The squirrel caught the peanut...

In its mouth, with the help of its front paws (legs?). I was impressed and amused: a lovely beginning to a Monday. Although of course the day actually began with Matins and Lauds hours ago et cetera. It's the feast of Saint Peter of Alcántara, about whom I know no more than what was said the lessons at Matins: a reformer of the Franciscans, supporter of Saint Teresa, splendid in his works and miracles and humility (he refused the court office of confessor to Charles V).

There is a discussion of the project to replace the federal guidelines for architecture (that resulted, e.g., in the ugly box that is the new federal courthouse here in Eugene) at 1100 which I may listen to, at the website of the American Enterprise Institute. It's the National Civic Art Society's show, I think.

Kevin Kenner, piano, Slawomir Roslach, double bass, and Apollon Musagète Quartet perform Chopin's Concerti nos 1 and 2 at 1030 in Warsaw; I believe this is the final concert in the series 'Before the Grand Competition' i.e. with which the Chopin Institute has replaced the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition, postponed until next October.  

And the Hungarian Bartók Radio is broadcasting a concert of Grieg, Bruch, and Franck later on at 1935 their time, which is probably going to prove to be 1030 here, ahem, as indeed appears to be the case. I can listen to the Kenner et al, recorded, later on.

Why is the squirrel chewing up the carpet that is outdoors on the deck? At first I thought it was taking fabric threads for its nest-- is that what one says?-- and perhaps that's what it was up to. But its mouth or cheeks were not obviously stuffed. It or its brethren will gnaw at the dog's bones; that happens quite frequently but I've never heard or seen it mangling that carpet. At first, hearing the odd noise, I wondered if it wasn't a pair of something mating: which, since this spot is more or less directly in line with the sliding door kept open for the use of the dog, seemed to me a surprising choice of location. Perhaps the squirrel was simply taunting the dog. 

Post Tertiam. Am listening to the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra's concert, conducted by Gergely Vajda-- which is Gregory, outside Hungary. Grieg's Peer Gynt, Max Bruch's Concerto for Clarinet, Viola, and Orchestra in E minor op 88 (he dedicated it to his son, also Max, who was clarinetist at the premiere in 1912), and then César Franck's Symphony in D minor, dedicated to Henri Duparc and first performed in February 1889.


Have realised that while I love the music of Chopin I'm not the passionate fanatic, suffused with the Romantic and (sometimes) patriotic ardor, that some folks are: I belong to the Chopin Institute Facebook page and read the comments on their livestreams and while one learns a great deal, of course, one is forced to acknowledge one's own... deficiencies of taste and emotion.

The New York Times's 'Spelling Bee' game-- it is the lesser newspaper comics pages' 'Word Jumble' adapted to the empyrean standards of the Times, pft-- is sometimes quite irritating, chiefly because of the words they will recognize as words and those they won't. 'Journo' e.g. took me to 'genius' level this morning; the other day I spiked my blood pressure reacting to their refusal to acknowledge 'glycine'-- which, additionally, was a pangram, using all seven letters in the one word. (Glycine was not the actual word, which I cannot remember; some sort of science-y one, though.)  I used to email them about their iniquitous choices every time I found a word that they disallowed but have given that up as being an utter waste of time: it relieved my feelings the first several times I did it but eventually ceased being effective at that. There are days when the nonsense is irritating simply because I find too few words.

Not everyone will find the the music criticism of Damian Thompson to be the bee's knees but (thanks to Isaac Sligh at the New Criterion, where I'm slowly catching up after having been away for six months or so) I read his essay on Mily Balakirev, republished from the Spectator in the US Spectator and went to investigate the CD edition he was writing about, by the pianist Nicholas Walker. It is sold out at Presto. Whether there is some connection or not, I've no idea. I'd never listened to any Balakirev but the first three of the six Walker CDs are at Spotify (the sixth was released last month). Balakirev himself was a crazy old fellow, both literally and figuratively, I guess.