after 6/7 here
& after 6/23 here
a painting by ex-husband-in-law,
Michael now has a new gallery.
Check out Artzone 461 here.
There was a Berkeley PD police
action yesterday on 8th just north of Heinz at around 1:30 PM
with four patrol cars, as many officers and the Crime Scene Unit.
"Berkeley Early Music Festival and Exhibition
Begins June 3" writes
Ira Steingroot in the Planet
"When I first became a jazz fan (short for fanatic) in high
school, I saw European classical music as the enemy. The 19th
century composers were easily characterized as a pack of pretentious,
highfalutin, hoity-toity, high-hat, pompous, stuffy, overstuffed,
snobby, snooty, effete and elitist fuddy-duds, not to mention
bourgeois, sententious and musically platitudinous, to boot; instigators
of gargantuan aggregations of performers intoning their vast musical
stories full of profound meanings, all of which reeked of the
academy and salon and smelled of the lamp.
Then I found out there were
more flavors than vanilla at the classical soda fountain. Which
brings us to this year's Berkeley Festival and Exhibition, a celebration
of the music of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries in Spain, Italy,
Germany, England and Bohemia as composed by Biber, Corelli, Bach,
Lawes, Byrd and Monteverdi for such
diverse instruments as the shawm, sackbut, krumhorn, viola da
gamba and theorbo.
If you think you have slid
into a parallel musical dimension, you have. This music is not
only beautiful in itself, but also pre- classical and post-modern,
a wonderful corrective to the narrow way we usually perceive the
music of Europe. Early music will clean out your ears and, should
you ever choose to return to the 19th century,
you will find it not only both larger and smaller than you had
thought but also stranger and refreshed."
Our Janine emails
The Berkeley Early Music
Festival approaches, along with all the concerts and recitals.
I am just writing to let you know about a harpsichord recital
I am giving on Sunday, June 8th at 2 PM, Trinity Chapel - 2320
Dana Street. between Bancroft Way & Durant Avenue(one
block from the U.C. Berkeley)
I'm playing on John Phillips' sparkling "Florentine"
harpsichord, and am having the most fun choosing a program! It
is all music from Spain, and is most colorful and evocative. The
tentative program is below. It is approximately an hour
long, with no intermission, so those who need to rush off to another
concert have a chance to get there!
Tickets: $15 general, $12 SFEMS, WEKA and SEHKS members, $10 seniors/students/disabled.
No one is turned away for lack of funds.
Information: trinitychamberconcerts.com, 510-549-1520
Sonata #73 in D major, Allegro...........................................Padre
Sonata #74 in D major, Andante............................................................A.
Sonata K. 476 in g minor, Allegro.........................................Domenico
Sonata K. 477 in G major, Allegrissimo............................................D.
Sonata #4 in g minor Adagio and Allegro ...................Manuel
Blasco de Nebra
Fuga # 5 in g minor.........................................................................
Sonata K. 532 in a minor...................................................................D.
Sonata K. 533 in A major...................................................................D.
Sonata # 5 in f# minor, Adagio and Presto...........................M.
Blasco de Nebra
Sonata K. 499 in A major....................................................................D.
Sonata K. 599 in A major....................................................................D.
Today is the French School's
Bon Marché. It starts at 11:00 AM and it's FREE. Check
it out at the 9th Street campus.There is music all day! Foggy
Gulch plays at 1:00PM.
And, "Greetings Foggy
Gulch Fans" emails Eric Hughes
We are delighted to announce that four new songs are available
on our myspace page at here.
"California Stars" is our first recording with the new
members of the band John Milton (bass) and Becky Bart (fiddle).
Some think this song is the best tune written by Woodie Guthrie
you've never heard (apologies to Wilco fans). It will be
featured on a new 4-song EP we'll finish in the next month or
"Love Reunited," "Uncle Pen," and "Brand
New Heartache" are from our first album, Fogged In
, available here.
(our next show is at Julie's Coffee and Tea Garden in Alameda
on June 17th)
Foggy Gulch Band
The Regan designed condo
at 919 Pardee is for sale at $849,000. Open house . . .
Sunday. Two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, very minimalist design,
high quality, but rather small...
"Man fatally shot is 6th homicide of year" reports the
Chronicle's Henry K. Lee.
"A man shot and killed
in Berkeley was identified by police Friday as 29-year-old Anthony
Beamon, who lived in Berkeley,
was found mortally wounded about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday in front
of 1536 Tyler St., near Ashby Avenue and Sacramento Street at
the south end of town, police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.
Beamon was taken to Highland
Hospital in Oakland, where he was pronounced dead.
