Got Culture?

I, along with many other Americans, don’t “get culture” as much as I should on a regular basis.  (It’s too bad, because it would make us all more civilized.)  That’s why I look back over the last several weeks with some pleasant surprise, and realize I’ve been doing a few more “cultural” things than usual.

One of things I did (along with my family) was bring my mom (an accomplished singer/pianist/educator) to a concert for her birthday.  We all enjoyed the concert immensely, and I asked my mom if she’d like to supply me with commentary for a blog post.  Below are my mom’s comments regarding the “Hearts All Whole” performance by Allison Holst-Grubbe and Michael Korman we attended at the New Britain Museum of American Art, in New Britain, CT (a wonderful museum in and of itself: on 7/10/11:

“What people of the 21st century need is a little serenity that can be derived by listening to classical music of the 19th and 20th centuries.  This, I experienced, by going to a concert at the New Britain Museum of American Art on July 10th.   The two artists who created this mood were Allison Holst-Grubbe, soprano, and Michael Korman, pianist.  The music they performed ranged from 19th century Franz Schubert and Fredric Chopin, to 20th century Claude Debussy and Charles Ives.

Among the songs Allison Holst-Grubbe sang in her beautiful, resonant soprano was one entitled, “Die Forelle” (“The Trout”) by Franz Schubert (1797-1828).  Schubert wrote over 600 songs using the poetry of 19th century poets.  He liked the melody of “Die Forelle” so much that he included it in an instrumental work for piano and strings known as the Trout Quintet.

Just as there are beautiful melodies in songs by Schubert, so can they be heard in the piano music of Chopin as demonstrated by Michael Korman’s beautiful performance of the Nocturne in D Flat Major.    Chopin was known as the poet of the piano.

The serene mood created by the music at the concert matched the view of the local park outside the glass wall of the spacious concert hall.  Twenty-five cyclists, one behind the other, moved as though they were pedaling in time with the music.”


It was a lovely performance in a lovely setting.  And Allison and Michael will be reprising their performance at the end of the month in Sharon, CT.  You may read more here:


Continuing in the “culture” vein, I took in some culture at three museums last weekend when my cousin came to visit.

The Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT is a magnificent place, and its creator and owner, Theodate Pope Riddle, was a remarkable woman.  You can obtain info here:   There are so many beautiful (and incredibly valuable) impressionistic works of art there, including original paintings by Degas, Monet, Manet, and Mary Cassatt.

Amtrak is one of those good things Richard Nixon did with not-the-greatest intentions.  (Remember the EPA?)  Amtrak is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has a traveling train exhibit: . I visited the exhibit with my cousin in New Haven last weekend.  Although I’m not a “foamer” (the derogatory term used to describe train fanatics), I do like trains, and found the exhibit interesting.

Since we were in New Haven, we hit the Peabody Museum in order to see their current exhibit on “Bloodsuckers” ( ), as well as lots of other cool stuff.  (Now, doesn’t that sound cultured?)

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One Response to Got Culture?

  1. Ishmael says:

    you sound sort of stern but with a lot going on underneath and wry and good

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