N is for Nutcracker

The NY Philharmonic plays a section from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker followed by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra playing the Ellington/Strayhorn arrangement of the same section.

You are almost certainly familiar with the music from The Nutcracker, a two-act ballet, with “a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It was given its première at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on Sunday, 18 December 1892… Although the original production was not a success, the twenty-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was.” Jaquandor shared a link to all the music.

The Nutcracker Suite is also “an album by American pianist, composer and bandleader Duke Ellington recorded… in 1960 featuring jazz interpretations of ‘The Nutcracker’ by Tchaikovsky, arranged by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.” Continue reading “N is for Nutcracker”

The June swoon

The big thing, though, was that the Daughter had not one, but two dance recitals.


This has been the busiest June I can remember. I was in charge of the Friends of the Albany Public Library annual meeting, which involved arranging for the speaker, planning a dinner for 20, and getting a plaque made, the latter two of which had more complications than I need to go into here. But it ultimately went off successfully. The best part is that I discovered an old-fashioned drink called a sidecar; I loved it!

Our church is in covenant Continue reading “The June swoon”

The Lydster, Part 77: Dancing Queen

Lydia is the house choreographer.


As I may have mentioned, Lydia has been taking ballet lessons once a week since October 2009. It was almost inevitable, since in the year or two before that, she would move around the room so gracefully and deliberately that people kept asking, “Is she taking dance lessons?”

This was NOT anything that we pushed her into doing, but rather something she asked to do a few times before we relented. While I’m not anticipating her become a prima ballerina, it has instilled in her a sense of confidence she had been lacking. Continue reading “The Lydster, Part 77: Dancing Queen”

Jingle Award: The E-Ticket

I recognize the library as the remedy to all of life’s problems.


Jingle gave me some award, and the rules of the award says – they ALWAYS say – you’re supposed to tell seven things about yourself. Well, OK, but I’m going to cheat and tell a story, with the items thus revealed.

The Wife, at my encouragement, went to see Bill T. Jones at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center a week ago, on Thursday night while I stayed home with the daughter.

1. I appreciate dance, but don’t go out of my way to see it.

I heard about this particular dance about Abraham Lincoln from watching Bill Moyers Journal on PBS.

2. I miss watching Bill Moyers.

My wife went online to order the tickets on Wednesday, but Continue reading “Jingle Award: The E-Ticket”