Allez, venez et entrez dans la danse

donne, vedete s'io l'ho nel cor
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Bless the memory of Mary Cortner Ragland (a Julliard graduate and Nashville philanthropist-volunteer). The fund in her name sponsored a free recital by Jennifer Larmore and Antoine Palloc last night, and it was outstanding. Larmore is a very animated singer -- eager to elicit laughs from the audience (sometimes draping herself over the Steinway and Palloc) -- and she and Palloc have excellent rapport.

A bonus for me: I got there early enough to snag a second-row seat with a great view of the pianist's hands and feet. That close, some of the acting was going to come across as over-the-top (Ingram Hall is a fair size, so someone there strictly as an opera fiend would have been better off further back and center), but it was priceless seeing the people around me respond appreciatively to it: during the first foreign-language piece ("Voi che sapete"), I could see the listeners around me grab their programs to see what Larmore was being dramatic about, and the girl next to me was gazing at Larmore with "you own me" writ across her face by the end of the song. Likewise the older man in the row in front of me, his smile brightening as she trilled and batted her eyelashes through "Una voce poca fa."

Once the intermission lights came on, both my companion and a woman behind me got on their cell phones, urging absent partners to get themselves to the hall for the second half.

And it wasn't only clowning and chestnuts. The melody of "Del cabello más util" (set by Fernando Obradors) struck me as especially lovely, and the second half opened with Ravel's "Asie" -- at the end, the hall was utterly still as Palloc's hands rose from the keys, until a man in the back breathed "Brava" and broke the spell. The closing piece was Art is Calling for Me, which was a hoot -- especially right after "Una voce poco fa" (from which it steals a couple of lines).

Decluttering continues apace, including a sloowww reorganizing my Firefox bookmarks (since they've exceeded the number where I'll ever look at them again unless I sort and winnow them back down to a perusable pool). Some of the pages in the stash:

M'rissa's Things I've Learned

Jennifer Pelland on The Better/Harder Paradigm

Elizabeth Bear's comment on same

Danny Gregory on "Patti's Problem" (moving from collecting to making)

Some poems by Neil Aitken, including "Cycling in the Dark":

I sing low and under my breath,
these hymns, words full of longing,
not for anyone else, not even for God,
but for me. For something to hold on to.

[Subject line: "Look to see if I have it in my heart" -- the last line of "Voi che sapete"]

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