In Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life, Kenneth Gross describes Sicilian puppeteer Mimmo Cuticchio’s L’urlo del mostro (The howl of the monster), a puppet theater based on the Odyssey. In one scene, Cuticchio
plays Odysseus himself, encountering the ghosts of puppets in the underworld, seeking his identity there among lost comrades and dead family members. Of one skeletal wooden figure he asks, in Sicilian, “Chi pupu eri?” (What puppet were you?).” Continue reading →
Each year I realize yet again how impossible it is to choose among the highlights, let alone write about them with any intelligence. This year is likely to be the last time I make the attempt. Every musical experience is illuminating, above all live performances, but also, particularly with ongoing advances in camerawork and technology, watching and listening online. I’m grateful, too, for the opportunity to be part of communities who love classical music of all stripes and who are generous in sharing their own responses and knowledge. I’ve learned a great deal from so many, and I only hope I’ve been able to give something of value back. Continue reading →
I haven’t been to the ballet “proper” in decades. I think the last time I went to the New York City Ballet wasn’t so very long after George Balanchine had died. This week, while down in New York City, I spotted that the New York City Ballet had a Balanchine Festival going on. For the one I could get to, the music was all Stravinsky (Apollo, Agon, Duo Concertant, and Symphony in Three Movements). Continue reading →
I love Reverdy for saying yes, though I don’t believe it.
The poet Pierre Reverdy is reputed to have said, “From 1910 to 1914 I learned the cubist lesson.” I’ve yet to find out what lesson he felt he learned, but he certainly spent a lot of time among Cubist painters. Each of the poems in his collection Au Soleil du plafond refers to a still life by Juan Gris, one of which, Compotier (The Fruit Bowl), is on display in the current exhibition of Cubist works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Continue reading →