Tag Archives: Claude Debussy

New York Mysteries Oct. 8- Oct. 14

The first Frick concert was held this past Sunday, Oct. 8. Paavali Jumppanen, the Finnish pianist, treated us to two hours of Debussy (1862-1918) Duckworth (1943-2012) and Beethoven (1770 -1827). Mr. Jumppanen did something tricky for Duckworth’s The Time Curve Preludes, credited with being one of the first post minimalist musical works. He altered the Steinway to give the piece an authentic sound. Like so many modern pieces, it reminds me of eating a vegetable you don’t like, such as brussel sprouts, to find out if your tastes have changed. Mine haven’t. The piece was more interesting than I had expected but that’s that. The Debussy and Beethoven thundered throughout the Frick Music Room.

A few days later a friend and I met at the Scandinavian House restaurant for an early and delicious Swedish supper. We then trotted around the corner to The Morgan Library & Museum to hear Drawn to Song, a collaboration between the Morgan and The Glimmerglass Festival. The Glimmerglass singers sang early and modern music, from John Dowland (1563-1626) to Jake Heggie (b. 1961). It was absolutely delightful. After the concert we took the glass elevator to Morgan’s extraordinary library. We wandered around the beautiful bound books and studied the ones on display.



The Morgan Library
A Noel Coward playbill and his flask shaped like a book.







The next evening I visited an old haunt, the Oyster Bar Saloon. It hasn’t changed. The red checkered tablecloths are the same ones I partied on many years ago. An oyster loving friend and I had east coast oysters, large and succulent, followed by Howard Johnson fried oysters, fries and creamed spinach. Lots of lovely booze and giddy conversation.




Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people 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: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.





New York City Blog — Nov. 19 – Nov. 26

After a scrumptious and CHEAP meal and lovely Tom Collins at Ginger’s, a friend and I walked nine blocks south to the National Opera Center at 28th Street and Seventh Avenue. Fabrizio Melano directed “An Evening With Us,“ a series of scenes and arias. “Au fond du temple saint,” the duet from Georges Bizet’s 1863 opera, Les pêcheurs de perles was, for me, the high point of the evening. Generally known as “The Pearl Fishers’ Duet”, it’s a golden oldie. The tenor, Has Son Kim, was wonderful. The last time I heard it was at a church recital in Santa Fe. Roberto De Blasio, the Italian tenor, sang the Nadir role. He was perfect – unlike the night before when he had been Don José in Stephen Lawless’s Carmen at the Santa Fe opera. The ghastly production was set in the 1960s. De Blasio stalked around the state in Elvis regalia being very manly.

Sunday late afternoons are often spent in the Frick Collection’s Music Room. On. November 20 the Atos Trio (violin, cello, piano) played primarily nineteenth century French composers. Their opening piece was Claude Debussy’s Trio in G Major. This season the Frick concert tickets include a brief historical note about an artist working at the same time as the featured composers. We leaned from the note that Claude Debussy was a friend of Edgar Degas. In the Frick’s North Hall is a Degas painting, “Rehearsal”. It portrays ballerinas rehearsing. They are accompanied by a very sad violinist whose forlorned expression rivets me. One of my favorite masochistic daydreams is the thought of dying in the poor house i. e. the women’s room in Penn Station. The violinist’s gnarled hands, his lined face and drooping baggy face are in sharp contrast to the ballerinas’ limber, young legs.