Bullets from the shooting
hit a home and parked car, but no other victims were found, Kusmiss
No arrests have been made
and no motive has been established in the slaying, Berkeley's
sixth homicide this year."
has worked on my cars and trucks for over 30 years. I believe
Mike and his crew are among the best, if not THE best, independent
shops for Japanese vehicles in the Bay Area. I can't say enough
for his honesty, knowledge and top notch service. "Beyond
Repair" is at 2147 San Pablo and their phone is 510-845-7700.
DEFINITELY check them out!
is a Potter Creek winery. Check out their website here.
The owners of Sea Salt are
opening a pizza place on San Pablo Avenue next to Sea Salt.
a lot with ole friend WD through the years
was more impressive than the sound in
learned to love records.
And, he just sent me a copy
of "Sunshine State."
It's a movie in which real
estate development in Florida is a background for stories just
about people. It is a small film about black folks, white folks,
. . . life.
Or, according to imbd,
"A woman and her new
husband returns to her hometown roots in coastal northern Florida,
and must deal with family, business, and encroaching real estate
And, check out the new CD,
Love & BBQ" by East-Texas singer, Marcia Ball.
Bob Kubik emails a quote
from Allen Lacy
"Gardening is not a
hobby, and only non-gardeners would describe it as such.
There is nothing wrong with having hobbies, but most hobbies are
intellectually limited and make no reference to the larger world.
By contrast, being wholeheartedly involved with gardens is involvement
with life itself in the deepest sense. Indeed. For
could it ever be said about, say, bridge that the way you play
a hand has implications for the environment, American cuisine,
biological diversity, drug policy, and national identity, not
to mention the nature of time and the meaning of place?
A garden, whether we know it or not connects us to the world in
many strange and wonderful ways"
Foggy Gulch played at Sunday's
École Bilingue Bon Marché
As of the end of May, Berkeley
has had seven murders, not 6 or 8 as reported elsewhere.
All last year we had five.
Irrtant in warehouse off-and-on
from mid-afternoon Sunday through Tuesday morning--sometimes SERIOUS.
(hack, hack, cough)
" Oakland Port Rail Proposal Impacts May Hit Berkeley
reports Richard Brenneman in our Planet.
"Is Berkeley being railroaded?
That's the question that
was raised at the last Planning Commission meeting, by both supporters
and potential foes of a plan to upgrade and increase rail service
through the West Berkeley.
Some Richmond residents are
also feeling that they're on the other side of the tracks because
of proposed routing of more mile-long trains through their city,
disrupting access to neighborhoods like Marina Bay.
Concerns in Berkeley were
raised by an April 10 decision by the California Transportation
Commission awarding the Port of Oakland $74 million to begin the
process of upgrading a 37-mile stretch of Union Pacific Rail lines
between Oakland and Martinez.
That sum was part of a larger
$456 million allocation of port-requested backing for rail upgrades
reaching from the Tehachapi Mountains in the south to Donner Summit
in the east-all designed to speed the move of goods through Northern
California's premier seaport."
Way ahead of "the news,"
Tak Nakamoto hipped us all to this last December. On 12/7/07 he
emailed this thoughful observation
I wanted to alert you and
others of us living and or working in West
Berkeley to pay attention to discussions now ongoing at the
Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Transportation
Commission and the State Legislature regarding the upgrading of
capacity of Northern California's railroad network to carry more
containers. All my info comes from newspapers. But from what I
glean from them, this is the story.
The shipping, freight companies
and the Port of Oakland have applied
to the State Transportation Commission for a large allocation
funds from the recently passed state transportation bond initiative
to upgrade the rail system from Oakland all the way through the
Sierras to carry more container cargo. The physical projects include
increasing the height of tunnels through the mountains to allow
passage of double stacked containers and also additional trackage
between Richmond and Martinez. These projects would be 50% funded
through the state bond pot and 50% by the various rail companies
private interests. There is discussion that this might result
doubling the amount of rail capacity in this corridor. The
discussions are now at the level of the "Big Five" (Guv,
Assembly leader, minority leaders) as they arm wrestle for
allocations pitting Northern California vs. Southern California
interests. The amount of funding is in the hundreds of millions
What does this mean for West
Berkeley? Certainly this will mean more
trains will be passing through Berkeley on the Union Pacific
(formerly SP) tracks that border our neighborhood. Both UP and
Fe Railroads run freight on these tracks as well as Amtrak. This
mean more diesel smoke from locomotives, more noise and more frequent
stopping of traffic at rail crossings. But upgrading the rail
might also reduce the number of diesel burning trucks carrying
containers on I-80, which might be beneficial to our neighborhoods.
