Music as the Perfecting of Poetry: Liszt – Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (c. 1846)

Petrarch/Liszt, sonnet 104. “The effect of the abbaabba octave is truly remarkable. It is actually a blend of 3 brace-rhyme quatrains, since the middle 4 verses whose sounds overlap the others and echo their patterns, impress the reader with a similar sound pattern, thus, abBAABba.”(Alex Preminger, ed., Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics) Canzone CIV…

Marcel Proust

A Note on Proust’s In Search of Lost Time

I’ve started to pull together some of my general thoughts on Proust’s novel.  I have explained to some that my interest was in the fiction, not its sources. And in how structure and narrative were handled. Proust’s novel is very long, sometimes unwieldy, sometimes plodding, but overall is fascinating. Like any long work, such as…

J.S. Bach – Cantata 7, at the Feast of Saint John the Baptist

In the opening chorus we are witnessing the musical manifestation of the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan. Whether one is a believer or not, there is no questioning the genuineness of this faith, and the matchless musical command of its expression. And, this is not self-expression, but an expression of and for the…

Nelson Street from Bidwell Street, in Vancouver's West End. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

Indifference in Spring

Nelson Street from Bidwell. West End, Vancouver. I had been at the firehall a few blocks further south to inquire how best to obtain images of the fire trucks for the cover of one of my four books on municipal government that I have in pre-publication, probably for release by the end of August. One…

Piazza San Marco, Venezia

Proust and Schubert, Captive

Proust’s The Fugitive has taken me captive. Though I am nearing its end, because of the nature of its style, Proust requires a slow and not always continuous reading. Towards its conclusion it gathers an extraordinary density to and within itself and, furthermore, an extraordinary disposition to the refulgence of mortal change, the observations liberated therein…