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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 25, 2012/ 3 Iyar, 5772

A night in the Great Hall

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | LITTLE ROCK -- It's a beautiful sunset, as always, when seen from the Great Hall of the Clinton Library with a glass of wine in your hand and the chamber music about to begin. The anticipation is palpable. Good things are imminent. You can feel it.

Old friends are here and there in the crowd, new friends about to be made. Everything seems suspended in that moment before the first note. We need only find the right key, and all else will follow. Chord after chord. Beauty awaits. We know it.

Silver-haired ladies, lovers of music all, can be seen scattered like sentinels on guard. So long as they're here, there is still continuity, there is still civilization.

This is the last concert of the season. Is it my always pessimistic imagination, or aren't there as many grandes dames as usual in attendance? What will happen when they are gone? A brief shiver runs through me.

The sun is blinding at this time of day through all the glass, a whole wall of it, in the Great Hall, but it will soon set and the music will go on. Sight is a nice complement to sound, just as this chamber is to chamber music. But the visual isn't essential, as comforting and familiar as the sight of Little Rock's snaggle-toothed skyline is outside. It is the music that counts, that changes everything: the day, daily thoughts, daily assumptions.

Music, like style, isn't something that's just applied later, an Extra Added Attraction. It is central. It permeates. It transforms. It changes everything. Wallace Stevens's lines from "The Man With The Blue Guitar" come back:

They said, "You have a blue guitar,

You do not play things as they are."

The man replied,

"Things as they are

Are changed upon the blue guitar."

Tonight's first piece, according to the program, is "Corner in Manhattan" by Michael Torke. We're told it comes complete with taxicab horns. In homage to Gershwin's "An American in Paris." In short, it's been done. I wince. This is going to be awful.

As happens with embarrassing regularity, I am mistaken. The first movement, "Sixth Ave. in the Afternoon," is energetic, engaging, enchanting. Delightful, delicious, de-lovely, as Cole Porter would say. And did.

There's a rhythmic theme to the whole piece, like the Mozartian accompaniment to all those stagecoach rides in Milos Forman's "Amadeus." You don't just hear the hoof beats but feel them. Now you're in Little Rock., Ark., but you're on Sixth Avenue in New York, too.

The impulse behind the music may be derivative, a term now used dismissively. But there is derivative and there is derivative. The difference depends on what a work of art is derived from, and how well. Derive a work from something fine, and it, too, may be fine, even a new and elegant edition of fine. Originality is much overrated in art as in politics, continuation underestimated. As this piece reminds.

Darius Milhaud is next, a composer who wasn't afraid of melody, or even of being popular. He deserves to be. Tonight it's his "Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano. Op. 157b," which isn't anywhere as formidable as its title. Like its overture, it's vif et gai, lively and gay. The way Paris once was.

What a pity nothing can be described as gay any more without a momentary pause, a hesitant moment of self-consciousness. It was a useful, even irreplaceable word, gay. Now it's not the same. The new definition of the word has overwhelmed, distorted, obscured the old. I hate it when that happens; the language has been impoverished, a gap created where there was charm.

Dangerous practice, pinning words on music. But this music remains ... gay. In the original, much-missed sense. Street scenes in Paris unfold in the mind. Women in scarves with string bags. Greengrocers' shops and flower stalls late in the afternoon as everyone hurries home. All is seen as if from high in a bus on its way into town from Orly airport in the mid-1950s, just arrived, when everything is still fresh.

Somewhere an accordion is playing and Maurice Chevalier, eternal boulevardier, is strolling down the Champs Elysee in a straw boater, whistling a tune and forever twirling his cane....

Now it's time for what most of us came for. Schubert's "String Quartet in C Major," which is not just a musical but a spiritual masterpiece. Written just before his death, it would wait long afterward to win a just admiration. Now it has come into its towering own.

Words just get in the way now. Things are no longer as they were. On the cellist's features there is written every impulse of this powerful, profound music. The cellist, transported, transports us. Schubert lives. In the music, in us. Nothing great is ever lost.

Thank you, Quapaw Quartet. Well played. We go home exhilarated. Maybe a little exhausted, too, but elevated. The after-concert coffee is sweet, foamy, rich, delicious. But it cannot match the music. Nothing could.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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