My only excuse for not blogging is the usual one: too much work to do, too many performances, and no time to sit in front of the computer waiting for inspiration. If it comes down to a choice between blogging and practicing the pieces from Livre du Saint-Sacrement that I'm performing next week, Messiaen usually wins.
I hope to have time for a more substantial update in the near future, but for the moment I would just like to draw your attention to the fact that today, November 16th, is Paul Hindemith's birthday! If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that I really like Hindemith (a lot). For me, Hindemith's music is a happy marriage of intellect and emotion - impeccably structured and crafted, but always in the service of a convincing musical narrative. I literally cannot understand how he's acquired his reputation as an arid modernist composer - to listen to a piece like Mathis der Maler and call the composer a pedant is, to me, clear evidence that you have left your ears in a drawer somewhere. In any case, whether you like or hate his music, one must respect the musicianship that allowed him to be a composer, a teacher, a conductor, a writer, a theorist, and a solid performer on every orchestral instrument. And even though he's been dead for over forty years, you can run over to YouTube any day of the week and he'll obligingly conduct his Konzertmusik for you. What a guy!
By the way, I'd appreciate it if someone could tell me who won the American election. I keep asking people if they've heard anything, but no-one seems to have been paying attention.