The unhappiest book(s) ever written

I’ve become somewhat intrigued lately about not only my own genealogy but also that of some of the novels that I’ve been reading and re-reading for years. As my lovely wife points out in her own book, the spectral music of the middle-to-late twentieth century has its roots in the music of Liszt and Debussy; […]

Roundup: A belated word about Armistice Day

This week I recommended a lovely start to the Christmas season and a worthwhile documentary about the 2013/2014 Maidan protests in Ukraine. Last Sunday’s Armistice Day marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, which led to the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian empire of which my grandfather Max was a citizen […]

Winter on Fire

In doing a little background viewing as I read The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution, Marci Shore’s 2017 history of Ukraine’s Maidan protests and their aftermath, I came across the Netflix documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, released in 2015 and directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. Unlike Shore’s book, Afineevsky’s film covers […]

Christmas with Messiaen

If you need a little help getting into the holiday spirit this year, I suggest you head on down to the Sheen Center on Bleecker Street on Monday, December 10, for a complete performance of Olivier Messiaen’s monumental 1944 piano work Vingt regards sur l’enfant Jésus (Twenty Gazes on the Infant Jesus). Originally composed for Messiaen’s […]