have to sit tight and not only see what happens across the pavement from the Met, but also in the economy at large. In those heated emails, the news is often not good, with grant-giving bodies unable to give grants and opera companies going belly up or scaling themselves back all over the place. Thanks Mr. Bush.

Meantime, my pal Mark Adamo has planned the new season for City Opera and has interviewed the new director. Buy it? I do?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote, Please

Don't screw this up. Remember in 2000, Florida was called, many thought it was locked up and did not go to the polls. Remember Ohio, the Alamo of the last election. Heed the warning of evil genius Karl Rove, perhaps the funniest columnist not writing for The Onion and get out there to vote, even if you live, as I do, in a not-exactly-contested place. Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote. Wait as long as you need, bring snacks, a dog, a chair, an iPod, live animals (well...), homework, schoolwork, but please please please get out and vote.

Bring a book, wait calmly, report anything suspicious, but please do vote. We cannot take much more of this.