Mozart Scares Me

Mozart scares me. And not just because he could write a melody like this, or orchestrate it the way he did. Not just because this is one of three complete symphonies he composed in less than two months during the summer of 1788. Not just because he was 23 years younger than me when heContinue reading “Mozart Scares Me”

Utopia For Realists

It is almost impossible to believe this in the age of Trump but human society, in spite of glaring setbacks, is getting better. There is a way forward that seems the logical culmination of centuries of progress toward freedom, equality, and enlightenment. Rutger Bregman’s engaging book Utopia For Realists is as a good roadmap asContinue reading “Utopia For Realists”

The Air-Conditioned Nightmare

“We are accustomed to think of ourselves as emancipated people; we say that we are democratic, liberty-loving, free of prejudices and hatred. This is the melting-pot, the seat of a great human experiment. Beautiful words, full of noble idealistic sentiment. Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaperContinue reading “The Air-Conditioned Nightmare”

Morgan Library and Museum

“No price is too high for an object of unquestioned beauty and known authenticity.”  J.P. Morgan During the last 20 years of his life, John Pierpont Morgan spent almost $1 billion in today’s dollars on art. It was his intention to allow the public to view his collection after his death but felt a parentalContinue reading “Morgan Library and Museum”

Twelfth Night by the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

The last time I saw Twelfth Night, Mark Rylance played both Viola and Sebastian. It’s an understatement to say that’s a tough act to follow but in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s production there is nothing missing from Kerry Warren’s Viola. This is her debut season with the HVSF and her talent is sure toContinue reading “Twelfth Night by the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival”