• Art,  Places

    Jaroslav Kral and Antonin Prochazka in Spilberk Castle

    During a recent visit to the Czech Republic I visited the modern art exhibition at Spilberk Castle in Brno. The majority of the paintings were from Jaroslav Kral (1883-1942) and Antonin Prochazka (1882-1945), two painters born in the city, who were working on the borders between expressionism, cubism and naive art. Not much is available about them online and in English.  Until I can find more, I’ll let the paintings below speak for themselves. Jaroslav Kral Jaroslav Kral died in 1942 in Auschwitz. His work is reminiscent of early cubism and Diego Rivera. Antonin Prochazka Died in 1945. Reminds me of Henri Rousseau, though he claimed more inspiration from Edvard Munch. Linka Prochazka Linka…

  • Events

    Things happening around the world

    There is a Velasquez exhibit in Paris that I want to go to. You don’t have to go anywhere to see the Rijksmuseum. A play written in 16th-century English, is being performed in mixed Albanian and Serbian. On April 23, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers is hosting a number of book fairs around the world. I’m not sure why… but will probably go anyways Sa Chen is playing Rachmaninov at the San Francisco Symphony on the same day.

  • Art,  Music

    Anthonie Tonnon’s new album: Successor

    I have been enjoying Anthonie Tonnon’s new album, “Successor,” for the past few days. Tonnon is a New Zealand musician with a previous CD and EP under his belt with “Tono and the Finance Company.” In his most recent CD he’s embraced a meandering sort of ballad writing that digs underneath characters and settings with verses that seem, at first glance, to be made up of a series of asides. and her beauty is the only thing her whining generation has given to the world oh but you would pay off her loan if it could make her yours The songs are all about frustrated, strange and somewhat horrible people surviving the…

  • Art,  Early Music,  History,  Music,  Myth,  World Music

    New Sappho poems

    In the most recent issue of the New Yorker there’s a charming little long read about recent discoveries in the life and work of Sappho, including two new Sappho poems (or… whatever). The two fragments, one discovered in 2012 the other in 2004, take on the subject of idiot relatives and old age. [I bring] the beautiful gifts of the violet Muses, girls, and [I love] that song lover, the sweet-toned lyre. My skin was [delicate] before, but now old age [claims it]; my hair turned from black [to white]. My spirit has grown heavy; knees buckle that once could dance light as fawns. I often groan, but what can…

  • Early Music,  Events,  History,  Music

    Breval, Campioni and the Vivaldi Project

    On February 6, we attended a concert of The Vivaldi Project, a DC-based Early Music quartet centered on Elizabeth Field on violin, and Stephanie Vial on Cello (Both women have extensive educational material related to Baroque music on Youtube). The show was focused on 18th century string trios, our favorite of which were pieces by Jean-Baptiste Breval (1753-1823) and Carlos Antonio Campioni (1720-1788). Breval’s trio stood out the most among the set of seven played that night. Breval was a professional cellist active in the musical life of Paris during its most exciting half century (the theatre he worked in was a meeting place for counter-revolutionaries during the French Revolution). His trios…

  • Art

    Three paintings by Jan Vermeer

    It’s not a picture of a girl, but a picture of someone painting a girl. In Islam it might be considered an act of sacrilege. The man is creating her anew, creating her in her own image. First she will be wreathed, as in victory, then the rest of her will follow. In her hand she holds a trumpet. It draws the eye, and perhaps can also call forth the angels. Or maybe a talisman. You can still feel the presence behind her, as though he just left. His chair is pulled out from the table, and the cloth pulled up. He’s left her sleeping while sitting up, lightly balanced on…

  • History,  Places

    Chateau De Noisy, Belgium

    The Chateau de Noisy, in Celles, Belgium, was built in 1866 for the Liedekerke-Beaufort family. The chateau was converted to an orphanage after World War II, then abandoned in 1980. More photographs here. A google image search works well too.