Sunday, August 31, 2008

The joy of accomplishment

Every Sunday I take stock of what I have accomplished over the last week. Here are a few things on this week's list, along with the Satisfaction Points I gained from them.

Reworked Chapter One of my book on Leonard Pennario: 3 points

Read thoroughly all of composer Miklos Rozsa's letters to Pennario: 5 points

Wrote letter to Gramophone Magazine about the obit they ran on Pennario: 6 points

Cleaned toilet: 65,000 points

What screwed-up priorities I have! I guess I forgive myself. After all, the more onerous the task, the more satisfaction at having completed it. But it makes me fear for the future.


Find publishing house to give me big fat record-breaking advance for my book on Leonard Pennario: 50 points

Subsequently buy Knox Mansion: 60 points

Am approached by my favorite singer, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, begging me to write his biography next: 75 points

See needle on scale slip below 140 pounds: 1,150,000 points

Ha, ha! Do check out that Fischer-Dieskau link when you can clear your head for a minute. Also read the listeners' comments. I love how one person identified as "Sarah Vaughan Fan" comments: "Awesome." Someone else writes: "Holy crap. The last two lines made me cry."

Well, back to the real world. Yesterday I got an email from Edward Summer, the head of the Buffalo International Film Festival, the group that brought us "Gone With The Wind" at the Riviera. He wanted to thank me for what I wrote in my blog yesterday! What a gentleman! I wanted to make like Scarlett O'Hara at the barbecue and say, "Why, Edward. You came all the way from North Tonawanda just to break my poor heart." But I was not sure he would get the joke.

Edward was nice enough to ask me if I would like to offer input about what movies I might want to see in the future.

How about a series called "The Favorite Films of Leonard Pennario"? Pennario had great taste. Meaning, he liked the same movies I did. There was this great old movie called "I Know Where I'm Going." We used to go around singing the title song all the time. After "I Know Where I'm Going" the series could continue with movies featuring his big three: Greer Garson, Irene Dunne and Loretta Young. Often of an evening Pennario and I would talk about his dancing with Loretta Young. That was a very important memory of his. He had this beautiful picture of her on his wall and when he looked at it his eyes would glow.

"The Favorite Films of Leonard Pennario." It would give me some satisfaction, getting a series like that going.

Maybe not quite as much as cleaning the toilet, but still.


Anonymous said...

Fischer-Dieskau has perhaps one rival for interpretation of Die Winterreise: my favorite tenor, Peter Schreier. Best diction and German phrasing in the business. Also the best Bach Evangelist ever.

(Don't mind the video synchronisation.)

Anonymous said...

For the Fischer Dieskau link after the Pennario: Noch einmal viel danke.

I haven't heard the harrowing "Gute Nacht" in a long time. It brings back memories of my yonger years.

I know the first performance of this cycle was given by Schubert himself, when he played and sang them to a group of friends shortly before his death. One listener told him he didn't like them, but Schubert knew their worth. He replied that they were the best songs he had written.