Nightly thoughts before bed – double bass recitals, and book recommendations from KOS

Today has been productive!  Who knew?  The definite highlight of the day was, oddly enough, a double bass recital.  Truly, I was taken aback at what a truly talented and dedicated bassist can do.  Everything about the recital was great – my friend/colleague picked great repertoire; a transcription of a Vaughn Williams suite for cello and piano, a Prokofiev quintet with oboe, clarinet, 2 violins, and bass, and a concerto by the Paganini of the bass, Giovanni Bottesini.  Until today, Bottesini was not a composer I’d ever heard.  I highly recommend his works; if on a technical level he is the Paganini of the double bass, his style reeks of Verdi.  It’s glorious; the concerto I listened to could easily have passed for a transcription of an opera sequence.  What great music.  In addition, the technical abilities were incredible, the intonation (even in the notes at the end of the fingerboard) was spot on, the phrasing was sensitive, tempi seemed organic….Even the flow of the recital paced well; between stage transitions (bass/piano to quintet and back again), prepared text that covered the length of the stage crew’s work.  It was funny, casual, interesting, and sincere.  I’m really glad I ended up going this afternoon.

On a side note, I do try to keep track of the world outside of music as well, and I came across a great article at DailyKOS.  From the introduction:

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “fantasy novel”?  Does it bring to mind vast kingdoms beneath an autumn sun? Lands where elves, dwarves, and other elder races live side by side with men? Does it make you think of dragons? Are there wizards in the story, or artifacts and weapons imbued with power from some bygone age?

How about a trio of women in a New England town whose attempts at witchcraft summon the devil into their midst? How about a story of multiple-generation family with a loose relationship to time? Or a home perched over an alchemical laboratory where things are endlessly created and destroyed? Chances are names like Updike, Borges, and Márquez don’t pop into your head as fantasy authors.

This is a must read if you are a fan of literature.  I just recently became terribly fond of Haruki Murakami, who wasn’t listed on the sample list.  I was happy to see, however, Garcia Marquez, as I fell in love him several years ago.  Oddly enough, his name has come up three times (or so) in the past two weeks.  Strange how these random thoughts, ideas, or references, always seem to sequence in groups.

Church gig tomorrow afternoon, then painting easter eggs with some of my closest friends here in Fort Collins.  Life is good.