On Dec. 15, The Frick concert series featured Ensemble Correspondances, 10 singers and instrumentalists who specialize in the music created during the reign of Louis XIV. Just the music for a France beset with financial problems. I don’t think this elegant group will be the poster children for the yellow jackets. In addition to a program, we were each given pages of translations of the various pieces. I’ve never been interested in following the librettos. Around me, the audience was studiously following the text of Constantin’s La Ballet Royal de la Nuit or of the Venetian Francesco Cavalli’s Ercole Amante. Instead, I enjoy the sounds and like to study the different musicians: the extremely elegant director and harpsichordist, the extremely stern viola da gamba player, the extremely handsome countertenor. You get the message. As these musicians perform seventeenth century music and as they tour Japan, China and the U. S. A. are they wondering about their futures?
The Garden and Forest Book Club meets at the Arsenal about once a month nine times of the year. I joined it because I know nothing about gardens and forests. It’s been quite an education. Those gardeners and landscape pros aren’t afraid of hefty volumes. We’ve just finished discussing Victoria Johnson’s American Eden. Ms. Johnson’s main figure is David Hosack (1769-1835). Dr. Hosack was a physician and a botanist. His goal, finally achieved, was to build the first botanical garden in the Republic, the Elgin Botanic Garden. It was later abandoned and became the site of Rockefeller Center. Hosack was the friend of Burr and Hamilton and was Hamilton’s doctor at the infamous duel. Later, Burr fled the Republic with money given him by Hosack.
Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder.
Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.
Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.
Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School? Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook?