Borrowing Is The Point

The Times’ story about Dylan’s borrowing of lines from a Civil War-era poet may find its way into your paper this morning. Don’t fall for the premise: The history of the creative arts is the story of one artist building on the works of another. Allusions, quotations, and borrowings are what makes literature, and especially, music so rewarding.

Entertainment Movies

The Illusionist

Edward Norton plays a very unusual magician in fin de siècle Vienna. His childhood friend (and adult crush) Sophie, played by Jessica “sexiest woman alive” Biel, is about to be engaged to the Crown Prince Leopold, the heir to the throne. She’s unfortunately out of his league, at least as far as others believe. Forcibly […]


Something much more important than ‘to like’

Picking up a nice bottle of red to go with my steak tonight, the wine merchant here in Maplewood got my attention. Usually they’ve got a Brahms symphony on, but this time it was Stravinsky’s Orpheus. Now there’s something you don’t hear in a retail establishment every day. It got me too looking for I.S. blog resources, where I found a nice piece about his Variations. Here’s to sophisticated taste.Excerpt from Stravinsky Variations


Gyorgy Ligeti

One of the great 20th century composers, dead today in Vienna at age 83. When I was first getting interested in serious music back in high school, I was drawn to the avant garde. Ligeti was an immediate interest because of his contributions to 2001, A Space Odyssey. Frequently I had this LP out of […]