Innisfree Garden, July 21

03IMG_0255_edited-1We raced out the door, so as to arrive as soon as Innisfree Garden opened, in hopes of beating the worst of the heat. We had the benefit of a good breeze and plenty of shady spots, including our favorite place to sit and watch for jumping fish. We didn’t see many fish, but dragonflies were out in force.

Listening List

Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 6 “Sinfonia semplice”, FS 116 (August 1924–December 1925)

Orchestration: Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in F, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, glockenspiel, triangle, cymbals, snare drum, bass drum (finale only), xylophone (finale only), strings

Program notes on Nielsen’s Sixth Symphony are included here.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 in E-Flat Major (1945)

Orchestration: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (bass drum, cymbals, snare drum, suspended cymbal, tambourine, triangle), and strings

Program notes on Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony may be found here, and a previous post about the symphony may be found here.


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


12 thoughts on “Innisfree Garden, July 21

  1. shoreacres

    The dragonflies are out in force here, too, and damselflies in more colors than I would have expected. There are swallows galore, eating up mosquitos, and baby birds hidden away everywhere, begging for food. We’re seeing summer flowers now — before long, I should find some of what I think are Maximilian sunflowers in your photos.

    I was listening to the Nielsen piece and admiring your latest photos, when it occurred to me that you probably had written about him before. I did a search, and found the post, and after I read it, I laughed for a good long time. I may not quite get Ashbery’s poetry, but I get what he’s saying here:

    ” An idea might occur to me, something very banal—for example, isn’t it strange that it is possible to both talk and think at the same time? . . . Or certain words or phrases might have come to my attention with a meaning I wasn’t aware of before.

    Also, I often put in things that I have overheard people say, on the street for instance. Suddenly something fixes itself in the flow that is going on around one and seems to have a significance. In fact, there is an example of that in this poem, “What Is Poetry.” In a bookstore I overheard a boy saying to a girl this last line: “It might give us—what?—some flowers soon?” I have no idea what the context was, but it suddenly seemed the way to end my poem. I am a believer in fortuitous accidents.”

    That, I understand. I might have to revisit some of his poems.

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      shoreacres: What a memory you have, re the Nielsen. I actually also looked back to see if I’d posted the Nielsen 6 before, and of course, there it was with that Ashbery post. I particularly enjoyed that comment of his–we must all do that at times, don’t you think? I do like that poem, What Is Poetry (without a question-mark, no less). I don’t recall whether I’ve ever posted it in full, but, anyway, here it is:

      The medieval town, with frieze
      Of boy scouts from Nagoya? The snow

      That came when we wanted it to snow?
      Beautiful images? Trying to avoid

      Ideas, as in this poem? But we
      Go back to them as to a wife, leaving

      The mistress we desire? Now they
      Will have to believe it

      As we believed it. In school
      All the thought got combed out:

      What was left was like a field.
      Shut your eyes, and you can feel it for miles around.

      Now open them on a thin vertical path.
      It might give us–what?–some flowers soon?

  2. David N

    Gardens are the only place to be in this heat, aren’t they – and the more enchanting, as at Innisfree, the better. Amazing how vital shade becomes. I notice this on my cycles to the Frontline, grateful for every tree under which I pass.

    You make me think again about the first movement of the Nielsen – a speeded-up film of natural growth, slightly more luxuriant than the one in the finale of Shostakovich 8 and ultimately no less catastophic. We had the most electrifying performance of the Second you could imagine in Parnu – a world away from when Paavo J conducted the listless Philharmonia. Barenboim has asked him to conduct all six. Of course the Shostakovich Six at the end of the festival was even more colossal – never heard an orchestral unison go through my body quite like the one at the beginning.

    Anyway sitting at the desk writing only makes me sweat so I shall search out some cool.

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      David: Yes, gardens and forests . . . and in the water, if one can . . . or as I am now, indoors with the A/C on. I love your description of the Nielsen 6 first movement. I hadn’t listened to it in a while and enjoyed it all over again. Somehow, I don’t know why, it seemed the right thing to pair it with the Shos 9th. As I put together my photos here, I listened to those two symphonies back-to-back a couple times through. It was a wonderful way to while away the afternoon. Today, it’s Mahler’s 1st (the Nézet-Séguin, which I seem to recall you’d recommended), as I await Jackie, whom you met, and her friend Gill, to arrive from the airport and take them back upstate. Hot as blazes in New York City today, 93F outdoors right now. The Parnu festival, by the way, sounds to have been as extraordinary this year as last.

      1. David N

        Love to Jackie, how could I forget? We still want to do the East Ham curryhouse experience.

        I think i’ve said this before, but I’m convinced that Shostakovich knew the Semplice when he wrote his Fifteenth (also starting with glock and only intermittently light and humorous). Orchestral musicians agree that parts of the Sixth are almost impossible to play – killer variations for the strings in the finale, But maybe the point is it should be manic, not accurate.

        Tamara Wilson triumphed last night tackling her first bit of Brünnhilde at the Proms. Tippett, too, heartbreakingly pertinent in the light of Munich and other horrors/refugee plight.

        1. Susan Scheid Post author

          David: I have sent your greetings, which she returns in full. We spent our first day here with a trip to Innisfree, always a treat. I do believe I remember you noting that about N’s 6th and S’s 15, and think you have to be spot on with that. I’ll look forward to your reporting in on the Proms over your way; wonderful about Wilson’s triumph.

          1. David N

            They should let you ‘a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made’ , to while away your summer days…and maybe the special privilege of staying there during the winter closure.

            1. Susan Scheid Post author

              I would love the opportunity to see this garden in winter. There is now a curator, and she’s instituted some wonderful programs, so who knows, perhaps that’s on the boards.

  3. Brigitta “Britta” Huegel

    Dear Sue, the Innisfree garden shows such a different face in summer – glorious lotus (I never saw one in real life) and the kingcup (Caltha) which I love since my childhood in northern Germany. I remember you showing us this impressive garden and am so thankful to you – and I always take it as a symbol for the power of wishes: at first I only read about that garden on your blog, and was instantly fascinated – and wanted to see it – and then we were there, for me first time in America – and it was a dream come true, thank you, dear friend!

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      Britta: What a lovely message you have written here! It is a treasure, and please know we’d love to have you come again, in summertime when the lotus are in bloom!

  4. Friko

    Another splendid set of photographs.
    Tell me, do you chose each subject for its blemish-free aspect or are the plants in the gardens actually as perfect as they appear here?

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      Friko: While I do try to photograph blemish-free plants, they’re in abundance. The garden is well-tended by several groundskeepers. They are “old hands,” at least the ones I’ve encountered while there, a bit reminiscent of your Gardener.

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