"Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone ..." William Wordsworth

31 December 2022

Waiteth.

Millais, Death of the Old Year, 1857


The DEATH of the OLD YEAR

Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,
And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
Toll ye the church bell sad and slow,
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying.
       Old year you must not die;
       You came to us so readily,
       You lived with us so steadily,
       Old year you shall not die.

He lieth still: he doth not move:
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.
He gave me a friend and a true truelove
And the New-year will take 'em away.
       Old year you must not go;
       So long you have been with us,
       Such joy as you have seen with us,
       Old year, you shall not go.

He froth'd his bumpers to the brim;
A jollier year we shall not see.
But tho' his eyes are waxing dim,
And tho' his foes speak ill of him,
He was a friend to me.
       Old year, you shall not die;
       We did so laugh and cry with you,
       I've half a mind to die with you,
       Old year, if you must die.

He was full of joke and jest,
But all his merry quips are o'er.
To see him die across the waste
His son and heir doth ride post-haste,
But he'll be dead before.
       Every one for his own.
       The night is starry and cold, my friend,
       And the New-year blithe and bold, my friend,
       Comes up to take his own.

How hard he breathes! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The shadows flicker to and fro:
The cricket chirps: the light burns low:
'Tis nearly twelve o'clock.
       Shake hands, before you die.
       Old year, we'll dearly rue for you:
       What is it we can do for you?
       Speak out before you die.

His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone,
Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,
       And waiteth at the door.
       There's a new foot on the floor, my friend,
       And a new face at the door, my friend,
       A new face at the door.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Happy Birthday, Summers


Andy Summers was born on this day in 1942.

"Bring On the Night" with The Police ...

Rameau, Le Tambourin"

Christophe Rousset rehearses with Les Talens Lyriques ...

Ambling.

Velasquez, Tavern Scene with Two Men and a Girl (detail), 1619


The MANY WINES

God has given us a dark wine so potent that,
drinking it, we leave the two worlds.

God has put into the form of hashish a power
to deliver the taster from self-consciousness.

God has made sleep so that
it erases every thought.

God made Majnun love Layla so much that
just her dog would cause confusion in him.

There are thousands of wines
that can take over our minds.

Don't think all ecstasies
are the same!

Jesus was lost in his love for God.
His donkey was drunk with barley.

Drink from the presence of saints,
not from those other jars.

Every object, every being,
is a jar full of delight.

Be a connoisseur,
and taste with caution.

Any wine will get you high.

Judge like a king, and choose the purest,
the ones unadulterated with fear,
or some urgency about "what's needed."

Drink the wine that moves you
as a camel moves when it's been untied,
and is just ambling about.

Rumi

Champagne.

The Champagne episode from Hugh Johnon's classic series, Vintage ...

Courage.


We ought to view ourselves with the same curiosity and openness with which we study a tree, the sky or a thought, because we too are linked to the entire universe.  To look at something as though we had never seen it before requires great courage.

Henri Matisse

Lynch.


If you are interested in traditional architecture, I highly recommend Conor Lynch's Instagram feed.

van Eyck, Preludium of Voorspel/Onse Vader in Hemelryck

Anna Stegmann performs ...

Happy Birthday, Matisse

Matisse, Les Coucous, Tapis Bleu, et Rose, 1911


Hatred, rancor, and the spirit of vengeance are useless baggage to the artist. His road is difficult enough for him to cleanse his soul of everything which could make it more so.

Henri Matisse, born on this day in 1869

Ian Anderson, "Wond'ring Aloud"

30 December 2022

Excellent.

An excellent album ...

Committed.

Some twenty years before he committed the entire cycle to 78rpm disc for HMV, Pablo Casals ventured into the recording studio and recorded three movements of the third suite for Columbia records.  Recorded acoustically on April 23, 1915, this record is dubbed using a medium tone steel needle in my Rankin-restored EMG Model Xb “Oversize” on May 1, 2020 ...

