Tag Archives: Arvo Pärt

Thanksgiving Miscellany, with Larcher, Pärt, and Britten

The photos are from walks taken over Thanksgiving on the North Fork of Long Island, some along the shore line from Potato Dock, the remainder at Arshamomaque Preserve.

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Here, also, are two poems I happened on today:

From Slant, by Suji Kwock Kim:

If the angle of an eye is all,
the slant of hope, the slant of dreaming, according to each life,
what is the light of this city,
light of Lady Liberty, possessor of the most famous armpit in the world,

From Starfish, by Eleanor Lerman:

This is what life does. It lets you walk up to
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman
down beside you at the counter who say, Last night,
the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Listening List

Thomas Larcher, Ouroboros for cello and orchestra

This work was named after the ancient Greek symbol, the Ouroboros, which Larcher came across while reading about Brahms’ symphonies. A series of repeated motifs give the music a sense of circularity as the ideas progress and then return to the original motif. [citation]

Bonus Track: At about 6 minutes and 17 minutes into Larcher’s work, I hear echoes of works by Arvo Pärt, so it seemed only fitting to post one. As one thing so often leads to another, I found the one I chose, Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, in the company of Britten’s Four Sea Preludes from Peter Grimes.


Credits: The source for the quotations may be found at the links given in the text; the photographs, as always on the blog unless otherwise indicated, are mine.

The Small Joys of Loviisa

Laivasilta Harbor Park, Loviisa

Laivasilta Harbor Park, Loviisa

Loviisa was my sun and joy.
Hämeenlinna was my school town, Loviisa was freedom.
Jean Sibelius

The young woman arrived at our table and exclaimed, “I love the summer.” It seemed to me as if she sang each sound as she spoke it. I thought how lucky we were to be in Finland in July, with its long sunlit days and temperate weather. Continue reading


View of 26th Estonian Song Celebration from where I stood (lower right in hat and vest) (Photograph by J. Holford)

View of 26th Estonian Song Celebration from where I stood (lower right in hat and vest) (Photograph by J. Holford)

It must be somewhere, the original harmony . . .
—Juhan Liiv

When we first decided on a trip to Helsinki, we didn’t know that Tallinn, Estonia, was so nearby. Nor did we know, when we first arranged our schedule, that our arrival in Tallinn coincided with the last day of the 26th Estonian Song Celebration, a storied national event held once every five years. I was able to get two tickets, on the grass. Whether we could actually attend was open to doubt, but at least we’d have a chance. Continue reading