Monday, July 09, 2007
9 July 2007. White smoke against white sky. Sharp bay wind picks up all remaining stubs on a tear-off flyer that's been taped to the streetlamp stanchion. Monochromatic morning, even the yellow hump of asphalt rolling up to the cleaners has a black-and-white demeanor--like the red wall-stripe just inside... Last night: ladder on shed roof, footsteps up above. Unwanted presences, unseen--later running across bank parking lot, hooded shirts, looking up and back. Furtive. Fertig. The great sea battles, relenlivened in slap-dash paint--a little imprecise for Napoleon, perhaps--Heart of Oak, Lobcouse and Spotted Dog. Patrick O'Brien, born in 1914, at the outset of the end of an era. Like Rachmaninoff, wandering in a lost past, all the way to the Second World War. "Monotonous in texture ... consisting mainly of artificial and gushing tunes ..." That's how the Grove Encyclopedia had it as late as 1954. And what about Sibelius. "Hopelessly provincial."
Yet Morton Feldman, in Darmstadt, humming the Sibelius Fifth...