Happy Birthday, Kipling


When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded
And the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
Lie down for an aeon or two
'Till the Master of all good workmen
Shall put us to work anew
And those that were good shall be happy
They'll sit in a golden chair
They'll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet's hair
They'll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
They'll work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us.
And only the Master shall blame.
And no one will work for the money.
No one will work for the fame.
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!

Rudyard Kipling, born on this day in 1865

29 December 2022

Steve Winwood, "Dear Mr. Fantasy"

Released.


America released their debut album on this day in 1971.

Side One, Track One ... "Riverside"

Telemann, Concerto for Recorder and Viola da Gamba in A minor, TWV 52:a1

Anninka Fohgrub, recorder, and Lina Manrique, viola da gamba, perform the Dolce with the Bremer Barockorchester ...

Madness.


There is no greatness without a continual solicitation to madness which, while it must be overcome, must never be completely lacking. One might profit by classifying men in this respect. The one kind are those in whom there is no madness at all and are so-called men of intellect whose works and deeds are nothing but cold works and deeds of the intellect.  But where there is no madness, there is, to be sure, also no real, active, living intellect. For wherein is intellect to prove itself but in the conquest, mastery, and ordering of madness?

Friedrich Schelling

Travel.


TO the ONE WHO is READING ME

You are invulnerable. Didn’t they deliver
(those forces that control your destiny)
the certainty of dust? Couldn’t it be
your irreversible time is that river
in whose bright mirror Heraclitus read
his brevity? A marble slab is saved
for you, one you won’t read, already graved
with city, epitaph, dates of the dead.
And other men are also dreams of time,
not hardened bronze, purified gold. They’re dust
like you; the universe is Proteus.
Shadow, you’ll travel to what waits ahead,
the fatal shadow waiting at the rim.
Know this: in some way you’re already dead.

Jorge Luis Borges

Paul Weller, "Foot on the Mountain"

Pile.


Late in the evening of August 29, 1817, I arrived at the ancient little border town of Selkirk, where I put up for the night. I had come down from Edinburgh, partly to visit Melrose Abbey and its vicinity, but chiefly to get sight of the “mighty minstrel of the north.” I had a letter of introduction to him from Thomas Campbell, the poet, and had reason to think, from the interest he had taken in some of my earlier scribblings, that a visit from me would not be deemed an intrusion.

On the following morning, after an early breakfast, I set off in a postchaise for the Abbey. On the way thither I stopped at the gate of Abbotsford, and sent the postilion to the house with the letter of introduction and my card, on which I had written that I was on my way to the ruins of Melrose Abbey, and wished to know whether it would be agreeable to Mr. Scott (he had not yet been made a Baronet) to receive a visit from me in the course of the morning.

While the postilion was on his errand, I had time to survey the mansion. It stood some short distance below the road, on the side of a hill sweeping down to the Tweed; and was as yet but a snug gentleman’s cottage, with something rural and picturesque in its appearance. The whole front was overrun with evergreens, and immediately above the portal was a great pair of elk horns, branching out from beneath the foliage, and giving the cottage the look of a hunting lodge. The huge baronial pile, to which this modest mansion in a manner gave birth was just emerging into existence; part of the walls, surrounded by scaffolding, already had risen to the height of the cottage, and the courtyard in front was encumbered by masses of hewn stone.

The noise of the chaise had disturbed the quiet of the establishment. Out sallied the warder of the castle, a black greyhound, and, leaping on one of the blocks of stone, began a furious barking. His alarum brought out the whole garrison of dogs:
  “Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
  And curs of low degree;”
all open-mouthed and vociferous.—I should correct my quotation;—not a cur was to be seen on the premises: Scott was too true a sportsman, and had too high a veneration for pure blood, to tolerate a mongrel.

