It's that time of year again

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jbuck919
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It's that time of year again

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:38 am

Wikipedia may not be perfect (what is?), but it is far superior to any print encyclopedia ever created except in a historical sense. (The original encyclopedia by Diderot and the classic 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica with music articles by Donald Francis Tovey will forever remain on the shelves of research libraries, I hope.) It is not free to maintain. They are now conducting their annual fund drive, and apparently if everyone who uses it contributed a mere three dollars it could continue forever. Thanks to John F for originally bringing this up several years ago. I just made my contribution, more than three dollars, and I never contribute to anything, not even NPR. Consider it.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Belle
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by Belle » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:56 am

I disagree; I've read some egregious stuff on Wiki and the entries often bear the prejudices of the writers in a blatant manner. Who writes on there and what are their credentials? Anyone can log on and edit an entry. The musicologist I met in Vienna 2 years ago agreed with me about the problem but said that her university had some 'gate-keepers' who tried to keep musical entries accurate.

Certainly won't contribute to it; would rather donate to charities and medical research.

John F
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by John F » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:55 am

I've made my contribution. Heaven knows I use Wikipedia often enough, sometimes several times a day. Most people in the world can't afford a print encyclopedia, which anyway is out of date the moment it rolls off the press. Wikipedia can be and usually is not just up to date but up to the minute. The entry for Carol Neblett had the date of her death before it hit the newspapers.

Of course it isn't perfect; some of the entries for performing artists read like puff pieces from their managers. But even these are useful as information sources. Whenever I come across an outright error, I edit the entry to correct it, and so, I presume, do the "gatekeepers" Belle mentions. But a formal comparison of Wikipedia's and Britannica's articles on topics in the natural sciences did not show either to be more reliable than the other, and the articles on major notables, when I'm qualified to judge (e.g. Mozart), are often professional quality.

For better or worse, and mostly for better, Wikipedia has become indispensable. Those who believe that people should verify facts in an encyclopedia (obviously this doesn't include certain American politicians :x ) ought to support it.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by Belle » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:10 pm

How do you think Wiki compares to the Grove? Even though that's 'out-of-date' when it hits the presses (as would be most books in a university library - but nonetheless still completely relevant), I believe it provides the benchmark with regard to music history in terms of its authors and scholarship. Many of the names JohnF has mentioned were contributors to the Grove.

Absolutely agree about its usefulness in terms of the kinds of information you mention. :D

jbuck919
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:26 pm

Listen, folks, I've edited a number of Wiki articles. Originally they called Schubert's Opus 1 "Der Erlkönig,"when it is just "Elkönig," Did I have to document that? No. The article itself showed the first page of the holograph with the correct title. Similarly, they got the text of the Ave Maria, which has no bearing on Schubert's setting of the Walter Scott poem, laughably wrong. This old Catholic boy corrected it from memory. Wikipedia puts up warnings about shortcomings in documentation and dubious intent. Sometimes they are unfair, sometimes they are fair, but not much gets by them.

The new Grove remains an important resource, as do many print items. But just ask a high school student to research a topic with something other than Wikipedia. The advantage is that the teacher can easily find out if the student's work is out-and-out plagiarism, which used to be much more difficult.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Belle
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by Belle » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:11 pm

Can 'this old Catholic boy' hear Schubert at the very end of this lied? This old Catholic girl thinks she can!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqlSOjlL2YA

lennygoran
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by lennygoran » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:12 pm

Belle wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:10 pm
How do you think Wiki compares to the Grove?
Belle I bought Grove hard cover and on/line many years ago--I have access to their yearly updates on/line-still for me in most cases Wiki gets it done. For politics there's CNN and Lawrence O'Donnell. Regards, Len :D

jbuck919
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:03 pm

Belle wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:11 pm
Can 'this old Catholic boy' hear Schubert at the very end of this lied? This old Catholic girl thinks she can!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqlSOjlL2YA
When Schubert died, it is said that Schumann wept. This is remarkable. They lived in utterly separate parts of the German-speaking world and never met, and Schubert was all but unknown except very locally when he died. Although along with Beethoven he had a funeral oration written by Grillparzer, he was the classic case of a poor artist living in a garret.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Belle
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by Belle » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:41 pm

I've been meaning to ask you before; I saw "Great Railway Journeys of the USA" with Michael Portillo the other night and the trip followed the Hudson River to Albany, but went through Poughkeepsie first. Do you live up that way because it looks totally wonderful right there. Vassar College - we saw that and a glorious building which is used by the town council, I'm sure in Albany.

