Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Poignant Fate of the Third Person Singular

Tweet The inexorable descent of civilization to refined barbarity has, among other insults, destroyed the formerly innocuous third person singular pronoun – he/she and all its relatives. It is now impossible to use this construction without making a political statement. I refer to its use when its referent noun is of unspecified gender. Back in the middle of the…


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Quotation of the Week

Tweet Tincture of time is the best medicine. Unfortunately it kills all who take it. With apologies to Hector Berlioz


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Joseph Schmidt Video

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUh20dTP9k0

Tweet Joseph Schmidt (1904 – 1942) was one of the greatest singers of the last century. His story is also among the saddest. In my opinion, in addition to his vocal beauty he possessed the most complete technique of any tenor I’ve ever heard.  I’ve written about him before and you can easily find these…


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Les Troyens in HD – The Repeat

Tweet Hector Berlioz’s massive masterpiece about the fall of Troy and its aftermath was repeated in Lubbock last night before a small group of opera lovers; only four made it to the end which was precisely at midnight. There are few, if any, composers who were as original as Berlioz and therein lies both his appeal and…


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Placido Domingo’s Birthday

Tweet This is a repeat of last year’s observance of Placido Domingo’s birthday To mark the 72nd anniversary of Placido Domingo’s birth (January 21, 1941), here are eleven photographs of the great artist taken by Robert Cahen. There is little to say about Domingo’s career that isn’t self evident. He’s had more roles than Parker House. He’s…


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Conrad Tao and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra

Tweet I usually don’t write about the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra’s concerts because I am too close to the performers and managers to be either objective or frank. But last night’s performance by Conrad Tao with the LSO was so out of the ordinary that I have to mention it. Tao is an 18 year old wunderkind . Born in…


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Maria Stuarda in HD

Tweet Donizetti’s opera composed in 1834 was initially the victim of censorship, bowdlerization, and finally neglect. It was revived in a 1958 production in Bergamo, the composer’s hometown. The opera’s autograph was discovered in Sweden in 1987. Based on this score a critical edition was prepared and premiered in Bergamo in 1989. This run at the Met is…


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It’s Really hard to Get Things Right

Tweet Anyone who’s done scientific research knows how hard it is to perform an experiment that conforms to all the rules of good science. There’s always something that’s overlooked or not thought of. There’s always another explanation for the data you get. In short good science is difficult. Things done in haste almost never work out…


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Marilyn Horne’s Birthday

Tweet The great American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne was born this day in 1934. To mark the occasion here are five photos of this outstanding artist taken by Robert Cahen.


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The Electronic Record and the Doctor

Tweet Everyone seemed surprised when investigators from the RAND Corp  reported in the January 2013 issue of Health Affairs that the widespread use of the electronic medical record had not resulted in reducing medical care costs  – see the NY Times incredulous reaction. The RAND team of course said if we just tried a little bit harder,…


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