Trains are much more energy efficient than trucks and so emit
pollution even running on the same type of fuel. The Union Pacific
right of way has space for up to five sets of tracks through most
Berkeley. Only two sets of tracks are now active.
Heavier rail traffic might
affect our access to Aquatic Park and our
level of enjoyment of the park once we're there. Its an open secret
that many of us use an unauthorized crossing at Heinz Street to
into the park. With heavier rail traffic this may become less
Even at the official rail crossing on Bancroft, Addison and others
crossing will become more difficult.
Since this is a partly publicly
funded project, the opportunities for
pressing for mitigation of negative impacts will emerge at some
point. Those of us who live here might want to start thinking
what kinds of things we might want to press for when the time
for public input. I keep thing that we need another pedestrian/
bicycle point of access to Aquatic Park and the Bay beyond at
Ashby Avenue. I'm sure all the imaginative minds in this area
come up with others.
It is not too early to start
to think and talk about this issue.
I told Charles Sherman I'd
send a notice to everyone on my email list regarding a concert
a group of his is giving [this] Wednesday night. They scheduled
early, before the Festival events were set, and are in conflict
with one, hence no listing at the SFEMS web site. In case
you decided not to go to Wed. night's concert, but really love
Rameau's Piece de Clavecin en Concert, here is your chance to
hear what is sure to be a fabulous performance of all of them.
The group, Ensemble Indiscrete, consists of the following players:
Charles Sherman, harpsichord
Anthony Martin, violin
Stephen Schultz, flute
Josh Lee, viola da gamba
The concert is being held
at Trinity Chapel, Dana at Durant, 8PM, Wed., June 4.
Hope to see you there (and at mine on Sunday the 8th!) Best
Da Boz emails
1. Carbon Fee First
of its Kind!
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's board of directors
on Wednesday approved new rules to charge businesses a fee for
the pollution they emit. As a board member of BAAQMD, I first
proposed the idea of a carbon fee last September. These unprecedented
new rules will impose fees on factories, power plants, oil refineries
and other businesses that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping
gases. The agency, which regulates air pollution in the nine-county
Bay Area, will be the first in the country to charge companies
a fee based on their greenhouse gas emissions. The new rules will
take effect July 1.
2. State of the City Address
On May 13th I delivered the State of the City address at West
Berkeley's Meyer Sound Pearson Theater. This year, I wanted
to highlight a homegrown Berkeley company. Meyer Sound, an internationally
recognized leader in sound systems, manufactures and hires locally
and generously supports the arts in our community. In the State
of the City, I addressed the challenges we face as a city as well
as the bright future that lies ahead. I also thanked some
of the key partnerships that have made this city so vibrant.
The address has aired on Berkeley's BETV (Comcast channel 33)
twice a day since May 14. The speech was also streamed lived
on KPFB and can be downloaded from their archives.
3. Berkeley High School's Student Recognition Awards
Each year I ask teachers and staff at Berkeley High School, B-Tech
and Independent Study to nominate students for their extraordinary
efforts. With so many amazing youth in Berkeley's public
schools this event grows each year. In the past four years
we outgrew the DoubleTree Hotel at the Marina, and then Hs. Lordships.
This year we will honor over 225 high school students and thanks
to the generous co-sponsorship of UC Berkeley, we are hosting
the event in the Pauley Ballroom on campus on June 4.
4. One Year Anniversary of Berkeley's Hypertension Clinic
The High Blood Pressure Drop-In Clinic at LifeLong Medical Care's
Over 60's Center marked its one-year anniversary this month.
The clinic provides an opportunity for uninsured Berkeley residents
with high blood pressure to receive free primary care by enrolling
them into the LifeLong Medical Care system. Clients are offered
follow-up care and medications, as needed. These services are
available at no charge for Berkeley residents regardless of whether
or not they have insurance. The High Blood Pressure Drop-In Clinic
is a partnership between the City of Berkeley and Lifelong Medical
Care, Inc. in response to the alarming statistics of heart disease
among South and West Berkeley residents compared to other neighborhoods
5. Arpeggio Ground Breaking
The long awaited Arpeggio project is now under construction.
When completed the Arpeggio will supply 143 new residential units,
5800 square feet of ground floor retail space, 13,000 square
feet of cultural arts space, and 160 subterranean parking spaces.
The anticipated completion date is Spring 2010.
6. Important Community News Fire Season Begins
This year's fire warnings are coming early because of the
second-driest March and April on record. There are a lot
of things residents can do to protect their property - start with this
Fire Department press release for some basic tips and information
about the City's free pick-up of trimmed vegetation and limbs,
and for more information, visit the Vegetation Management page.
