TODAY: 9 Lessons & Carols, King’s College

December 24, 2020 at 9:22 am (entertainment, news) (, )

You will find MANY radio stations in the U.S. carrying the annual Nine Lessons and Carols, from King’s College, Cambridge. This year, the covid year, was especially challenging to choirs. How to rehearse, how to perform? Parts of the United Kingdom are under strict “Tier 4” stay-at-home measures; and other areas are expected to move to that status imminently. This year’s concert, pre-recorded a few weeks ago just in case, will fill in for the “Live” broadcast from King’s College Chapel.

You can read about the challenges the Choir faced in 2020 at the New York Times; and listen at WQXR (among others) at 10 AM today (less than one hour).

The Programme is available online via (44 pages, PDF).

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“Live” online Performances

December 20, 2020 at 11:19 am (entertainment, news) (, , , , )

Thanks to friends, I have been enjoying weekly concerts – from “across the pond” – played by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Even online RADIO is a boon to me, living in an area where classical music usually is given a single representative.

So, today I will share a few of my *finds* for entertainment.

On the radio – my “go to” has long been KDFC – in San Francisco. You can listen to their live-stream, their Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, and sometimes local opera and music concerts. Three-hours behind the East Coast’s time zone.

Lately, I’ve also been dipping into WQXR – in New York City. There were days (long, loooonnnngg ago), when, on a “good” summer’s night, I could tune in the broadcast on a radio! Now it comes in as if I lived in the metropolitan area. East Coast time zone.

Both radio stations are currently fund-raising via their websites. Both radio stations are “all music – all the time”.

On the theatrical side of “performance” comes a new subscription series by the U.K.’s National Theatre. This past summer, they offered weekly free (and/or for donation) performances of taped-live theater. You can now expect monthly additions, and subscribe for a year or a month or even just one play. Information at National Theatre at Home. Current offers include “12 Months for the cost of 10 Months” – a whole year of “live” performances!

Or, you can join my friends in listening to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – their Winter/Spring 2021 digital season begins on January 6, 2021. Subscribers get access to each concert for 30 days beyond the initial broadcast. One can also obtain “tickets” on a per concert basis — a mere £6. Even paying dollar prices, that’s a bargain of just over US$8. “Live” can be a bit tough, as a 7.30 PM UK concert means 2.30 PM (five hours difference) in the eastern U.S. Thank goodness for the “live/on demand” re-runs.

To go with the Met Opera image (used in a prior, summer, blog post), I’ll include here that the Met still offers a daily-changing Nightly Met Opera stream. They currently have this past week, next week, and even the week following (weeks 40-42) so you can play out what you simply cannot MISS OUT ON SEEING. There are operas during the current schedule from 1982 through 2018, so taken from their entire archive of live theater performances.

I’m excited to see something NEW: Met Stars in Concert — online concerts, for instance Bryn Terfel from Brecon Cathedral [on NOW] or Anna Netrebko in concert in February. $20 for each performance, which remains “on demand” for 14-days.

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Best Wishes for 2011!

December 31, 2010 at 10:25 am (books) (, , , , , , )

The news today, as I turned the radio on (always set to Vermont Public Radio’s “classical” station!) was the New Year’s Honours List recipients. Among them named, actor David Suchet (“M. Poirot”) and biographer Antonia Fraser.

As someone living in the “hinterlands,” working on the project of a lifetime, I can’t help but think how charmed my efforts would have been had I Antonia Fraser’s background: her mother, Lady Longford. Even Lady Longford’s grand-daughter, Flora Fraser, benefitted.

How Elizabeth Longford got into the “biography” business, I’ve no clue – right place at the right time, in some respects, I’m sure. There were masses of biography, letters, diaries, coming out of England in the 20s, 30s, 40s — that would have been a great foundation to build upon, an audience ready and waiting. Even today, the British are intent on history, family history, house history. It was a thrilling atmosphere to be in, working at the Hampshire Record Office for two months. People so inquisitive, so interested.

Lady Longford’s 2002 BBC Obituary mentions she was “in her 50s before she produced her first historical work”. Perhaps there’s hope for me yet!

I was looking at Newspapers yesterday; found mention of William Gosling attending “the Prince Regent’s Levee” in 1811 (about which I will write later). I mentioned it to my mother at dinner – was just busting to do so; I’m sure she was quite bored… How wonderful, as Lady Longford’s obituary in The Times suggests, to have had a “life spent among intellectuals for whom the production of books of all kinds was at least as natural as the production of children.” (The Longfords had eight children.) “Her own historical writings combined erudition and thorough research with wide appeal.” Who can ask for more!?

Interestingly, the obituary goes on to say “…and sure enough, Elizabeth Longford kept a diary and encouraged all her children to do the same.” And gotta love this sentence, near the end: “Needless to say, an aristocrat writing about royalty was an irresistible recipe for publishers, readers and Americans” (my emphasis)!

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Remember the Ladies!

December 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm (people, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , , , )

Although my interest lies in the letters of ABIGAIL ADAMS during her stays abroad (England, France), when I heard that Vermont Public Radio had Joseph Ellis‘ talk about the family Correspondence, I just had to link to the page and encourage readers to give it a listen!

The actual letters (and much more) are to be found at The Massachusetts Historical Society.

I found this poster when preparing my talk “Austen/Adams” — it’s rather crude, like so many Austen images, that I rather “like” it.

I must say, since it had been years since I read Abigail’s letters: There is much to be learned about England at the time she travelled there and what life was like for Jane Austen. No one notices things like an astute woman; and Mrs Adams wrote so well of her impressions.

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