Autumn Miscellany

7 IMG_0411_edited-1The Mid-Hudson Valley and environs this year turned in the most spectacular fall I can remember. As I wrote this post, the leaves were falling fast. Now they’re down, baring bones of trees on a carpet of brown.

The slideshow contains photographs taken from October 10 through the end of the month. (If anyone has difficulty loading the slideshow, please let me know, and I’ll see if I can adjust to make it easier to load.)

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Listening List

I recently attended a concert at the Bard College by its newly formed training orchestra, The Orchestra Now. The musicians in the orchestra, from the US and countries around the world, are enrolled in a three-year academic program for a Masters of Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies. The splendid concert, the first in a series TŌN will perform, included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, Mieczysław Weinberg’s Cello Concerto, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11. TŌN’s expressive, accomplished performance of Weinberg’s Cello Concerto, with Rylan Gajek Leonard, an undergraduate at Bard’s Conservatory of Music, as the entrancing soloist, set me off on the trail of Weinberg’s music once again.

Weinberg, Fantasia for Cello and Orchestra, op. 52 (1951–1953)
Weinberg, Concertino for Violin and String Orchestra , op. 42 (1948)
Weinberg, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in D minor, op. 43 (1948)

On Spotify

On YouTube

Fantasia for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 52 

Concertino for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 42: I. Allegretto cantabile

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in D minor, op. 43: I. Adagio 

Bonus Track: Leonard performing George Crumb, Sonata for Solo Cello: I. Fantasia 



Credits: The photographs, as always on the blog unless otherwise indicated, are mine.

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14 thoughts on “Autumn Miscellany

  1. Mark Kerstetter

    Thanks for the photos Sue. Oh how I miss the autumns in Pennsylvania, where I grew up, always my favorite time of year. We’re having an unusually warm November down here, and are getting set for an El Nino winter.

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      Mark: I’m glad the photos gave some of the flavor. I keep looking at those leafless hills and try to wish myself back to October, so am glad I have some photos, too. Good luck with your El Nino winter!

  2. Steve Schwartzman

    I assume The Orchestra Now puts a macron over the O in TŌN not only to suggest the sound of the word “tone” but also to keep people from pronouncing the acronym like the word “ton.”

    I’m glad you had great fall foliage up there this year. At the same time, like your previous commenter, I’m sorry I missed it.

  3. David N

    Oh my, as I think you might say, it doesn’t get any lovelier than that. Some compensation for my not getting out and about enough before the rains and the winds came and took all the leaves down (though one afternoon in Kensington Gardens was rather halllucinogenic). You chose the winner at the top, no doubt, but the mists are fabulous, and – you can see beech trees from/through your front door?

    You know we have the Alexander Calder exhibition at Tate Modern now? Haven’t been yet, and missed the musical events, dammit. But I think of the sculptures you show – are they all gathered in one place? – Richard Serra’s is my favourite. I have snaps of something wonderful in the grounds of Bard College, too – must dig that out.

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      David: Ah, good, this also means the photos were loadable at your end. (I usually don’t do so many, but it was really hard to pick.) I am no good a tree identification, but I don’t think we have beeches in our yard–oaks and maples are what I’ve spotted. I’ll try to pay attention for that now.

      I don’t know that I knew you had a Calder exhibit on at the Tate. How great that must be! The sculptures are indeed all in one (vast) place, the Storm King Art Center, about 45 minutes south of where we live. The Serra is a wonder live: four monumental wedges like the ones you see in a great mown meadow.

      1. David N

        Probably I got it wrong about the beeches – couldn’t see them clearly through the glass pane, but they looked tall enough and the right shade of green. But thanks for being courteous as ever about my mistake…

        Going to the Calder soon. So much to catch up on – also Goya and the amazing Liotard, plus several British Museum shows. On the podcast of last Saturday’s Music Matters, you can hear Tom Service talking to participants in the music ‘happenings’ at the Calder. I also recommend his interview with Georg Friedrich’s Morgen und Abend, which I found hugely impressive if not exactly moving on its Royal Opera premiere.