7. Important Community News Drought Management
The East Bay Municipal Utility District Board of Directors have
implemented a Drought Management Program to stretch the District's
water supply on the heels of two consecutive dry years.
The District is seeking a 15 percent reduction in water use overall.
Single-family residential customers are being asked to cut back
Celia's razing hits a snag--a
Steve Smith photo
Our Carol Whitman is a Grand-Mother--details
Our Ryan Lau, aid to our
Councilman, Darryl Moore, emails
COUNCILMEMBERS JOIN FARMERS' MARKET AND YMCA IN A
CELEBRATION OF HEALTHY LIVING
10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday,
Civic Center Park adjacent to the Center Street Farmers' Market
Berkeley Councilmembers Darryl Moore and Laurie Capitelli commemorate
their eight-month public journey of exercise and healthy eating
as part of the fifth annual Farmers' Market "Family
Fun Festival." Co-sponsored by Parents' Press,
Bananas, and the Downtown Berkeley YMCA, the "Family Fun
Festival" will bring to the downtown a variety of performances,
hands-on activities, and informational booths. The Councilmembers
will be available at the Be Fit Berkeley booth with free Be Fit
Berkeley T-shirts, health snacks and raffle prizes for Be Fit
participants. Staff members from the City's Public Health
Department will join them to provide diabetes and hypertension
screenings free to the public.
For more information about the campaign, visit the website here.
For more information about the Farmers' Market "Family Fun
Day" and to see a schedule of events and performers, go here.
Summer Programs 2008
We are publishing a list of all of the programming that we are
aware of for this summer that will be updated regularly.
If you are aware of a summer program that you would like to publicize,
please let us know. If the link does not work immediately,
please check back. It takes a little bit of time to get
up and running with our new web content management system.
Update on the Take Over Robberies
Unfortunately, there have been four more take over robberies recently
that seem to be perpetrated by the same individual who has been
committing the series on San Pablo. The police can use all
the help they can get in apprehending this individual. So
if you see an individual fitting the physical description and
exhibiting suspicious behavior, please call the police at 9-1-1
on a land line or (510) 981-5911 on a cell phone.
Berkeley Youth Alternatives' Steps to Success Program
Berkeley Youth Alternatives is currently recruiting low income Berkeley
young adults 18-21 for Workforce Investment Act services in our
Steps to Success Program. This funding is the only
type of its kind north of Oakland dedicated specifically
to this age group. For more information, please
contact Mark Gambala at
City Council Hot Topics
June 10th, 2008
Six-Month Citywide Moratorium on Cell Phone Antennas
Possible Ballot Measures for the November 4, 2008 General Municipal
ZAB Appeal: 2130 Center Street (former Act 1 & 2 Theater)
FY 2009 Biennial Budget Update - Public Hearing #2
6/4/08--7:48 AM--cough, hack,
sneeze--time to go
"Susan Brooks Open Studio"
is part of ProArts East Bay Open Studios
June 7-8 & 14-15, Weekends 11-6PM
Event website: proartsgallery.org
The Sawtooth Building, 2547
Eighth Street #24a, Berkeley
Please join me at my studio for ProArts East Bay Open Studios.
I'll be showing lots of new work, jewelry and works on paper.
25 other artists will be open in The Sawtooth Building, so plan
spending some time in the neighborhood.
Hope to see you
Also, ActivSpace--7th, between
Pardee and Carleton-- will have 14 studios open as part of ProArts
East Bay Open Studios
Avoid the 7th and Ashby intersection
these days. Lanes are closed before Ashby, south on 7th and after
7th, west on Ashby.
Rick Ballard emails
In store news--storewide
Groove Yard was just named
the Best Grassroots Jazz Resource in the current issue
of Oakland Magazine. It is their Best of Oakland and the East
Bay 2008. You can find this issue at local newstands or go to
their website at www.oaklandmagazine.com
. To celebrate this and Groove Yards' 16th Anniversary, I
am having a storewide sale beginning this Saturday, June
7 and running through Sunday, June 15.
"Berkeley mural will get a face-lift" reports the Tribune's Kristin Bender
"She's not very old - about 30 - but she's cracking a bit
around the edges.
There's obvious signs of
wear and tear and a little bit of sagging. But this beauty, which
goes by the name Song of Unity or La Cancion de la Unidad in Spanish,
is about to get a face-lift. It probably won't be an extreme makeover,
but she'll be looking fine when a team of experts is done with
Rescue Public Murals, a national
project to save community murals, has selected La Pena Cultural
Center's Song of Unity, a mural of acrylic paint on Masonite,
paper mache, ceramics and fiberglass sculpture, as the first Bay
Area mural to be restored under the group's new project.
