2005-04-19

Progress Report

The succesful premiere of S K Tseng's Psalm Lu-O at National Concert Hall is now a fait accompli. Congratulations to Apo Hsu for pulling together a very demanding premiere.

The NTNU ShiDa Senior Women's Chorus is preparing for its spring concert. Incoming ShiDa students are being auditioned and outgoing students will soon be performing recitals and juries. My English-language students are in the midst of midterms. Meanwhile, their teacher faces the ongoing task of learning Mandarin.

Oy veh. (<--not Mandarin)

Through it all I'm hearing some truly remarkable music. Helmuth Rilling came to town to conduct a powerful performance of the Brahms German Requiem. Last night I attended the most enchanting Baroque recital I can recall. I've heard some compelling new compositions performed by ensembles large and small.

And I got something to savor from the old New World: the Baltimore Orioles sweep of the Yankees. Yes!

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2005-04-01

Useful Vocabulary

stupidize \ ˈstü-pəd-ˌīz
stupidized; stupidizing
(transitive verb)
: to arrange objects, activities, or processes in a stupid way.

stupidization \ˈstü-pəd-ə-ˈzā-shən\ (noun)
stupidizer (noun)
stupidise (British usage)
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Cover of a 'Gramophone'

Cover of a Gramophone
by Alton Thompson

(Sung to the tune of 'Cover of the
Rolling Stone' by any combination of divas, maestri, castrati, three tenors, and bassi profundi.)


We're all classical musicians
who paid big tuitions
and did gigs in some coffee shop.
Now we play masterworks
like The Song of the Earth
for thirty thousand dollars a pop.
Now this is all designed
to sound sublime,
but a sublime we've never known
is the 'sublime' that'll hitcha
when you get your picture
on the cover of a Gramophone!

Gram-o-phone . . .
Wanna see my picture on the cover
'phone . . .
Wanna brag to my significant other
'phone . . .
I wanna see my smilin face
on the cover of a Gramophone!


(dude)
Had a teacher high-rated
with a name hyphenated
who now irons out my tie and tails.
(chick) Now my first music theory instructor
manicures my fingernails.
(tutti) We're off to Montreal
to fill a concert hall
but one trip we've never flown
is the trip that'll getcha
when you get your picture
on the cover of a Gramophone!

Gram-o-phone . . .
What? Another Simon Rattle?
'phone . . .
A Kent Nagano and a Kathleen Battle!
'phone . . .
Wanna see my smilin face
on the cover of a Gramophone!


We get our beta blockers
from our bobo doctors
who prescribe it by the jar.
Got us a genuine New York agent
pourin our Pinot Noir.
We're takin all kinda pills
to make those onstage thrills
but one thrill we've never known
is the thrill that'll hitcha
when you get your picture
on the cover of a Gramophone!

Gram-o-phone . . .
What? Mitsuko Uchida?!
'phone . . .
Another Manny Ax and Yo-Yo Ma!
'phone . . .
When will they put my smilin face
on the cover of a Gramophone?


We got us world renownment
and a national endowment
grantin us dough to be spent.
Got us a genuine musicologist
who show us how to ornament.
Now all this goes
to earn us standin Os
but the 'O' we've never known
is the 'O' that'll hitcha
when you get your picture
on the cover of a Gramophone!

Gram-o-phone . . .
Another interview with Hilary Hahn?
'phone . . .
Another fond look back at Herbie Karajan!
'phone . . .
They oughtta put my smilin face
on the cover of a Gramophone!

Gram-o-phone . . .
Another closeup shot of Bryn Terfel?
'phone . . .
Another archive shot of Alma Mahler Werfel!
'phone . . .
It's time they put my smilin face
on the cover of a Gramophone!

Gram-o-phone . . .
Here's Anne-Sophie and Yvgeny Kissin!
'phone . . .
I say–these Brits just don't know what they're missin!
'phone . . .
They oughtta put my smilin face
on the cover of a Gramophone!


(Repeat ad infinitum a la 'Neptune' from The Planets, and fade.)


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Gramophone is a registered trademark of Gramophone Publications Limited, UK. All rights reserved.

'Cover of the Rolling Stone' by Shel Silverstein. ©1972, Evil Eye Music, Inc. New York. Recording by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show for Columbia Records, New York. All rights reserved.