Beethoven – Piano Sonata 27 in e, Op. 90 (1814)

From time to time, I revisit the 1932-37 recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas by Artur Schnabel. Schnabel, a consummate musician renowned for his intellectual incisiveness, was the first pianist to record the entire cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. The interpretation of Op. 90, which returns structurally to a format of two movements, is remarkable.…

On My Mind – On My Father’s Birthday

My father would have been 92 today, the 25th of October, 2016. He has been dead for 15 years, and I continue to miss him deeply. This memoir that I wrote appeared in The Globe and Mail four months after his death. Henry Slegtenhorst Barber, merchant, citizen, Opa, soft touch. Born October 25, 1924, in Leiden, the Netherlands. Died,…

On the Edmonton Bus

Thursday, December 4, 2014 I am standing at the back door, as the Jasper Avenue bus passes by the disused Paramount Theatre, and shudders over the slush towards 102nd Street. As the bus stops, two individuals who become audible behind me continue their youthful conversation. She: “So, then, you’re in recovery, too.” He: “Yes. It sure is a…

Michael Rosen (Courtesy: www.belcarra.ca)

Michael Rosen MCIP – In Memoriam

Michael Rosen and I first worked together in Metro Vancouver on a large, complex subdivisional project, at the time when I was the chief administrative officer of Bowen Island Municipality. The successful realization of the project took us through some very difficult times, and its progress would have been impossible without Michael having agreed to return…