Peace River, 99th Street, 16 December 2011 (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

Shostakovich, Poetry, and the Borodin Quartet – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden III:II:7

My poem with images on the fifteen string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich has now appeared in the final issue, the 167th, of Toronto’s Descant, an issue likely to become a collector’s item. There may be a few left on bookstore shelves. The poem, titled “Shostakovich in Peace River,” concludes “The Underside of Time,” which is…

Dialogues des Carmelites (Courtesy: broadwayworld.com)

Francis Poulenc – Dialogues des Carmélites (1956) – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden IV:II

Poulenc’s extraordinary opera is a study of the moral courage of decision within the increasingly inescapable social context of a chosen theological dialectic. The concluding scene begins with a searing orchestral invocation that introduces the 14 executions by guillotine. The final few bars hark back to the opening music of the opera, and complete the…

New Brunswick Legislative Assembly. Fredericton, New Brunswick (Courtesy: canadainpictures.com)

The Decay of Power – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden I:I:4 – Chrysoglott

In 2009 I worked as the chief administrative officer of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. That February, Mayor Jed Purcell, prominent businessmen, and I, all steering the town’s civic centre project were preparing for a meeting on funding with Premier Shawn Graham. Mid-morning, the mayor and I drove to Fredericton, over icy and slush-covered roads, checked…

Crack house demolition, St. Stephen New Brunswick

The Start of My Own Political Campaign – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden I:II:2

“The Start of My Own Political Campaign,” a poem from Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden was published in Fredericton’s St. Thomas University’s Nashwaak Review, volume 30/31, in 2013. Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden discusses problems that are examined in Richard Wagner’s tetralogy, The Ring of the Nibelung, and the problems presented by the composer himself, his work, and the…

Shostakovich and son Maxim (Courtesy: www.shostakovichquartets.com)

The Displaced Anxiety of Discontent – Dmitri Shostakovich – String Quartet 1

The Moscow Show Trial of the Twenty-One occurred in March, 1938. It was one of the culminating events of Stalin’s Great Purge of 1936 through 1938. All of the defendants were prominent, and were accused as Trotskyites guilty of murder, assassination, and treason. Particularly prominent amongst them was Nikolai Bukharin, former ally of Lenin and Stalin…