        1. Susan Scheid Post author

          David: So much to catch up on, indeed! I am down in NYC this week and breathless from all the activities I’ve planned–and on top of it, just yesterday, I learned of three gallery shows I want to see though sadly will probably not get to in time. This afternoon, the “main event” is the NY Phil with Neeme Jarvi conducting Rachmaninov’s First Symphony and Daniil Triifnov on the Fourth Concerto. Earlier this week I went to a preview of a wild new exhibit at the Whitney in the company of the wonderful David Bloom, then off to the “coolest new venue in Brooklyn,” National Sawdust, to hear the band “Big Farm” (which I would never have found without David leading the way). David’s comment afterward was priceless: when is the last time you’ve heard rock music where you could understand the lyrics? I’d had the same thought: Rinde Eckert, a multi-talented guy whom I’ve seen in music theater and who can do a mean yodel and falsetto, also has perfect diction–and his fast patter lyrics (he writes all the text) would challenge the best. The group’s guitarist, Steve Mackey, is also a composer, but in this case was channeling Jimi Hendrix on electric guitar . . . and the drummer is percussionist par excellence Jason Treuting, also a composer, and (I think) still in residence at Bard with his group So Percussion.

  4. Friko

    Hi Sue,

    October really is a wonderful month (I am wondering if I shouldn’t elect it to be my favourite) and this collection of pictures is amazing. How fortunate you are to have easy access to these miracles of nature.

    The sculpture park is equally breathtaking, my favourite is the Liberman. We have just lost an old horse chestnut in the recent gales and the piled up trunks looked a lot like Adonai before the tree fellers moved them.

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      Friko: Ah, so this means you could see the photos! I am so glad that, with my limited technical abilities, I was able to find a fix! October is definitely my favorite month where we are, for reasons you can see, but of course with what follows on, as you can well imagine, I keep wishing those colorful leaves back on the bare trees. That sculpture park is a true wonder of the world. It’s massive. (Though I strolled around by foot, they have a open-air tram that will take you around, and it takes 45 minutes.) The Adonai really caught my eye, too–each angle of viewing yields something new–and while I hadn’t thought of it, it certainly does have the look of piled up tree trunks (we had to take an oak down this year that was too close to the house, so I know exactly what you mean). I recall you writing you’d lost the horse chestnut; always sad to see a tree go. From now on, I will think of the Adonai as a monument to lost trees. (PS re your comment not appearing right away–I’ve had to institute moderation, so there is sometimes a delay. I’ve now added something to the comment box to explain this, which I forgot to do.)

  5. hilarymb

    Hi Susan – gorgeous photos which you so perfectly portray for us – the Fall colours are glorious … I still think I prefer the spring greens … I know it’s going to get warmer! Cheers Hilary

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      Hilary: Yes, if you think about what comes next, spring is preferable, though up here, the autumn is a particular glory because of the hills, so to be savored while it lasts.

  6. shoreacres

    Your photos are so beautiful, they made my heart ache. I thought I was well past my annual case of autumn envy, but apparently not. I’m wondering: is that solitary red tree the one that obligingly held its leaves until after your mother’s visit? I hope so. I like to think of the two of you admiring it.

    I’ve never heard of prog-rock, but the examples of Big Farm that I listened to weren’t nearly as strident as I’d imagined they would be. I was rather taken with their rendition of Jason Treuting’s “Margaret Ballinger.” For one thing, the whistling was well done, and, yes, I could understand the lyrics.

    The photos of the massed, tall, slender, yellow-leaved trees — that I took to be beech, by the way — reminded me of the photo in your post, “Dreaming in Swedish.” With the leaves down now, and the sky stretching out, perhaps Tranströmer’s words will fit:

    “The clear sky has set itself on a slant against the wall.
    It’s like a prayer to emptiness.
    And the emptiness turns it face to us
    and whispers,
    “I am not empty, I am open.”

  7. Susan Scheid Post author

    shoreacres: Now, you’re not going to believe this, but the other day, when I was feeling my own sort of envy at the fall I’d had that’s now gone, I recalled that same post and reminded myself that this season, too, has its beauty, with those long shadows on a rich brown carpet of oak leaves. Tranströmer’s words are perfect–thanks for reminding me of them, too. (We also had a spectacular sunset tonight, reminiscent of the one on that post!)

    The solitary tree I think you’re referring to is our dogwood, which did obligingly hold on to its leaves. We suspect that tree is nearing the end of its lifespan, so we’re really glad it put on such a show this year. On the massed trees, if you mean those in the first “Housatonic,” set my in-resident expert recalls them as birches, and when I enlarge them (which unfortunately can’t be done from the slideshow photos), they do have birch-like trunks. The one at the bottom of the post (I call it the Klimt-ish tree, as it reminds me of a little of this Klimt: can be blown up and is (I hope I at least get this right, but feel free to disabuse me) a maple.

    PS: Margaret Ballinger was one of the pieces I heard, and it appealed to me, too. (To give you a further idea of the magnitude of what I don’t know, I had no idea what I was listening to was called prog-rock!)

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