Thursday, February 23, 2012

ロンドン五輪予選 - U-23 for London


Japanese media are too easy to be rush heating up with the victory against Malaysia last night, but the reality is rather shivering. This young national team is miserably bad with the pass accuracy and does not make much effort of moving in parallel when the players are away from the ball. Don't you boys make meaningless back-passes that sometimes endanger the whole situation! I watched the game up to the point when Ohsako got a goal, and then turned off the TV to go to bed. There is a tall wall of challenges for them to clear.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DGG CD Deterioration - グラモフォンCDの劣化

I found serious damages with old Deutsche Grammophon and Archiv CD boxes. The composite foam of cushion sheet inside the box resolved in ages and consequently adhered to the disc surface. I tried to wipe them out and had to wash them carefully, but they were not fully restorable. The printing on the surface tended coming off sooner than the alien. Furthermore in some discs the trouble was not only with the printed surface but some sort of stain penetrated in the data side. For example, the third disc of Karl Böhm’s “Magic Flute” caused numerous errors failing continued playing. I had never imagined that this CD box would die sooner than my LP package.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

東邦音大の魔笛 - Magic Flute by Toho College of Music




Saturday, February 11, 2012

CP+ 2012 - 行ってはみたけど

Yesterday, on my way to Tokyo Persimmon Hall for Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte”, I stopped by at Yokohama Pacifico where CP+ camera show was being held. I had two specific purposes; that were to see and touch Ricoh GXR A16 and Fujifilm X-Pro1.
Ricoh’s booth was consolidated with Pentax and their primary stress seemed focused on Pentax Q. GXR was only cased behind the glass display unfortunately. At Fujifilm there was a long queue of people to the counter where they could touch X-Pro1, and I then realized going to one of stores in town at a later time would be much more efficient. Other booths such as Canon, Nikon and Sony had their new, interesting products, but I did not have enough time to stay there.
One photo I took was the Sony booth where an open studio for test photo sessions was beautifully arranged, and it was definitely tempting to see how it would come out with my compact Canon S90 camera.

昨日は東京パーシモンホールにモーツァルトの「魔笛」を観に行くことになっていたので、途中CP+を覗いてみようとみなとみらいのパシフィコに立ち寄った。このカメラショウには具体的に2件の目的があった。ひとつはリコーGXR A16に触ってみること。もうひとつは富士フイルムのX-Pro1画質確認。
リコーのブースはペンタックスとの同居で焦点は新製品のPentax Qに集中しているようだった。GXRに至ってはガラスのショウケースに鎮座しているだけ。次の富士フイルムのブースにはX-Pro1のサンプルに触れるカウンターに向かって長蛇の列が出来ていた。これなら後日カメラ屋で現物に触れる方が遙かに効率的と理解した。他にキヤノン、ニコン、ソニーなどでも興味ある新製品が出てはいたが、長時間滞在する余裕はなく今回は諦めた。

Monday, February 6, 2012

Matthew Passion - マタイ受難曲の演奏会

I went to Daiichi Life Insurance Hall in Triton Square again yesterday for the concert of Matthew Passion by Choeur de Chambre and Tokio Bach Kantata Ensemble.
The choir consisted of 18 sopranos, 12 altos, 9 tenors and 10 basses, but when they were split into 2 separate parts for Bach’s oratorio, their size remained relatively small limiting the dramatic aspect of the choir. The ensemble is the players of period instruments and played in 415Hz baroque pitch. The sound of oboe d’amore, flute traverso and viola da gamba were so pleasing. Among the soloists, I thought the bass (Yoshitaka Ogasawara) was excellent with text clarity in singing.
When I phoned the contact number of the choir in mid January, I was told the tickets had been sold out rather unusually for local baroque events. I wasn’t aware at that time, but I was actually speaking to the conductor, Ms. Koizumi herself. I gave up my plan once, but I thought of writing her again to pitch how serious I was interested in this concert begging her a single ticket on site if they manage to recover any leftovers. Then, she kindly wrote me back informing that she could allow one of very few reserves for me.
Another surprise was that one of tenors was with me when we sang Mozart Requiem together at ICU a year ago. He took the role of Judas in the concert as well as the choir tenor. In overall, it was a nice performance, but I felt totally exhausted afterward. It started at 3:00 p.m. and ended at 6:40, and Matthew always forces me some concentration in mere listening. I have no idea if I can sing out this long work emotionally myself…