In a little while the “lord of the castle” himself made his appearance. I knew him at once by the descriptions I had read and heard, and the likenesses that had been published of him. He was tall, and of a large and powerful frame. His dress was simple, and almost rustic. An old green shooting-coat, with a dog-whistle at the buttonhole, brown linen pantaloons, stout shoes that tied at the ankles, and a white hat that had evidently seen service. He came limping up the gravel walk, aiding himself by a stout walking-staff, but moving rapidly and with vigor. By his side jogged along a large iron-gray stag-hound of most grave demeanor, who took no part in the clamor of the canine rabble, but seemed to consider himself bound, for the dignity of the house, to give me a courteous reception.

Before Scott had reached the gate he called out in a hearty tone, welcoming me to Abbotsford, and asking news of Campbell. Arrived at the door of the chaise, he grasped me warmly by the hand: “Come, drive down, drive down to the house,” said he, “ye’re just in time for breakfast, and afterward ye shall see all the wonders of the Abbey.”

I would have excused myself, on the plea of having already made my breakfast. “Hout, man,” cried he, “a ride in the morning in the keen air of the Scotch hills is warrant enough for a second breakfast.”

Washington Irving, from Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey

Quiet.



ANY MORNING

Just lying on the couch and being happy.
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.

People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can’t
monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.

Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People won’t even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.

Later in the day you can act like the others.
You can shake your head. You can frown.

William Stafford

Happy Birthday, Casals


Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.

Pablo Casals, born on this date in 1876

Casals performs the Bourees from Bach's Cello Suite No. 3 ...

28 December 2022

Beat.

Rebuttal.

You no-likey the accordion, eh?

Olivia Steimel provides my rebuttal ...

Savor.


Thank you, Kurt.

Possibilities.


In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few.

Shunryu Suzuki

Excellent.

An excellent book ...


The ability to retain a child's view of the world with at the same time a mature understanding of what it means to retain it, is extremely rare - and a person who has these qualities is likely to be able to contribute something really important to our thinking.

Mortimer J. Adler, from How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

Binding.


Now my aim is clear: I must show that the house is one of the greatest powers of integration for the thoughts, memories and dreams of mankind. The binding principle in this integration is the daydream. Past, present and future give the house different dynamisms, which often interfere, at times opposing, at others, stimulating one another. In the life of a man, the house thrusts aside contingencies, its councils of continuity are unceasing. Without it, man would be a dispersed being. It maintains him through the storms of the heavens and through those of life. It is body and soul. It is the human being's first world. Before he is "cast into the world," as claimed by certain hasty meta-physics, man is laid in the cradle of the house. And always, in our daydreams, the house is a large cradle. A concrete metaphysics cannot neglect this fact, this simple fact, all the more, since this fact is a value, an important value, to which we return in our daydreaming. Being is already a value. Life begins well, it begins enclosed, protected, all warm in the bosom of the house.

Gaston Bachelard, from The Poetics of Space

Thanks, Buff.

Happy Birthday, Adler


We are tied down, all our days and for the greater part of our days, to the commonplace. That is where contact with the great thinkers, great literature helps. In their company we are still in the ordinary world, but it is the ordinary world transfigured and seen through the eyes of wisdom and genius. And some of their genius becomes ours.

Mortimer Adler, born on this day in 1902.

From 1983, Adler in conversation with William F. Buckley Jr. on Firing Line ... "How to Speak, How to Listen" ...


Firing Line was so calming.  The music. the set, the suits, the respectful discourse ...

The Oyster Months Notebook, revised December 2022

'Tis Winter and the Oyster Months issue forth a crisp and frigid dirge ...

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

'Tis Winter. 

REVISED December 2022 ...

