Showing posts from December, 2022

Death of Pope Benedict XVI - New Year's Eve 2022 - Reflections on his visit to the Nazi Auschwitz - Birkenau extermination camp in May 2006

Pope Benedict XVI has died at the age of 95  Funeral of Benedict XVI Pope Francis presided over the Requiem Mass of Benedict XVI on Thursday January 5  in St. Peter’s Square. This ancient rite a was on this occasion a moving ceremony of poised simplicity, as far as magnificent pomp and circumstance can be expressed by the Vatican. Pope Benedict had expressly requested this scaling down of the ceremony. This was the first time in some 600 years that a living Pope and contemporary occupant of the Holy See presided over the funeral of a previous Pope.  I found the homily given by Pope Francis to be a carefully considered strategic approach, given the present voracious and exaggerated appetite of the social and print media for the prurient and sensational in life. He concentrated on the nature of Christian faith and mentioned the 'wisdom, tenderness and devotion' imparted by Pope Benedict XVI only at the conclusion. The success of his ecumenism was clear from the many Christian fai

The Cochran Foundation - Tobias Koch plays works by Julian Cochran - Warsaw, Poland 12 December 2022

From the Lt. Julian Chochran, Klara Gronet, Danae Eleni, Tobias Koch This musical performance and conversation with the composer Julian Cochran has stirred many memories in my recntly established world of  Nostalgiaville.  I moved into classical music in quite the reverse gear - from the jazz world of Oscar Peterson, to the contemporary classical music of say Olivier Messiaen, Stockhausen and Boulez back further in time through Chopin and Bach to the great operas of Monteverdi, finally to Josquin des Pres, Palestrina and Gregorian Chant.  The first image that springs into the viewfinder of my mind was my experiences during the  avant-garde  year of revolution 1968. During those years I was in Paris writing my own experimental 'indeterminate'  avant garde  texts influenced by the style of the  Nouveau Roman  literary movement (Marguerite Duras, Nathalie Sarraute, Alain Robbe-Grillet). I was deeply interested in the contemporary classical music of Messiaen, Nono, Berio, Dallapicc

Recital by Andrzej Wierciński at St. Mary's Church, Perivale, Greater London on 1st December 2022

St. Mary's Church, Perivale, around 1860 Andrzej Wierciński  As the years pass it is always a great pleasure to witness the development of an artist. There are many fine, young Polish pianists but few that flower in the convincing musical manner of a summer bloom as Andrzej Wierciński. He gave an outstanding recital in St. Mary's Church, in west London. This intimate church, now one of the most important concert venues in London, is set in the picturesque rural surroundings of Perivale, a small town in the Borough of Ealing. It is reputed to have one of the fest acoustics in the capital. Domenico Scarlatti  Sonata in F minor K 466 The refined discrimination of this pianist was clear from the outset when he chose to open his recital with one of the seductive,  cantabile  sonatas  of Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). This sonata K 466 was particularly suitable for the modern piano.  It is highly likely Scarlatti conceived it for one of the five recently invented Cristofori instrum