At The Fair

Tractor Pull's Oldest Competitor

Tractor Pull’s Oldest Competitor

The Dutchess County Fair is “the largest six day fair in New York State [and] has a physical plant that is the recognized as one of the most beautiful in the country.”

See you in September, if all goes as planned.

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The last symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich (first movement)

6 thoughts on “At The Fair

  1. shoreacres

    Oh, my. I wish I was there, yes indeed. I love the spiffy FarmAll tractor, and the one-room school. The piggies taking their nap are precious (and I see most of the animal barns have fans – of both sorts, actually). Now, there’s only one question left to answer. Do they have funnel cakes? There’s not a cronut in the world that can compare to a funnel cake!

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      shoreacres: A fair is not a fair without funnel cake, now, is it? We didn’t happen to see it, given the “quadrant” of the fair we were able to take in. This will amuse you, I think: our friend from Louisiana was with me for this, and while I had to shrink into the shade (longing for a fan, like the pigs had!), she was still outside, in the full-on sun, taking in what there was to see!

  2. David N

    Only connect: the last time I went to a fair like this was in (or just outside) Sydney, with snake men and others alongside the cattle and the turkeys. We were sold our tickets at a big discount by two English lads who’d shouted themselves hoarse working on the ghost train…

    Now that Shostakovich movement: is it ‘come to the fair’ or something more macabre? I like the haunted-toyshop image Shostakovich himself gave. Still not sure why the William Tell quotation, except that it was one of the first pieces DDS heard as a child.

    One thing’s for sure: I’ve not heard a contemporary composer – except, recently for Gerald Barry in the plate-smashing duet of The Importance of Being Earnest – use the percussion so distinctively. That ending! First heard it in a school production of Peter Shaffer’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun without knowing where it came from.

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      David: Ah, only connect, indeed! Now, on to Shostakovich: I KNEW you would catch me out on that. Yes, indeed, certainly not “Meet Me in St. Louis,” is it? After all, if DDS is not subverting something, he’s not DDS, is he? On the William Tell, I have a theory . . . surely it will be shot to pieces . . . more to come on that. As for DDS’s use of percussion here and elsewhere–beyond contemporary composers, how about ANY composer? I’ve never heard percussion used to such heartrending, and wholly musical, effect. I would love to hear Barry’s plate-smashing duet. Is it available anywhere for a listen?

      1. David N

        Third time lucky: the first time WordPress told me I was ‘trying to post too fast’ and lost me. Just to say first that there was no intention to catch you out, just to wonder at it. DDS does sometimes take jollity at face value – ie the racy number from The Gadfly film music Yannick encored at the Prom and the Festival Overture – but only when it’s light-music territory, which he can also do so well.

        Sadly can’t find complete plate-smashing scene – never fear, a recording will appear anon – but there’s the beginning of it around 2’50 here:

        I like Ramin Gray’s intro to the same Linbury production I saw:

        And it’s such fun to watch Barry with Ades vocalising a bit of the scene in this lively conversation, edited from 30 mins: S Fry seems bent on the play only and hasn’t heard the opera but I like the phrase about applying a machete to a souffle. Enjoy – how can you not?

        1. Susan Scheid Post author

          David: Ah, perhaps “noticed” would have been better than caught out! MEANWHILE, had I known of Folk Festival from The Gadfly, of course that would have been perfect (though as I love S15, I’m not sorry!). As for the links! that last one is, in particular, is priceless, priceless, several times priceless. I hope this opera comes here, and soon. Last not least, thanks so much for the Prokofiev 5 alert!

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