April 18, 2014

Language on holiday

Horse gives birth to twin girls

April 12 - Horse owners in Oklahoma celebrate the birth of extremely rare twins, but worry about the health risks. 

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Girls?  When did Reuters begin to employ as writers and editors such hopeless imbeciles?  Not only do they seem ignorant of a perfectly good English word - filly - for a young female horse under the age of four, but they also see nothing wrong with a headline that belongs in a supermarket tabloid like the National Enquirer.

Lest you think I made this up, here is the URL of that Reuters webpage.

April 13, 2014

A birthday gift of a lifetime...

Composed in 2004 as a gift for Pierre Boulez on his 80th birthday, Carter's 10-minute long sparkling and playful ensemble piece Reflexions strikes me as his most overt hommage to Haydn's musical humor.  It is impossible to hear the comic contribution from contrabass clarinet (at the limit of the instrument's low register) without recalling the comic bassoon fart in the Andante of Haydn's Symphony No.93.

Recently I was surprised to discover that the best engineered live recording of this piece in my collection has never been offered on this blog.  This performance - with Boulez conducting Ensemble Intercontemporain - took place at the Concertgebouw on February 26, 2005 (only 10 days after the world premiere in Paris).