Paul Moravec, Cool Fire/Chamber Symphony (Naxos, out Sept. 30). Two new large-scale pieces of chamber music by my Pulitzer Prize-winning operatic collaborator, performed to perfection by a group of instrumentalists from the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and now available for pre-ordering from amazon.com. I wrote the liner notes: “Pure Moravec from first bar to last, full of heart-lifting melodies and enlivened by the proliferating rhythmic energy which propels the light-footed, almost Mendelssohnian scherzi that are to be found in most of Paul’s multi-movement works. Note, too, the ingeniously wrought small-scale instrumentation, whose luminous transparency reminds me at times of Ravel.” Yes, he’s that good (TT).
Archives for August 31, 2008
Act of Violence. A hard, unrelenting 1949 film noir about a World War II vet (Van Heflin) who made a bad mistake and the crippled ex-friend (Robert Ryan at his tortured best) who means to make him pay for it. Directed with exceptional skill by Fred Zinnemann, this tough tale of postwar angst also features strong supporting performances by Janet Leigh (as Heflin’s innocent young wife) and Mary Astor (as an aging hooker) and a memorable score by Bronislau Kaper. Noir wasn’t MGM’s strong suit, but this film is an exception to the rule (TT).
When Hurricane Katrina roared through New Orleans three years ago, OGIC and I temporarily turned this blog into an online clearinghouse for Web-based hurricane-related news and comment. We were–amazingly–the first and only bloggers to think of doing such a thing. Fortunately, the Web and the mainstream media have both changed greatly since 2005, and so I don’t think our services will be needed this time around.
I do, however, want to post a link to Ridin’ Gustav, a blog by an ex-Marine who’s decided to hunker down in New Orleans and ride out the storm instead of joining in the evacuation:
I’d rather be on hand to help with the immediate aftermath if it’s bad. Think of me as an unofficial First Responder. Rather be a sheepdog than a sheep.
So, I figured while I’m here, I might as well post an eyewitness account of the festivities. I’ve got still and video cameras, and will post what I can for as long as the power, and then my UPS, holds out.
I plan to keep an eye on this blog in the next few days. So should you.