John F
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by John F » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:46 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:26 pm
Listen, folks, I've edited a number of Wiki articles. Originally they called Schubert's Opus 1 "Der Erlkönig,"when it is just "Elkönig."
Many articles and books from reputable authors and publishers make that kind of mistake. They have "Die Winterreise" when Schubert's title is "Winterreise," "Die Götterdämmerung" when Wagner's title is "Götterdämmerung, "I Pagliacci" when Leoncavallo's title is "Pagliacci," and so on. By the way, Wikipedia has all of these correct with no assist from me.

I have the second edition of the New Grove, all 29 volumes and five shelf feet of it, about a yard from my right elbow as I sit at my computer (weary and ill at ease 😉 ). I also have the New Grove Dictionary of Opera, 4 volumes in the print edition; Kutsch & Riemens's Grosses Sängerlexikon, 7 volumes, print edition; the World's Encyclopaedia of Recorded Music (3 volumes, print edition); Myers's Index to Record Reviews (5 volumes); and other space-consuming standard reference works, including three shelves of discographies. Yet for informal purposes such as posting in CMG, or when I need the information to be absolutely up to date, I look in Wikipedia first, and if I see nothing obviously wrong with what I find there, which is usually the case, I look no further.

P.S. I've just talked myself into making a second contribution. :D
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:23 am

Belle wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:41 pm
I've been meaning to ask you before; I saw "Great Railway Journeys of the USA" with Michael Portillo the other night and the trip followed the Hudson River to Albany, but went through Poughkeepsie first. Do you live up that way because it looks totally wonderful right there. Vassar College - we saw that and a glorious building which is used by the town council, I'm sure in Albany.
I don't know exactly how to respond to that. I know every mile of the Hudson River, and still live within walking distance of it. (The only reason I have never seen the confluence of Stony Creek and the Hudson is that I would be trespassing on private property.) Vassar is indeed in Poughkeepsie, but that is far south of Albany. The Hudson is navigable by major ships up to the point where it meets its most important tributary, the Mohawk River, in Troy, not far from Albany. I am way north of there.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Belle
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by Belle » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:25 am

It was a train journey in Program 5 listed on the Wiki entry below. Several stops were made and places explored and I remember the Catskills being one destination. Several times you saw the train running alongside the river. The series follows long train journeys based on early 20th century travel diaries and the same program explored European rail journeys and Britain by rail. All three series are excellent:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Ame ... d_Journeys

lennygoran
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by lennygoran » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:40 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:23 am
Belle wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:41 pm
Vassar is indeed in Poughkeepsie, but that is far south of Albany.
Belle, John, we've stayed there quite a few times-the motel prices on rte 9 can be reasonable and there are some nice restaurants-it's also close to Hyde Park which has the food CIA! There's the bridge over the Hudson which we've done a few times. Still the downtown area needs a lot more work. We ride down to the park right by the Hudson for the view. Regards, Len

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Belle
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by Belle » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:05 am

Beautiful!! Yes, I recognize some of those bridge images from the program. My son and his fiance did a lot of rail travel earlier this year in your country and absolutely loved it. (They've just bought an exotic cat and called it Monti, short for Monticello.) I can see we are going to have to pay a visit ourselves to the US north east and into Canada. Perhaps later next year as I'm hoping we can go to Vienna again in September and come back via the US.

lennygoran
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by lennygoran » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:02 am

Belle wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:05 am
Perhaps later next year as I'm hoping we can go to Vienna again in September and come back via the US.
Belle that would be good! Regards, Len

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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by Belle » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:08 pm

Do you actually get that Michael Portillo railway series in the USA? It's absolutely excellent. Portillo is a former Conservative British MP and a huge railway enthusiast. In the European series he follows the route of the "Bradshaw Travel Guide" from circa 1905 and this makes for a fascinating comparison between then and now. As somebody who has travelled thousands of km through Scandinavia and Europe by rail I can attest to the general appeal of that form of travel. The best journey, so far, was between Bergen and Oslo during winter 2 years ago. I remember reading in the Brahms biography that there were 4 classes on trains in Germany back then - the 4th class being like a cattle truck where you actually stood up.

