Monday, February 5, 2007

Eine kalte Nachtmusik

Nothing doing tonight, which is fortunate, as the temperature is barely in double digits. Block-party weather in the Dakotas, but in these parts a time to burrow in.

What do I listen to on a cold night? This prompts something like the hot-drink-on-a-hot-day, cold-drink-on-a-cold-day dialectic. Do I want to acclimate myself, or ward off the chill?

For acclimating, one might reasonably turn to Scandinavian or Russian music. Somewhere around here, I have an LP of Rued Langgaard’s "Defoliation" Symphony, which I bought years ago for its catchy title but never got around to playing. This could be the night.

Or maybe Mussorgsky’s opera "Khovanshchina," Peter the Great vs. Old Believers, huddled masses, concludes with immolation scene . . .

For warmth without fatalities, I'm thinking Brahms, Elgar, cello, bassoon, baritone. Harmonium?