Friday, August 9, 2002, 4:22 pm, Vancouver, BC
Listened with care to the second part of Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Beethoven’s ninth symphony. (For the second oldest recording of the human voice, in an excerpt from the Handel oratorio, listen here to 1888.)
Finished Percy Young’s book on Handel. Began Charles Rosen’s on sonata forms.
To the better part of the Gay Pride Parade last Sunday: no lack of flamboyance; no lack of churches either. Then, by way of the Inlet to Oppenheimer Park to take in the Powell Street Japanese Festival; whence to Sunrise Grocers and then to Chinatown – almost a re-acquaintance – but were too late to catch any of the festivities. So to T&T for instant solace – bbq pork, and tripe, conch, scallop lips, jellyfish, and seasoned seaweed.
Bottled wine Tuesday afternoon.
Watched the mobs, from our balcony, at the fireworks Saturday and Wednesday.
Tuesday the 57th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
Gloria to her physiotherapist the same day: the hand continues to improve.
To fitness centre Monday; ran Wednesday; the two of us hiked Mount Seymour to Mystery Lake yesterday, with a mighty accompaniment of insects. Many juncos. Mystery Lake itself is a pretty thing, although pneumatic drills and explosives were being put to work on the ski-lift nearby, thereby decimating the quiet. So we trooped further to the stony plateau somewhat further on that gives fine views of the distant mountains, and there ate our lunch. We saw two collections of snow still on the mountain.
A German woman, a tourist, with two teenage sons in tow, approached me before we left the parking lot to ask if I knew where the grizzlies were kept. It seemed pretty certain someone had sent them on a wild goose chase, there being no grizzlies in the North Shore mountains. It is a cruel, malicious thing to have perpetrated on tourists with limited time.
*** 8:58 pm
From Young’s Handel:
[Handel’s] career in Italy was so unnaturally successful (for a Saxon to outshine the Italians on their own ground was surely unthinkable) that one is tempted to see behind it influence, then as now a surer guide to popular acclamation than ability. (p. 16)
The intelligent were not over-conscious of nationality. (p. 18)
… fine craftsmanship was beside the point to the majority of those whose lives were governed by a sequence of events whose primary purpose was to relieve boredom. (p. 37)
Nothing, however, is more delusive than to be the temporary hero of fashion. (p. 37)
But a musician’s first duty was to please: after that he could take a risk …. (p.103)
The main requisites were colour, novelty, hot emotion and virtuosity: the requisites of any popular art whose existence is dependent on satisfaction in the box office. (p. 130)