This Week’s Acqusitions…

…are all of a musical variety. (In other words, instead of contributing to the rapid increase in the size of my library this week, I bought CDs.)

My order from my classical music club came in, and here’s what I got:

Angela Gheorghiu, Mysterium. The Romanian soprano sings a variety of oft-performed sacred music, but the opening four pieces are all Romanian religious music I’ve never heard before. Lovely.

Kiri Te Kanawa, Kiri. Another famous soprano sings a variety of her favorites, from Puccini arias to Gerswhin, Bernstein, and other modern masters. Great stuff.

Moscow Liturgical Choir, Russian Easter Liturgy. I don’t own much Russian choral music (off the top of my head I think the only other recording I have is of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers).

King’s College Cambridge Choir and the Cambridge Classical Players, Mozart, Vespers. Another way to celebrate Mozart’s birthday.

San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Brahms, Ein Deutsches Requiem. A nice companion to Verdi’s Requiem, which I also enjoy listening to.

Gothic Voices, hildegard von Bingen, A Feather on the Breath of God. I do like Hildegard. I own a lot of medieval chant and polyphony; my favorite group is Anonymous 4.

And, lest you think that I only listen to choral music, my last new CD: Evgeny Kissin plays Chopin (The Four Ballades, Berceuse, Barcarolle, and Scherzo #4).

It was lovely to sit at home this afternoon listening to my new music while I worked. It was a bad day to be outside–raw and wet.

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Happy Birthday…

Happy 250th Birthday, that is, to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

I’m celebrating my listening to my brother’s radio station’s day-long Mozart fest–featuring a documentary and lots of Mozart music–online at http://www.kcme.org/. You too can listen in. KCME also has great links to assorted Mozart stuff. Enjoy, and happy Friday!

Congratulations!

To Professor Laurel Ulrich, my dissertation advisor, who was just named University Professor. Her students are pleased as punch and very, very proud.

The University Professorships, first created by the President and Fellows in 1935, are chairs intended for “individuals of distinction … working on the frontiers of knowledge, and in such a way as to cross the conventional boundaries of the specialties.”

The University Professorship, it seems, comes with some ancient and honorable privileges. It has been confirmed that University Professors may graze cows (but not sheep) in Harvard Yard. No word yet on whether or not Professor Ulrich is permitted to carry a sword to class or collect firewood in the Yard.

Of pressing interest to Professor Ulrich’s graduate students: will we be paid for looking after the cows? Will we be permitted to engage in hands-on learning with our undergraduate students, teaching them the fine art of making cheese? Can we set up a buttery in Robinson Hall’s Great Space? Can we reduce our grocery bills by bringing home fresh milk? Who assists with calving?

**UPDATE** Professor Ulrich might be entitled to have sheep and/or cows. The jury is still out. But apparently she would have to give some of the “proceeds” to Massachusetts Hall. Which simply begs the question, what would Larry Summers do with butter/raw milk/cheese/wool/mutton that he would receive?

Funny…

…but actually not really all that funny, is it?

Of course, Google is the only search engine actively fighting handing over search records to the Justice Department. Mind you, these are everyone’s searches that the government wants, not just those searches associated with people already suspected of crimes.

(acquired via an email forward…if anyone knows who actually designed this, I’m happy to give proper credit)
**UPDATE: The cartoon is by Stuart Carlson of the Milwaukee Press Sentinel.

Founding Father portrait rakes in the big bucks

Charles Willson Peale’s full-length portrait of George Washington sold at auction today for $21.3 million. The story doesn’t reveal who the buyer was, but I suspect at that price it was not a museum. That’s a shame; I’m sure the portrait would hang nicely in the early America gallery here at the MFA, where I go periodically to visit the Copleys. (I could sit all day in front of Copley’s portraits of Paul Revere and Mercy Otis Warren.)