No Art News Roundup this week I’m afraid, as I’m on a much needed break. While due to present apocalyptic conditions I’m mostly just puttering about the manse, I’ve been productive to a degree, and managed to visit the (partly) reopened National Gallery yesterday. Look for an upcoming article on that subject in The Federalist soon.
In the meantime, regular readers will recall my occasional requests for support for the Friends of Little Portion Hermitage, a charity organization that I’m honored to be a part of, as we seek to establish a permanent hermitage up in the state of Maine. I’m pleased to report that our GoFundMe efforts are now very close to our final goal, so if you are able to help or know someone who can, please have a look at this link with anyone whom you think may be interested. It would be wonderful if this was the year that we could finally get Brother Rex (and his kitty companion, Clare) into a permanent home, so that not all of 2020 will be a dumpster fire.
Until next week then, I leave you with a reminder of the beauty of civilization, a performance of the famous second movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, with the great Daniel Barenboim both playing and conducting. His tempo and restraint are slightly different than what one normally hears in recordings of this piece, and make it even more thoughtful, graceful, deceptively simple, and slightly melancholy-bittersweet than it already is, if that’s possible. It really makes the ear sit up and take notice, as it were, of the music.
Also note how in the film, we don’t see the usual reaction shots of the pianist’s face as he plays, nor closeups of his hands from a side angle. In fact, he keeps his back to the camera the entire time, as it pans about the orchestra. At the end, the shot pulls back to reveal the elegant yet strangely empty room in which the performance is taking place. It was very much on my mind yesterday, walking through the similarly elegant yet empty corridors of the museum. Covid cannot end soon enough.