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December 7, 2008

The Miro Quartet

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One of my daughter's vioin teacher's told us about this amazing quartet. It has recently replaced a Glenn Gould recording of Bach - a family favorite - as the most listened CD to in the house. Since my daughter started playing the violin, I am getting back to my love for classical music. For the past eight years, classical music has been upstaged by another genre, hip hop.

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November 26, 2008

The First Recital

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After being holed up on Missing Data Lane, tonight's recital was a wonderful diversion. My daughter played in her first violin recital since starting violin this past summer. It was quite an exciting musical night for us all. The night was pretty amazing because of the caliber of performances, from my daughter's "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to Sibelius' Violin Concerto, op. 47, allegro moderato. We also finally got to see a good friend of ours play (he played Mozart's Violin Concerto in A, #5, last movement). One of the greatest moments, however, was when my daughter made a mistake in the middle of her performance and looked straight into the audience with a wide and bright grin and said, "oops." On the way home, my daughter said now she understands why she has to practice every day. She also said she wished she had practiced more; I think she might have the performing bug. After she performed her two songs, she was just beaming and didn't seem to want to leave the stage. I kept thinking of "The Sound of Music" when a Frauline was awarded a prize and she kept bowing until they escorted her off the stage.

September 10, 2008

Mamma Escape-a!

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We recently had friends in town and the four of us escaped to see Mamma Mia! – the latest edition of this movie includes captions to the songs so you can sing along to all of your favorite Abba songs (who doesn’t love karaoke?). Clearly I am not the only one with fond memories of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (why didn’t they release the Priscilla Sing! edition?). As someone who grew up going to midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in high school, I am waiting for them to add dancing and other interactive bits to the Mamma Sing! edition a la Rocky Horror. What would they call it? The Mamma Sing! Picture Show? Could I really be the only one who wants to get up and dance in the Voulez- Vous dance sequence?

As a faithful Pauline Kael fan, I’ve always loved reading film reviews and have always paid attention to them. I was a faithful fan of Janet Maslin, Caryn James, and Stephen Holden – until the new generation of New York Times film reviewers entered center stage. A. O. Scott (a NYT’s film reviewer) totally panned Mamma Mia!, (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/movies/18mamm.html) calling Meryl Streep’s performance the “worst performance of her career." Does “film" always have to be so serious, can’t we just enjoy pure escapist fare? We can all use a little escape now and then.