'It's wonderful to know that
this mural is going to be around for many more years. We've been
worried about it,' said Osha Neumann, one of the original artists
along with ceramicist Anna de Leon and painters Ray Patlan, and
Morgan says Merryll's project
should by done in about two months.
Pete Hurney is now recording
the KALX promos for his Radio Theater.
Kubik emails an Einstein
"Brief is this existance,
as a fleeting visit in a
The path to be pursued is
by a flickering consciousness".
And, the Mayor of Birmingham
Alabama says of our recent past, "The U.S. has been Stuck
The beautiful Danielle has
returned to Kruse, after almost a year off for child care--see
John Phillips recommends
Alessandro Strigggio's Mass for five choirs, Missa Sopra Ecco
Sì Beato Giorno in 40 and 60 parts which will be performed
on Saturday, June 7, 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 8, 7 p.m. at the
First Congregational Church as part of our Berkeley Early Music
Check out sfems.org/
fringe2008.htm for all the Early Music Festival events.
John is also involved in
an early music recording at Skywalker Ranch, with instrument tuning
AND music production.
"Laughing Sal presides over new Playland
museum" writes Carolyn
Jones in the Chronicle.
"Laughing Sal is cackling
The gap-toothed, red-haired,
plaster icon who terrified generations of kids at San Francisco's
defunct Playland-at-the-Beach has resurfaced - maniacal laugh
and all - in El Cerrito.
Laughing Sal and thousands
of other Playland relics are part of a new museum, opening today,
that pays tribute to the exhilarating, seedy world of carnivals,
circuses, haunted houses, arcades and bygone amusement parks.
The museum, a nonprofit called
Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, is part history exhibit and part fun
house. Visitors will be able to play 80-year-old pinball machines,
watch a century-old penny arcade called 'Knotty Peek,' and see
authentic side-show attractions such as a two-headed duckling,
a mermaid and a carp exposed to a bit too much radiation."
"$15,000 reward in fatal shooting" reports Henry K.
Lee of the Chronicle.
"The city of Berkeley offered a $15,000 reward Tuesday for
information leading to the conviction of the person who'killed
a man last week.
Anthony "Tony' Beamon,
29, of Berkeley was shot about 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday on the
1500 block of Tyler Street, near Ashby Avenue and Sacramento Street
in south Berkeley. Bullets from the shooting hit a home and parked
car, but no other victims were found, police said.
Anyone with information is
asked to call homicide investigators at (510) 981-5741."
"Hancock, Skinner seen as big winners" reports Carolyn Jones of the Chronicle.
"Loni Hancock emerged
as a big winner in the East Bay on Tuesday night, winning a tight
state Senate race by 13 percentage points and seeing her hand-picked
successor claim a victory in an Assembly race.
Hancock, who is being termed
out of the Assembly, defeated former Assemblywoman Wilma Chan
and is all but guaranteed to take over State Sen. President Pro
Tem Don Perata's seat in the heavily Democratic Ninth Senate District
after the November general election.
Nancy Skinner, an East Bay
park district director who was Hancock's pick to succeed her in
the 14th Assembly District, was also a winner Tuesday, receiving
46.8 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, all but guaranteeing
a victory in November."
West-Berkeley movers and
shakers, Norheim and Yost held a Skinner Fund Raiser last month,
raise nonstop fares sharply for summer" reports the AP's
"If you're taking a nonstop flight to summer vacation, better
pony up a lot more money or start unpacking.
In many cases, major carriers have more than doubled or even tripled
their cheapest U.S. fares from last summer's fares. That's on
top of the new fees for checking luggage and other services."
6/4/08--EARLY AM, see above. 9:04 AM--irritant in front room,
light head, leave. 10:17 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, wear
mask. 2:13 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, wear mask. 5:14
PM--irritant in front room. 5:46PM--same.
Geez, . . . I forgot
got their dinner
The École Bilingue annual
a photo essay
Carol forwards and email
from her son and daughter with her own comments
Susan and Max Lesser
are overjoyed with the arrival
of their son
May 31st 5:17pm
6 pounds, 10 ounces
19 inches long
He is the cutest of course,
and I'm not just saying that because I'm
his grandmother! His naming ceremony is tomorrow at Max and Susan's
house in LA.
Sigh...this is the best.
"Special Olympics Returns to Berkeley" reports Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet.
"It's time for bocce
ball once again. And some volleyball, swimming and tennis as well.