In 2 weeks we're off to the south island of New Zealand on an extended trip from Christchurch (no earthquakes please) to Dunedin and also the Franz Josef Glacier, Milford Sound etc. Christmas in New Zealand, being waited on....and no heat!! Joy.

John F
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by John F » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:10 pm

Unfortunately we don't get that series. There are several other series on various cable TV channels, and I watch them all - I'm a fan, though not a train-spotter. :) Have in mind a rail trip to New Orleans and back next spring, on an overnight train called the Silver Crescent. For most people, New Orleans would be the objective of such a trip, and they'd probably fly. For me, the ride's the thing, and New Orleans is a bonus, a great big bonus.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by Belle » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:12 pm

Mmmm.."Silver crescent"!! 8) Is that a reference to anyone over 55? It sounds like a wonderful trip to New Orleans and, you're right, flying over a place is only a means to an end. It intrigues me that you have no rail platforms and a little step-ladder has to be used for people accessing or leaving your trains. We met some terribly interesting people on our long train journeys in the past, including an artist from Berlin who talked to me non-stop from Munich to Leipzig. What a great sense of humour he had too. The pleasures of more leisurely train travel are many. Actually, you can do that train journey from Bergen to Oslo (to which I earlier referred) without leaving your home:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xisVS_DKpJg

Michael Palin did some rail journeys for television, but I prefer the knowledgeable, elegant and classy Michael Portillo. With Palin it's usually all about him, but for Portillo it's always about the trains and the places. And, apart from trains, there's an excellent series about food in Europe with Gerard Depardieu; that man is in danger of exploding, absolutely loves his food and is a bon vivant. I'm a big fan.

lennygoran
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by lennygoran » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:12 pm

Belle wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:08 pm
Do you actually get that Michael Portillo railway series in the USA? It's absolutely excellent.
It sounds great-I do hope it will get to us eventually! Regards, Len

http://www.wmht.org/railroadjourneys/

jbuck919
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:31 pm

John F wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:10 pm
Unfortunately we don't get that series. There are several other series on various cable TV channels, and I watch them all - I'm a fan, though not a train-spotter. :) Have in mind a rail trip to New Orleans and back next spring, on an overnight train called the Silver Crescent. For most people, New Orleans would be the objective of such a trip, and they'd probably fly. For me, the ride's the thing, and New Orleans is a bonus, a great big bonus.
I don't want to discourage you, except that this is exactly what I am about to do. I visited New Orleans many years ago because my college friend Ted, whom some of you met, was teaching at a school there. It was a gigantic disappointment. The Quarter is entirely over-rated, and the only interesting site was the Cathedral of St. Louis. Since it happened to be Good Friday, I did not even get to tour that as services were in progress. A dozen purple-clothed bishops is an impressive sight, but it did not make up for everything else. As for the train ride, it is difficult to imagine any significant scenery between NYC and New Orleans.

The only long-distance train trip I ever took was in the opposite direction, on the discontinued Montrealer, where I had a convertible cabin in which I could sleep. I picked up my sister, my eternal traveling companion, in Essex, Vermont, and we had a wonderful two days in Montreal, which however is a nice city to live in, but who would want to visit there? (I wish I were there now. It would take me about a month to gain fluency in Canadian French, and I'd be free of the nightmarish political situation in the US.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by John F » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:11 pm

Haven't we had this conversation before? I believe I said that that if NOLA's restaurant chefs still know how to cook the local specialties, I'll be happy. I've been to New Orleans twice and as with Vienna and London, the ambiance and the spirit of the people you meet pleases me. One of those times I rode the Silver Crescent, so I know what to expect of it too. So nothing you've said discourages me.
John Francis

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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by AlanM » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:16 pm

I just donated three dollars to wikipedia. Very simple for me. I did it via Amazon.com. They billed me via my account in Amex. I may send a little more now that I see how easy it is.

Belle
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by Belle » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:29 pm

John F wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:11 pm
Haven't we had this conversation before? I believe I said that that if NOLA's restaurant chefs still know how to cook the local specialties, I'll be happy. I've been to New Orleans twice and as with Vienna and London, the ambiance and the spirit of the people you meet pleases me. One of those times I rode the Silver Crescent, so I know what to expect of it too. So nothing you've said discourages me.
My son and his fiance loved New Orleans earlier this year when they visited, which they got to by train. A friend of a friend in our music group has spent a lot of time there as he's a jazz musician. Go for it, John!!

