“Nathaniel Hicks said:
Archives for March 22, 2005
Mr. Gioia, my new boss, “asked” me to draw up a mini-program of ten piano-accompanied English-language settings of Shakespeare. I had roughly fifteen minutes to comply. He didn’t tell me why he wanted it. Here’s what I came up with, pretty much straight off the top of my head:
– Thomas Morley, “It was a lover and his lass”
– Gerald Finzi, “It was a lover and his lass” (from Let Us Garlands Bring)
– Joseph Haydn, “She never told her love”
– Franz Schubert, “Who is Sylvia?”
– Erich Wolfgang Korngold, “Desdemona’s Song” (from Four Shakespeare Songs)
– Amy Beach, “O Mistress Mine” (from Three Shakespeare Songs)
– Peter Warlock, “Sigh no more, ladies”
– Roger Quilter, “Come away, Death”
– Stephen Sondheim, “Fear no more the heat o’ the sun” (from The Frogs)
– Dominick Argento, “When icicles hang by the wall” (from Six Elizabethan Songs)
Not bad for a high-pressure improvisation….
To those of you who wrote yesterday and this morning to warn me that www.terryteachout.com, the alternate address for “About Last Night,” was out of order:
(2) It’s fixed.
I return you now to our regularly scheduled blog.
I just got back to my Washington hotel after my first day of meetings as a member of the National Council on the Arts. I can’t tell you what I did today, because this was the first of two days’ worth of closed sessions, but I can say that my fellow NCA members are without exception serious, thoughtful, and collegial, and that I’ve already learned a huge amount about the workings of the National Endowment for the Arts, all of it impressive (to me, anyway).
In lieu of spilling the official beans, let me direct you to a very interesting profile
of Dana Gioia, chairman of the NEA, that appeared a couple of days ago in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Here’s the money quote:
“I would say that the major reform I’ve made at the endowment can be summarized pretty easily,” Gioia said. “Historically, the National Endowment for the Arts thought of itself as a federal agency that served artists. Today, the NEA sees itself as a federal agency which serves the American public by bringing the best of the arts and arts education to all Americans.”
He said the same thing to us today. Read the whole story and you’ll see exactly what he meant.
I also took that v. cool friend of mine to the Phillips Collection this morning, where we looked over a beautifully mounted Modigliani retrospective that’s an absolute must-see, even if you’re not all that enthusiastic about Modigliani (which I’m still not).
Now I’ve got to get to bed–tomorrow is going to be an even longer day. Stay out of trouble while I’m gone.
The Little Professor has one of her chilling tales from the teaching front. I suspect
I’m still out of Chicago, and posting from my corner will continue to be light for the next couple of days. There’s lots of worthwhile reading out there, however, beginning with the debutante blog The Gurgling Cod*, the creation of About Last Night pal the Fesser. If he weren’t already my friend, he would be making serious headway in that direction with this opening installment of musical links in tribute to hockey’s Original Six.
It almost makes up for the time he sent me a Patrick Roy birthday card.
*Wonder whether he’s offering any sort of door prize to the first reader to identify his blog’s namesake?