UC Berkeley is all set to
host the 2008 Special Olympics Summer Games this weekend, which
are expected to draw more than 900 athletes, 300 coaches and 1,300
volunteers from all over Northern California."
Patrick Kennedy and his young
staff had a loooong lunch at 900
Thursday. When asked about any new
project, he replied directly and courteously,
My favorite Irish developer
is lookin' reeeeally good these days.
And, Dave Kruse and his wife
had lunch at 900 yesterday. Dave has been commuting to work
on his Vespa a lot on these warm Spring days. He mentioned that,
actually, his wife was the first to scooter and that she introduced
him to scootering.
Well, Ok then!
Kimar had a Vespa in The
"Outside groups spent
$10 million in California to sway elections" writes Steven
Harmon in our Times.
Loni Hancock was one of the lucky few to survive campaigns mounted
by outside political groups, which spent more than $10 million
in legislative races during the just-concluded primaries.
But, while she called her
win a triumph for democracy, outside money won out in most races.
Of the 18 open primaries that received substantial independent
expenditures, 12 resulted in victories for candidates who had
more support from independent groups than their opponents, according
to a MediaNews analysis.
Of those who overcame the
outside campaigns, none faced as concerted an effort to defeat
her as Hancock. Several political groups spent more than $500,000
against Hancock or on behalf of her opponent, former Assemblywoman
Wilma Chan, as the two vied for the seat Senate Leader Don Perata,
D-Oakland, will vacate at the end of the year. In comparison,
groups spent $133,740 for Hancock or against Chan."
It is interesting to speculate
how much of the outside opposition to our Loni Hancock is the
aftermath of our "Marine recruiting incident."
Our Janine emails
Well, we now have program
notes [by our John Phillips] for my June 8th concert! Whether
you can attend or not, I think they are quite interesting to read.
Scarlatti and Spain
No one casts a larger shadow
over 18th century Spanish keyboard music than the Italian Domenico
Scarlatti (1685-1757). Although he was renowned as a keyboard
virtuoso from a young age (the contest with Handel occurred when
both young men were twenty-two), that he would end up in a musically
remote corner of Europe would have seemed improbable from the
Domenico Scarlatti must have
seemed destined for the musical theater. He was the musically
gifted son of Alessandro Scarlatti, the leading composer of Neapolitan
opera of the day. He had two operas produced in Naples
before he was twenty and within a few years was enjoying success
in Rome, first in the service of the exiled Queen Maria Casmira
of Poland and later as maestro of the Cappella
Giulia in the Vatican. In 1719, at the age of 34, he suddenly
abandoned his promising Roman career for a position as mestre
de capela at the Portuguese court in distant Lisbon.
Here, his duties included both the composition of sacred music
and the musical instruction of the King's brother, Don Antonio,
and daughter, the infanta Maria Barbara. When
Maria Barbara was married to the Spanish infante in
1729, Scarlatti accompanied her to Spain where he remained as
her music master (and spy for her father?) for the rest of his
life. Once in Spain he apparently left the theater and any sort
of what we would think of as public musical life behind. Instead,
he seems to have concentrated mainly on chamber cantatas, perhaps
often written for his friend and esteemed colleague, the castrato
Farinelli, and hundreds of keyboard sonatas, certainly written
for his royal pupil. It is on the latter that his fame rests.
Scarlatti had already found
inspiration in the native song and dance of the Iberian Peninsula
during his decade in Lisbon. After Maria Barbara's marriage the
usually peripatetic Spanish court spent several years at the Alcázar
in Seville. The musical impact of the flamenco and gypsy music
of Andalucía on the Italian Scarlatti was profound. As
Charles Burney noted, Scarlatti "imitated the melody of tunes
sung by carriers, muleteers and common people". The sonatas
written after 1729 are full of imitations of the Spanish guitar
and often literal use of folk tunes and dances with their distinctive
rhythms, phrygian harmonies and sudden shifts between major and
minor. The enigmatic nature of Scarlatti's genius is that his
music preserves the visceral intensity of its provincial elements
while raising them to the level of high art. He easily
conjures musical imagery from beyond the confines of his instrument.
The literal images are often fleeting; a single suggestive phrase
or gesture is often all that is needed. It is in the musical staging
of the imagery that Scarlatti's greatness lies. Each sonata is
in fact a miniature piece of musical theater in which Scarlatti
introduces, develops and closes his material with all the instincts
of a skilled musical dramatist.
Although Scarlatti's musical
activities in Spain were largely confined to Maria Barbara's inner
circle, his musical influence on Spanish musicians was remarkable.