Friday, February 3, 2012

Crank Brothers Eggbeater 1 – 卵泡立て器という名のビンディング・ペダル

SPDペダルは何が良いかと長らく悩んでいたが、たまたまヤフオクで米国クランクブラザーズ社のEggbeater 4という面白いネーミングのペダルに遭遇した。MTB用と謳われていたせいかこれまでノーマークだったが、174gと軽量だし構造も独創的で興味を持った。世評も悪くない。でもそのオークションの結果は中古なのに2万円を超える高値に跳ね上がって行ったので驚いた。

あれこれ調べて見ると現行の後継モデルはEggbeater 11となっていて、米国では$300以上の値で取引されているようだった。eBayに時折中古の出品もあるので競りに参加してみた。ただ殆どの場合終了時間が時差の関係で午前3-5時頃が多く、$250くらいまでの予算でこちらが指値しておいても必ず誰かがその少し上で商品をかすめてしまう。そんなことを5-6回繰り返しているうちに、ペダルにそんな散財するというのも馬鹿らしく感じ始め、最下位モデルのEggbeater 1なら価格も競ることなく$40で手に入るし、重量は100g違うと言っても280g弱とそこそこの軽さだから、Crank Brothersという製品を試してみるならそれでも良いやと、米国に出かける友人に買ってきてもらうことにした。





Until recently I wasn’t aware of these strange-shape pedals partly because they were defined as MTB parts. As I understood that some people actually used them with roadracer bikes, I gradually got interested. I first tried to bid in eBay for used eggbeater 11 because the price in Japan was outrageously high, but it seemed my budget of around $250 was not enough as I kept losing bids 5 or 6 times. I got tired and felt the price was actually a little too much for my pedals, and thought their bottom-of-the-line eggbeater 4 would be sufficient if all what I want to find out first is its superiority of the design. So I paid $40 with no bids through a friend in USA.

Eggbeater was not SPD as sometimes defined. The size of the cleats is quite different, and it means that my two bikes share no compatibility. Depending on the result in the rides with eggbeater, the future direction should be set.

I used 6mm long skrews for fitting the creats with my shoes in place of 8mm ones used with Shimano SPD. That explains the new cleats are thinner, and the very first benefit I realized was the absence of the tap noise as I walked around, which was so comfortable.

It took me a few seconds to realize how to use 8mm alen key tool to fit the pedals to the cranks. You need to stick it in through the crank hole from the other size as shown in the picture. The instructions do not precisely explain how.

Then I went out for a ride, and when locking in, you don’t have to check the side of pedal surface because you have a chance to lock every 90 degrees of rotation. Once the pedal clicks in place, the position is quite firm while unlocking it was appallingly smooth, light and quiet. This first impression made me feel a step forward over Shimano.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gardiner on YouTube – ガーディナーのバッハ巡礼を観る


Our choir set the new goal that is to master Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in 18 months. And in coming March, while the Kantor of Leipzig visits Japan, he will conduct us sing one of Christmas Oratorio chorals and the final choral in Matthew Passion in a charity concert.
I searched some performance examples in YouTube and came across with a BBC program of reporting Bach Cantata Pilgrimage by Gardiner and Monteverdi Choir that started with their concert of Christmas Oratorio in Weimar. It was very nice to find how and where the concert actually took place visually, and furthermore there was another program about the whole 1-year Pilgrimage tours that complemented the complete Bach Cantata releases in CD from SDG.

I then found St. John Passion in Proms 2008. I have their older CD releases, 1986 Archive and 2003 SDG, but their Proms performance was far superior and deeply touching.

Shown below are the links that you shouldn’t miss watching!

Christmas Oratorio: クリスマス・オラトリオで巡礼スタート

Bach Pilgrimage: バッハ・カンタータ巡礼


PROMS 2008のヨハネ受難曲