A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Little Less Mossy

We music lovers mostly know what some of those notations like piano and fortissimo mean. Even things like Un poco meno mosso. But the Germans (of course) like to do it their own way, with things like sehr lebhaftig. Fortunately, David Pesetsky, a linguistics prof at MIT, has compiled a list of translations of the composer's markings in the score of Mahler's First. It certainly clears up a lot of things about Mahler. I mean, who knew it was all about spit valves?