Before Scarlatti, Spanish keyboard composers mostly concentrated
on the contrapuntal tradition, inherited from Cabézon and
Cabanilles; the great diferencías and tientos for
the organ. Certain aspects of Spanish folk music hints of
rhythms and harmony and a certain intensity of spirit were
always present, but rarely was it literally stated. After Scarlatti,
there is a notable change in the keyboard style, away from the
church and the organ, becoming unabashedly secular. The spinning
out of contrapuntal material or the sets of variations were abandoned
for the Scarlatti model sonata in binary form and often arranged
in sets of two or three by key.
Two of the most remarkable
Spanish keyboard composers of the generation after Scarlatti are
Padre Antonio Soler (1727-1783) and Manuel Blasco de Nebra (1750-1784).
A native of Catalonia, Soler spent most of his adult life as a
Hieronymite monk at the great monastery and palace of El Escorial
near Madrid. Like Scarlatti, Soler enjoyed the patronage
of a gifted royal pupil, the infante Don Gabriel.
The Spanish court spent three months every year at Philip II's
somber monument to counter-reformation piety. There is no doubt
that Soler had some contact with Scarlatti during these visits.
Soler may be the copyist of some volumes of the surviving Scarlatti
sonatas and may even have studied with the older man. In any case,
Scarlatti's influence was profound.
Soler's keyboard sonatas
incorporate many of the same folk elements as Scarlatti's and
use the similar compositional techniques of repetition of small
figures and remarkable juxtapositions of harmonies. However Soler
is clearly a creature of the younger generation. His phrases are
more regular and his keyboard technique even more fluid and virtuoso.
Elements of the modern galant and pre-classical
styles are juxtaposed with purely flamenco figurations. The flamenco
figurations also tend to be literal rather than merely allusions.
Soler's sonatas are usually longer and more symmetrical than Scarlatti's.
What are apparently later works (the chronology of Soler's sonatas
in even more problematic than Scarlatti's) are often multi-movement.
Above all in Soler's music there is a sense of the sheer joy and
ease of its virtuosity.
Manuel Blasco de Nebra (1750-1784)
came from a prominent musical family. He succeeded his father,
José, as organist of the Seville cathedral, first as his
assistant in 1768, then as organist in 1778. Until recently the
only known keyboard works were his Seis Sonatas para clave
y fuerte-piano, opus 1 (Madrid 1780). Blasco de Nebra's
sonatas are all two movement slow-fast works, codifying the Scarlatti's
pair-wise arrangement. The flamenco guitar allusions are even
more literal than Soler's, contrasting with other motivic material
which could easily have been lifted from contemporary Italian
opera. Like both Soler and Scarlatti, Blasco de Nebra revels in
the washes of instrumental sound and his virtuosity.
The music of Juan Sessé
(1736-1801) represents the sort of Spanish keyboard music that
escaped the influence of Domenico Scarlatti. Born in Aragon in
the north of Spain, Sessé moved to Madrid as a young man
and held several church organ posts, eventually winning that of
second organist at the Capilla Real. His Seis
Fugas para Organo y Clave, Obran1, was published in Madrid
in 1773. These fugues are clearly rooted in the traditional contrapuntal
style of the previous century, but with classical-sounding harmonies.
There is nothing of the guitar to be heard.
If Scarlatti was an agent for change in the keyboard music of
Spain, he seems also a vector bringing changes in the keyboard
instruments themselves. His arrival in Lisbon in 1719 coincides
with the appearance there of Florentine pianos. Recent research
by John Koster and others has shown that Florentine harpsichords
were also imported and the two types of instruments were used
side by side with the pianos until very late in the 18th century.
Eventually the local builders adapted this style of building heavy
cased, single manual instruments, with two unison registers strung
in brass to their native traditions. A number of Portuguese
instruments survive which are native interpretations of Florentine
designs. Unfortunately no Spanish harpsichords in this Florentine-based
style survive, although there is ample evidence of their existence
through invoices, inventories, and the music itself.
The harpsichord used this afternoon was built by John Phillips
in 1993 and is based on mid-18th century Florentine models, the
cousins of the lost Spanish originals. There is one manual with
63 notes, FF-g3; enough for all the sonatas of Scarlatti, Blasco
de Nebra, and virtually all the works of Soler.
