Monday, August 10, 2009

Friends in high places

My Facebook friend Ivan Ilic turned up in the New York Times! He is quoted in a story on the evils of piano competitions.

"The system is broken," the story quotes my friend Ivan as saying.

Tell 'em, Mr. Ilic!

Once I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal in a story about the, ahem, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs. I had a good time at that competition and I believe the fun I was having showed in the quotes I gave the journalist writing the story.

By which I mean, I do not remember one thing I said!

I do have the story around somewhere. One day I will read it and find out what I said.

What if I said, "The system is broken"?

I do not think I said that. But you can never be sure.

So today I bask in Ivan Ilic's reflected glory. Not only that, but last week Ivan Ilic sent me chocolate. That is because I kvetched on one of my Web logs that he had sent chocolates to some British music critic, I forget which one, all I remember is the critic was a woman and she was British.

The kvetcher shall inherit the earth. That is the truth! Because after I kvetched Ivan Ilic sent me chocolates! He sent me Lindt A La Pointe de Fleur de Sel. It was dark chocolate with pieces of salt. Howard ate most of it because of my braces but in spite of my tooth situation I managed to get through a couple of squares.

Now I am trying to figure out what Buffalo chocolate to send Ivan Ilic in return. He lives in Bordeaux. Maybe I will go with our town's signature orange chocolate from Niagara Chocolate. If any Buffalonians have any other suggestions I would love to hear them.

That is Ivan Ilic pictured up above. I first encountered him because one Saturday he had been reading my Web log and he called to talk about Godowsky. That was the greatest. Sitting around in my pajamas talking with Godowsky with a concert pianist in Bordeaux whom I did not even know. Aside from my time with Leonard Pennario I do not think I ever felt cooler in my life. I like myself when I am talking with a concert pianist about Godowsky. I like myself more in that situation than when I am at the Broadway Market trying to get the butcher to notice me. Or when I am being reprimanded at the library.

Here is a piece by Leopold Godowsky I love. It is an arrangement of Saint-Saens' "The Swan," which, everyone will probably recognize this melody. Godowsky adds all these other notes so it sounds like wind chimes. That is what I hear anyway.

Where am I going with this? Monday mornings, this always happens to me. I ramble on and on and then I start listening to something. And all of a sudden the day is shot.

Oh, right! I was talking about friends of mine who are in the media. Ivan Ilic is not the only one!

Our padre over at St. Anthony of Padua, Father Secondo Casarotto, he made it onto a high-profile international Catholic Web log and he caused a big argument and everyone is buzzing about that! Here is a picture of Padre Secondo.

This Web log Father Secondo made it onto is run by a priest named Father Z. The Z is for Zuhlsdorf. Father Z used to be a Lutheran. There is a whole post about Father Secondo and that is because of incendiary comments he made in our bulletin about giving blessings in the Communion line. Wow, look at those dozens of comments! Father Secondo is from Milan and he likes a good fight.

Here is a picture I took of Father Secondo in Niagara Square, giving our government officials a piece of his mind.

"A blessing at Communion time creates confusion and is a countersign about the purpose of the Communion procession." That is one of Father Secondo's arguments as quoted on Father Z's Web log.

Tell 'em, Padre!

Ivan Ilic and Padre Secondo, they are quite an inspiration this morning.

They make me want to go forth and tell 'em!


Larry said...

Inspiration is always good!

Budd Bailey said...

Nothing says Buffalo like sponge candy.