Nicola Matteis: Most ravishing things (Music from the Books of Ayres)
Theatrum Affectuum


The Art of Resonance: Archlute & Theorbo Music of the Italian Seicento
Luca Pianca


Figures of Harmony: Songs of Codex Chantilly c. 1390
Ferrara Ensemble and Crawford Young


Schmelzer: Violin Sonatas
Gunar Letzbor & Ars Antiqua Austria


Zelenka: Sonates pour Deux Hautbois et Basson
Ensemble Zefiro


La Bella Minuta: Florid Songs for Cornetto, ca.1600
Liuwe Tamminga & Bruce Dickey


Brade, G. Gabrieli & Scheidt: Tuba mirum
Les Sacqueboutiers and Renaud Delaigue


REVISED October 2022 ...

A Meeting Place: Medieval & Renaissance Music for Lute & Ud
August Denhard and Münir Nurettin Beken 


Notker Balbulus: Sequnezen, Tropen & Gregorianischer Choral aud dem Kloster St. Gallen
Ordo Virtutum and Stefan Morent 


Johann Rosenmüller in Exile
Acronym and Jesse Blumberg


Thomas Morley: Fantasies to Two Voices
Jonathan Dunford & Jérôme Chaboseau


Biber: Harmonia artificioso
Musica Antiqua Köln and Reinhard Goebel


Joseph Bodin De Boismortier: The Complete Opus 37 Trio Sonatas (1732) for Flute, Viola da Gamba and Chamber Organ
Flauti Diversi


Die Weisheit des Alters: Ars moriendi im Minnesang
Ensemble Für Frühe musik Augsburg


REVISED September 2022 ...

Philipp Friedrich Buchner: Plectrum Musicum
Parnassi Musici


Le Secret de Monsieur Marais
Vittorio Ghielmi, Luca Pianca, Il Suonar Parlante Orchestra


Telemann: Sonate for Oboe, Bassoon, and Continuo
Sans Souci


Johann Jakob Walther: Hortulus Chelicus
Sills, Dirst, Dirst, and Wang (no offense)


Thomas Lupo: Fantasia
Fretwork


Fürchtet Euch Nicht: Bassoons & Bombards Music from the German Baroque
Syntagma Amici, Vox Lumini


Johann Georg Weichenberger: Lute Works 
Joachim Held


REVISED March 2022 ...

Fantasia! Dialogue for One
Pauline Oostenrijk


February 2022 ...

Jacon van Eyck: Der Fluyten Lust-hof
Erik Bosgraaf


Marin Marais: Pieces de Viole de Cinq Livre
Jordi Savall, Ton Koopmann, Hopkinson Smith, Christophe Coin, Anne Gallet


The Cosmopolitan: Songs by Oswald von Wolkenstein
Ensemble Leones, Marc Lewis


Toys for Two: Dowland to California
Margaret Koll and Luca Pianca


REVISED January 2022 ...

Scheidt: Ludi Musici
L'Acheron, Francois Joubert-Caillet


Handel: The Complete Sonatas for Recorder
Marion Verbruggen, Ton Koopman and Jaap ter Linden


Buxtehude: Complete Chamber Music
Ton Koopman


Songs of Olden Times: Estonian Folk Hymns and Runic Songs
Heinavanker


Ockeghem: Requiem; Missa Mi-Mi; Missa Prolationum
Hilliard Ensemble


REVISED November 2021 ...

Masters of the Baroque Hurdy-Gurdy
Matthias Loibner


Weiss: Sonatas for Transverse Flute and Lute
Duo Inventio


Holborne: Pieces for Lute
Federico Marincola


THE ORIGINAL COLLECTION (Autumn 2020):

Holborne: Pavans and Galliards, 1599
The Consort of Musicke & The Guildhall Waits, Anthony Rooley & Trevor Jones


Purcell: Sonatas Of 3 Parts, 1683
Pavlo Beznosiuk, Rachel Podger, Christophe Coin, Christopher Hogwood


Telemann: Trio Sonatas
Erik Bosgraaf (recorder), Dmitry Sinkovksy (violin)


German Lute Music of the 18th Century
Alberto Crugnola