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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by John F » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:20 am

Belle wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:12 pm
Mmmm.."Silver crescent"!! 8) Is that a reference to anyone over 55?
:D No, one nickname for New Orleans is the Crescent City, because the city was originally built at a sharp bend in the Mississippi River. Its better known nickname is the Big Easy, and I like that.
Belle wrote:It intrigues me that you have no rail platforms and a little step-ladder has to be used for people accessing or leaving your trains.
Actually, most American train stations have platforms built up to the level of the doorways. Those in small towns or where few trains stop may not. If you were traveling to where my brother lives in suburban New Jersey, you could get off the train in Chatham, which has no platform, or the next station, Summit, which has one.
Belle wrote:Michael Palin did some rail journeys for television, but I prefer the knowledgeable, elegant and classy Michael Portillo. With Palin it's usually all about him, but for Portillo it's always about the trains and the places.
Michael Palin's series ran on American public TV, no doubt because Americans know him from "Monty Python's Flying Circus." Few of us here have heard of Portillo. "Public" TV here is actually independent of the government and depends mainly on private funding, by corporations, foundations, and viewer contributions; they need to get good viewer numbers to satisfy the underwriters of most of their programming. Name recognition has much to do with it.
Belle wrote:And, apart from trains, there's an excellent series about food in Europe with Gerard Depardieu; that man is in danger of exploding, absolutely loves his food and is a bon vivant. I'm a big fan.
That series hasn't run in the US, I believe, though such programs are popular and numerous here on the Food and Travel cable channels. Anthony Bourdain had several series with different names but essentially the same format and often in exotic places. Presently it's Andrew Zimmern whose series is weekly on the Travel Channel. Zimmern made his name with the series "Bizarre Foods," in which he'd eat anything not actually poisonous; the series I speak of is more palatable and is called "Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations." Nothing at all bizarre about the food and eateries in that program, it's all about name recognition again. Bourdain and Zimmern both did nice programs about Vienna, and while neither of them hit my favorite places there, the ones they featured were known to me and good, representative choices.
Last edited by John F on Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by lennygoran » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:35 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:31 pm
The Quarter is entirely over-rated,
John not for us-we liked it! Regards, Len

jbuck919
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:23 am

lennygoran wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:35 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:31 pm
The Quarter is entirely over-rated,
John not for us-we liked it! Regards, Len
Part of me does not wish to grace any Red state with my tourist dollars. Nevertheless, I se e your point (and that of John F). I visited the Quarter in the evening, when its main significance was public drunkenness, drinking in the open being still legal in Louisiana. As you know, there really is a streetcar named Desire (they pronounce desiré such), as well as a Chartres Street which is pronounced Charters. Does this mean that Cajun French is dead? No it does not. When I was in college, I met a famous multilingual Jesuit priest who told me that he must have heard as many confessions in New Orleans in French as he did in English. Rambling on, Jesuit colleges for all their numerocity in the US (and this includes Georgetown) are not known for their music departments. The one exception in the entire country is Loyola in New Orleans, which has an excellent music department.

As for the food,I can see going there for only that purpose. The old Great Chefs series on PBS began with Great Chefs of New Orleans. Zagat has a separate guide to the city for reasons of cuisine. Emeril Lagasse, the current guru of that kind of cooking, is actually a transplanted Bostonian. I would return there in a cold minute if I knew that someone would host me at a different restaurant every night. I just hope that John F will have company so that he need not eat alone.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by lennygoran » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:25 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:23 am
I visited the Quarter in the evening...As for the food,I can see going there for only that purpose. The old Great Chefs series on PBS began with Great Chefs of New Orleans. Zagat has a separate guide to the city for reasons of cuisine.
John yes we used the Zagat Guide and ate both traditional and innovative cooking-just wonderful! We loved walking in the French quarter most days we were there but there were other things to do as well-we had great weather-mid April. Regards, Len

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Re: It's that time of year again

Post by John F » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:15 pm

If it makes a difference, Orleans Parish (essentially New Orleans) voted solid blue last year, 80% or more Democratic. So I think we should all go down there and spend like mad to reward them for fighting the good political fight against the rednecks upstate. :D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... iana,_2016
John Francis

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