Jennifer emails fron Riva
A Toast to Summer at Riva
Please join us in celebrating the arrival of summer at our first
winemaker dinner. We will be pairing 2007 Azur Sauvignon Blanc
Rose', the perfect summer wines, with a four course menu featuring
the season's freshest and local ingredients. Winemaker Julien
and chef Massimiliano Boldrini will be on hand to discuss the
When: 2008 Summer Solstice // Friday, June 20th at 7pm
Where: Riva Cucina // 800 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley
RSVP: 510 841 7482 // firstname.lastname@example.org
Grilled jumbo prawns over cannellini beans, crispy pancetta and
tomato peperoncino puree' with rosemary-infused olive oil
Ravioli di Melanzane e Burrata
Roasted eggplant and Parmigiano ravioli, fresh tomato, basil,
filled fresh mozzarella
Filetto alle Cigliege
Roasted Niman Ranch pork tenderloin stuffed with cherries, butter
sage, roasted potato, sautéed bell peppers, balsamic reduction
Sorbetto e Panna Cotta
Azur Rosé and raspberry sorbet paired with traditional
2007 AZUR ROSE': This first vintage of rosé is delicately
with flavors of grapefruit, honeydew, and tropical fruit. Balanced
with a crisp, refreshing minerality and dry finish, this wine
versatile accompaniment to any summer fare. 200 cases produced.
2007 AZUR SAUVIGNON BLANC:
This first vintage has a tantalizing nose
of Muscat and jasmine. A mosaic of melon and lychee fruit fills
palate, with a crisp and refreshing acidity. 50 cases produced.
Event Price: $75 for four-course meal and Azur wine pairings.
Tax and gratuity is not included.
is a report on fine dining in the St Petersburg Times by
"Seen one palace, seen 'em all? St. Petersburg can be like that.
After the Bolshevik coup
in 1917, the terrorists rubbed their hands with glee and stole
hundreds of the city's grandest residences and put them to better
use. One of the most notorious of these 'expropriations' concerned
the Nabokov Mansion on Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa, the house where
author Vladimir Nabokov was born in 1899. In
his autobiography written in the 1950s, Nabokov wrote bitterly,
not of the theft of mere bricks and mortar but of a past despoiled
by the thuggery of the Soviet state.
But St. Petersburg's palaces
are now being returned to something of their former splendor if
not to their former owners or their ancestors. The Nabokov House
survived being made into offices and even a laundry and now houses
a fascinating museum about the writer.
And the Polovtsev Mansion,
on the other side of the street from the Nabokov Mansion, once
the residence of a courtier to Tsar Alexander III, became Dom
Arkhitektura (House of Architects) under the Soviets. It remains
the HQ for the city's architects but also houses a restaurant
that attempts to recapture an Imperial idyll.
Polovtsev Mansion // 52 Bolshaya
Morskaya Ulitsa. Tel: 571 5900. // www.polovtsev.restoran.ru
// Open from noon through 11 p.m. // Dinner for two without alcohol
1,850 rubles ($75)"
"Under water" writes George Avalos in our Times.
"Under water. Upside
down. Negative equity. No matter the terminology to describe the
erosion of home equity in the East Bay, the conclusion is inescapable:
A local housing sector that once was remarkable for how high it
could soar has plunged into the depths.
About two out of three East
Bay homes that were bought since 2005 are now worth less than
the mortgages on the houses, according to a Zillow.com study.
The research by Zillow, an online real estate service, portrays
a fresh set of woes for a sinking residential real estate market.
Zillow's survey determined
that, on average, 59 percent of the houses bought in Alameda County
in 2005, 2006, and 2007 now have negative equity. That means the
amount of the mortgage exceeded the value of
the house. In Contra Costa County, an average of 76 percent of
the homes bought during those years now suffer from negative equity.
San Joaquin County and Solano
County fared much worse. In San Joaquin, an average of 93 percent
of the homes bought in the same three years are worth less than
their mortgages. In Solano County, 85
percent of the homes bought during the 2005 through 2007 period
are under water."
You can find more information
about our current weather conditions than is good for you at www.wunderground.com
Want to see weather coming
in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out
This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor,
Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets
more hits than Scrambled Eggs.
Best gas prices in 94710,
as well as all of US and Canada, are here
Kimar finds Costco routinely
has the lowest price.
Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very
If you ever need to get a
human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc.,
this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get
you to a human being within a few seconds.
is not just a reference for Berkeley-Hills radicals with 1.5 mil
homes and considerable portfolios.
Our City of Berkeley Boards
and Commissions page is here--redone
PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.
for 94710 is here
This site is NOT affiliated
with Berkeley PD.
Take time to report
of crime-in-progress should first go to Berkeley PD dispatch--911
or non-emergency, 981-5900. THEN make sure you notify EACH of
these City people.
Our new Area
Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774
City Mgr Off - 981-2491 email@example.com
aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 firstname.lastname@example.org
City Councilman email@example.com
Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here
Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music
Journal of Recorded Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
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