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      News — Recommending

      Recommending: Glenn Gould in an empty room

      Glenn Gould, Bach: Preludes, Fughettas, and Fugues (recorded 1979-80)

      In a strange way this photo tells you more about Glenn Gould than almost anything. Worth buying for the photo alone, not to mention his always interesting interpretations of Bach.

      Film Diary: After Life

      image from wikipedia

      Film Diary: After Life (1998), directed by Hirokazu Koreeda.

      A week in the life of dead people. The most pragmatic movie about death I've ever seen, it is at times a mystery, a documentary, a movie about introspection and the meaning of life and memory with surreal Gondry-esque moments. It should be cheesy but it's not.

      *not currently available through Netflix, but the Portland Library has it so check your local library

      Recommending: Calder Quartet

      Calder Quartet with Andrew WK (from Facebook)

      We saw Calder Quartet play two really great pieces of music this weekend at the Portland Central Library at a free event put on by Friends of Chamber Music (and hey, we're all friends of chamber music, aren't we?). They are playing two shows this week at PSU, the second of which I'm recommending as they are playing a piece by one of my favorite composers, Leoš Janáček.

      Leoš Janáček with his wife in 1881 (from Wikipedia)

      They are also doing one of the pieces they performed at the Library, Fred Frith's Lelekovice (1991), that was compelling, kinetic and definitely worth experiencing in-person.

      Tickets & information here: http://www.focm.org/cla4_10.htm

      Calder Quartet
      Mon & Tue, March 14 & 15, 7:30 pm
      Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland State University

      Monday program
      Haydn | Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 33 No. 2 "The Joke"
      Jacob ter Veldhuis | Quartet No. 3 "There must be some way out of here"
      Schubert | Quartet in G Major , D. 887

      Tuesday program
      Janáček | Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters"
      Fred Frith | Lelekovice, Op. 20
      Beethoven | Quartet in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso"

      Watching People Watching Music

      I took these photos of the dvd "Horowitz in Moscow" while I was watching it on our television. This was Vladimir Horowitz's 1986 return to his native country after over 60 years of being abroad. The people are literally moved to tears by his performance and it's hard to tell in these photos if some are sleeping or just listening with their eyes closed. It's a wonderful performance (I highly recommend the DVD), especially of two pieces from the great Russian composer Alexander Scriabin.

      The Greatest Movie Ever Made?

      Well, maybe. To be honest I haven't seen it yet, but that's what a good friend of my proposed after going to the Paula Cooper Gallery and watching "The Clock" for several hours.

      stills from "The Clock"

      "The Clock" is a 24 hour film of clips from movies and television edited together to show clocks and watches that display and correspond to the actual time so that it is as if you are watching a real clock, if you will. It sounds like something that could be incredibly boring or at the same time incredibly addicting, like some sort of cinematic feats-of-strength. According to the NY Times in an excellent article about the movie, "...“The Clock” was hailed as a masterpiece when it made its debut at the White Cube gallery in London last fall." It doesn't seem to be playing anywhere at the moment that I can see, which means we'll all have to wait to see it elsewhere to find out where it ranks on our "greatest" list. So it's hard to tell if its one of the greatest movies ever made, but it's certainly one of the longest.

      still from Histoire(s) du cinéma

      The idea of "The Clock" reminds me of a movie Jean-Luc Godard completed in 1998 called, "Histoire(s) du Cinéma", which was made almost entirely of clips from films (as well as sound) that overlap so that you see several movies at once. It was his history of cinema that was almost 5 hours long. I have yet to see this movie as well, so it's ranking among the great works, along with "The Clock", will have to rest with those lucky enough to have seen them.

      still from Histoire(s) du cinéma

      more stills from "The Clock"