Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: music, friends, art...

music, friends, art...


It has been quiet here on the blog while life has been exciting some days, sometimes leaving me too tired for words (partly due to a cold as well). So just a list as to what has been going on:

• MUSIC: we were gifted at Christmas with tickets to a Vancouver Symphony concert on the 16th, featuring pianist Freddy Kempf. It was marvelous, we really enjoyed his powerful rendition of Tchaikovsky. Beethoven is always a favourite and was well done but we were not so impressed with the new-to-us Polish composer Górecki's work (especially the third part that sounded like a lot of noise to me).

• FRIENDS: A wonderful visit from old friends we've not seen in well over a decade, who live in Ontario. The guys have known each other since they were seven year old tykes and all of us were former Winnipegers, educated at the same university and married there. So much to catch up on and to reconnect.

• ART: We visited the exhibition of the Audain Art collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Loved it all especially the older West Coast First Nations carvings, as well as their modern work, and all the well-known BC artists from Emily Carr to the present, plus some Mexican art. How ever does this amazing arts philanthropist fit all this work, many very large, in his home? Some good photos here, and Michael Audain in his own words and as The Philanthropist (interesting!).

• CONSTRUCTION ZONE: very distracted, fascinated and having mixed feelings by the demolition and excavation next door, and soon to begin construction of a new home.

• WILDLIFE: saw a coyote walking down our street - a nice reminder that we live on the edge of mountain wilderness. And, as I stood on our deck one day to look over the construction site next door, Crow joined me on the power line above me, quite calm when I turned my camera on him. Wonder what he was thinking.

• AURORA time: check out the latest comments at blue snow.

• OLD FINNISH JEWELRY - please visit the interesting update to that old post.

• MORE ART: last but not least - looking forward to our exhibition, opening next week! Welcome!

Marja-Leena | 25/01/2012 | 8 comments
themes: Art Exhibitions, Being an Artist, Home, Music, Neat stuff


It's getting late here so I'll have to return tomorrow to visit the links properly. I loved the painting of the old Victoria ferry and want to see more. I'm glad you've been having such an eventful time and enjoying the companionship of long time friends as well as the music.

I'm sure your crow was thinking that would be a good place to plant a tree or two for nesting in.

I like Gorecki's 3rd symphony, the 'Sorrowful Songs' one, which I think is the one everyone knows if they know any, and I gather it's probably more accessible than most of his.

Glad you're having a busy, happy time.

always a pleasure to drop in and catch up with your have been busy!

Susan, I hope you enjoy the links, especially on the Canadian artists and benefactor. I think Crow was grateful that we still have trees on our property!

Lucy, I must look up that one by Górecki. I don't know if you checked out the link to the program where it says this third of the Three Pieces is a 'folk song in Opole Region dialect'. Perhaps it is about a noisy crowd at a folk fest?

Rosie! Thanks for dropping by.

Glad you have marvelous reasons to be too busy! I can't say anything wondrous has occurred (other than the ongoing foliate-mania!), though today I went to the kind of funeral that makes you cry, laugh, and feel ecstatic... the best kind, if there must be one.

Marly, that funeral sounds amazing. But you are a very busy lady socially, family-wise and as author. Unfortunately between the exciting times, I have been not busy enough with my art. It seems to be the first thing that suffers when I'm not well. Ah, it will get better.

Freddy Kempf is one of a trio of magnificent youngish British pianists (the others are Paul Lewis and Stephen Hough) who effect black tunic shirts and who have repeatedly brought solace to the LdPs' declining years. Technique is assumed in all three cases and is merely a tool (along with hard work) in the pursuit of interpretation. The last time we saw Freddy, at nearby Malvern, he was doing the Goldberg Variations which lasts an hour and I have to say he tested my allegiance to the late Canadian Madness Man. I hate all effusions that may be interpreted as patriotism (The last refuge of the scoundrel - Dr. Johnson) but I have to say I'm glad these guys play for our side. Kempf is the son of a German father and a Japanese mother but was born in Croydon, ten miles out of the centre of London, continually the butt of jokes about soulless suburbs.

I can't remember whether your visit to London included the Courtauld Instititute (about 200 metres from the Blogger's Retreat) but we paid our first a week or so ago. There are in fact five floors (and the lift wasn't working) but we never got past the top two which must have the most remarkable and comprehensive collection of Impressionists, possibly in the world. And I include Paris. Very famous ones too, including Renoir's The Bar at the Folies Bergères and Van Gogh's Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear. There's a Sisley I would murder for.

Ldp, I was hoping you would come by, enticed by 'music' in the title. I'm pleased to learn more. I did read up on Kempf before the concert, he's an interesting mix of heritages and home country. I don't know the others you mention. Glenn Gould as the Canadian Madness Man, yes! You see, we are not all mild-mannered quiet mice over here.

Yes, we visited the Courtauld and enjoyed it very much, especially for being a little more accessible in size, though the stairs were a challenge. Their collection is indeed superb, as I mentioned in a post about it which includes a comment from you.