It’s amazing how such a busy week can, in retrospect, seem at the same time so unproductive. But some good did come out of it. Probably my major accomplishment was the completion of my review of Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith’s Van Gogh: The Life. I’m actually very pleased by how it turned out, and this from someone who is almost never happy with his writing. One of the toughest parts, strangely enough, was choosing a number of Van Gogh works to supplement the text. With something like 900 paintings and 1,000 drawings to his credit, Van Gogh was unbelievably productive (practically all those works come from the last nine or so years of his short life, which makes his accomplishment that much more amazing). In mentioning this, I’d like to call attention to the Van Gogh Gallery, which has reproductions of almost everything Vincent created and all kinds of information about him and his work. All the jpegs I used in my review came from this extremely interesting website.
For those of you who don’t know me, my actual employment is with the Reno Chamber Orchestra in Reno, Nevada. Among my duties there is writing program notes. You’ve perhaps seen these notes at concerts you’ve attended; they give some biographical background on the composer and a description of the music being played, to give (with luck) some helpful guidance and signposts for listening. The Orchestra is giving concerts this weekend, and here are the notes I wrote for these performances, should you be interested. If you happen to be in the Reno area, come and hear what will be an excellent concert. Here’s some information. Our Orchestra is great, the piano soloist, James Winn, is world-class in every way, and the music is diverse and wonderful. At the box office, tell them that you’re there because of Chris’s blog, and I’ll make sure you get great seats!
Since we do have a concert about four hours from now, my Salon needs to be short this week. As for the coming week, I’m very excited about spending several days in San Francisco! I’ll be attending concerts in the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks series and films in the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, and visiting favorite haunts like the Asian Art Museum, SFMOMA, and the de Young Museum. With nearly a week, maybe I’ll even allow myself some down time, which I hardly ever do when I’m there, to wander aimlessly around Chinatown or visit the ocean. How motivated I will be to post to my blog, however, remains to be seen!