Sunday, September 21, 2008

Calera Pinot 2006 – カレラのボトル


We drank Pinot of Calera Central Coast 2006 last night. It had no cork, no screw cap, but came with a glass cap with proper packing to fit with the throat. It means that we can use the bottle as a carafe later.
I like the Bourgogne-shape and use such bottles as Vieux Télégraphe's with some decorative motive on the bottle surface. The Calera cap looks like fitting with many other bottles, too.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Adieu, ma chatte - 猫の最期


Our kitty died today. She suddenly got very ill 2 weeks ago and we took her to a hospital in our neighborhood, but she had to be transferred to the animal hospital of Tokyo University. Her recovery was unlikely due to some kind of immune-deficiency and we decided to take care of her at home, and she got back 3 days ago. A large oxygen-generator followed her who was in a transparent case like a premature baby. The charge of a few thousand dollars for all these was beyond my imagination, but for my son who lived together like a brother and a sister for 7 years, it was just unbearable to cut it short.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Saito Kinen Festival 2008 - 松本文化会館


And so I traveled to Matsumoto for the concert of Saito Kinen Festival this year instead of the live, networked HDTV presentation at Roppongi Hills. Frankly, I have never heard such a “Titan” without inspirations. Ozawa himself looked quite healthy after the recovery from his rather serious disease, and thus the result was totally unexpected.
I considered the hall as one of causes. Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan does not look like a concert hall that generates rich tones acoustically, but simply outputs each instrument: brasses, woodwinds, and strings were all separate and did not sound as a united tone. Furthermore, the orchestra looked too large for the stage barely fitting itself in it, and their Tutti was cracking. The strings were too slim in balance. But all this is under Ozawa’s control, and apart from some excellence in pieces, I felt the overall music did not carry any huge drifts of sentiment or heated passion of youth as he magnifies every passage analytically in a same manner. Is this his shrink or loss of sensitivity on my part? Having said this, Mozart was reasonably good and Takemitsu was such an impressive ensemble.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Travel to Matsumoto - 松本へ


On Monday, I have lunch at Karuizawa and go to Nagano where I take Shinano express train for Matsumoto. Passing Shinonoi, it gains the altitude and on our left below expands a magnificent view of the Nagano plain and surrounding mountains. The inn I will stay on the day is Kishoan that claims a modern blend of western and Japanese designs. A great care is given to offer the relaxing atmosphere with spacious rooms and facility as well as collection of bath including outdoor, flat jacuzzi, and sauna. In Matsumoto, Myojinkan of Tobira hotsprings is the ingenious reference for a retreat, and in comparison this one has not yet matched the level in terms of authenticity.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

我が家の照明 8 – Lighting in my home: arflex


As this series gets close to an end, here is the turn for a bench-warmer. Arflex floor stand. One of few items that I collected despite my humble university student days. Active choice of colors such as green for the cable and red for the switch button looked so cool. It has been broken for years but I could not trash it in hope that I would repair it some day.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gardiner's Brahms - ガーディナーのブラームス

モンテヴェルディ合唱団の後援会から昨日メールでブラームスの新譜をネット頒布開始するとの告知が来た。サイトにはサンプルトラックがReal Playerで聴けるようになっていて、交響曲第一番の冒頭と第4楽章が並んでいた。今回の録音は意外に音が良くない印象だが、これはCDを聴くまでははっきりしたことは言えない。むしろこのCDにフィーチャーされている合唱曲の方に興味が沸いた。ブラームスの交響曲と言えば、Aサイトウ・キネン・オーケストラを忘れるわけにはいかないが、いよいよ来週は松本でコンサートだ。

E-mail from Monteverdi Choir announcing Eliot Gardiner’s new release of Brahms was received yesterday. Visiting their site, you will see some sample tracks for Real Player that include the first and fourth movements of symphony No. 1, but the recording this time did not sound impressive. I have to wait for a CD to accurately comment though. I was more interested in the choir music featured in this CD. When it comes to symphonies by Brahms, one cannot forget Saito Kinen Orchestra, and their long-waited concert will be held in Matsumoto next week.

Monday, September 1, 2008

scent of autumn - 秋の匂い


Down in the cities, it is rainy and humid day after day, but up in mountains I can sense the autumn now.