Stephen Kaye

Mark Prezorski waxes enthusiastic when it comes to the Olana landscape. He not only lives in the shadow of Olana, but he is its landscape curator, a job as vital to the preservation of Frederic Church's legacy as the preservation of Church's house. As Mark points out, Church considered the Olana landscape the work of art of which he was most proud. Mark calls Church America's first landscape preservationist. Prezorski was giving us a private tour of the carriage roads in his new GEM, an electric golf cart that seats six. 
 Prezorski recalls how Church identified the hill across the river from Catskill where he studied landscape painting with Thomas Cole in the years 1844-46. The impression of that landscape stayed with him so when he looked for a place to build his house in 1860 he returned to that place on the Hudson, then called Sienghenburgh. He built Cozy Cottage on the first farm he acquired.
One of my first assignments as a cub reporter for my high school newspaper was to interview a history teacher who, my editor said, was head of the history department and someone who was interesting.  With little to go on I made the appointment and showed up in his office to find a scholarly but lively gentleman surrounded by papers, books, and shelves lined with more papers and books. He immediately assumed I knew more than I did and started talking about his government job as historian for the predecessor of the newly created CIA.  He wouldn’t let me use the term CIA or Central Intelligence Agency because the existence of that agency was supposed to be a secret.   He said he was writing a history of our intelligence service during WWII, the age of Wild Bill Donovan, and that was it.  I recall reporting that he was writing a history for an agency of the US government whose very existence was supposed to be a secret, even though by that time its name was already being circulated in the national press. 

It was fitting that Canadian composer Tim Brady should have the premier of his Third Symphony in a new space in Williamsburg that itself premiered earlier this month.  National Sawdust opened with considerable publicity after a long period of gestation. We saw it for the first time Thursday with a performance curated by David T Little employing his own Newspeak ensemble of 11 musicians and the highly trained Choir of Trinity Wall Street with 16 singers. 

Brady’s symphony is based on “Symphony” a long poem by Chilean writer Elias Letelier that describes the terror of living under Pinochet.  It is an hour long piece, symphonic in concept, with the choir taking the role of a component of the orchestra.  I thought the piece sounded like a cross between Philip Glass and Nico Mulhy.  The choir sang tonalities while the instruments played dissonance.  Tonality clashed with atonality, reflecting political tensions, strife and tragedy. 

It was fitting that Canadian composer Tim Brady should have the premier of his Third Symphony in a new space in Williamsburg that itself premiered earlier this month.  National Sawdust opened with considerable publicity after a long period of gestation. We saw it for the first time Thursday with a performance curated by David T Little employing his own Newspeak ensemble of 11 musicians and the highly trained Choir of Trinity Wall Street with 16 singers. 

Brady’s symphony is based on “Symphony” a long poem by Chilean writer Elias Letelier that describes the terror of living under Pinochet.  It is an hour long piece, symphonic in concept, with the choir taking the role of a component of the orchestra.  I thought the piece sounded like a cross between Philip Glass and Nico Mulhy.  The choir sang tonalities while the instruments played dissonance.  Tonality clashed with atonality, reflecting political tensions, strife and tragedy. 

Foreign entanglements? Who, us? We have them? I thought we weren't supposed to.

 

Oct. 25, 2015: A new inn in Pine Plains has opened. It was booked for the parent’s weekend of Millbrook School.   

A new eight-room lodging facility, The Inn at Pine Plains, opened its doors last weekend at 3036 Church Street. It is the latest addition to Pine Plain’s inventory of commercial establishments inspired by citizens interested in bringing back this once-thriving crossroads known as "the hidden gem of Dutchess County.” 

The Inn has four double rooms on the first floor and four suites upstairs.  All rooms have bathrooms “en suite.” The Inn is located directly across the street from the Pine Plains Presbyterian Church.

As lawn signs posted along our highways proliferate, they remind us that an election looms on November 3, but they tell us very little about the candidates.  Believing in an informed electorate, we are making an effort to talk to the candidates and pass along to our readers what we have gleaned from those meetings.

The County Legislative Race

Amenia, Washington and half of Pleasant Valley are in the 25th legislative district.  Two candidates are running, Tom Hurley (Dem.)  and Sandy Washburn (Rep.).  The incumbent, Mike Kelsey (Rep.) was defeated in a primary. 

Tom Hurley 

Tom Hurley, a life long resident of Millbrook, has been president of the Millbrook School Board for 22 years, an elected position that manages a $28 million dollar budget.  He has entered the race because he figured it was time to become engaged in the bigger picture and serve a larger constituency. 

On Sunday afternoon, October 25, we heard the second performance of Leon Botstein’s newest student orchestra, TŌN.

 

 

In his introductory remarks, Botstein explained that the students, who pay no tuition and get a $24,000/year stipend, learn how to play in an orchestra, and also learn how to become like docents in a museum, that is, capable of explaining music to a layperson, all for the purpose of introducing classical music to the next generation. The explaining part no doubt has a valid future, and is one that foundations might very well support. The Mellon Foundation has stepped up with a $2 million grant that was supplemented by a Rockefeller grant.  

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center opened its season Wednesday, October 20, with an extraordinary array of young and old artists playing standby 19th century classics.  It provided a treat that fully justifies the society’s reputation as a home of musicians of superior talents.

Two new faces among the list of artist members of CMS  are pianist Michael Brown and cellist Nicholas Canellakis , both of whom we have heard at Music Mountain and at Chamber Music II. They often play together. Their U-Tube https://www.youtube.com/user/nick5072 is worth as visit. Brown is a composer and he appears to be a talented pianist.  He wrote a short program note in which he said of the Mendelssohn, “most important of course is its humor, elegance, shifting moods, delightful interplay among the musicians, and ultimately sheer optimism that reminds us what chamber music is all about.”

The trustees of the Millbrook Free Library are asking taxpayers to pony up an additional $84,000 on top of the $100,000 they currently pay in property taxes by approving a measure that will be the on ballot November 3.

Margot Peters, the library’s treasurer points out in the materials being circulated that even after the increase, the Millbrook Free Library will still be getting less than half its funds from taxpayers, whereas most the of the libraries in the Mid-Hudson system get 60% of their funds from taxpayers.

The library budget is $416,341.  $35,000, or 6% of it budget, is spent on acquisitions of materials. 60% of the budget is spent on staff.  The rest is spent on the building, supplies, fees and memberships.

Syndicate content