• Upcoming trips



    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem. Note : this trip has been cancelled altogether because of the damage caused by the hurricanes to the Caribbean islands.

    October 31st - 11 November. Caribbean cruise to break up the winter. Note: The itinerary has not yet been determined owing to the havoc wreaked by the hurricanes.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    October 8 Went to BAM, for the first time since Ethel died, to hear a wonderful modern opera composed and written by Matthew Aucoin called “Crossing”. It is based on Walt Whitman’s experience and the libretto is largely taken from his poetry.

    The story is multi-themed, as modern plays tend to be; the first is a harrowing anti war depiction of the suffering wounded seen through Whitman’s eyes when he volunteered as a nurse during the American civil war; the second is Slavery and its effect upon a run-away slave who fights on the Union side; the third is treachery portrayed by a guilt-laden deserter who spies for the South. And forth, inevitably these days, is the (entirely fictional) homosexual one.

    The powerful music fits the story perfectly and the voices of the lead singers and the chorus is magnificent; Rod Gilfry, bass-baritone, sings the part of Walt Whitman, Alexander Lewis plays John Wormley, the deserter, and Davone Tines, whose baritone reminded me, distinctly, of the sound of the legendary Paul Robeson.  Both Christine and I were extremely moved by the work. We newly discovered Walt Whitman’s poetry, too.

    October 20. Thanks to the invitation of our friend Francia, who is a member, we went to the Diller-Quaile School of Music to listen to a chamber concert given by the Diller-Quaile String Quartet. The program was comprised of Haydn and Debussy quartets; played magnificently by very experienced and talented musicians in an intimate. and perfectly designed, music space. Chatting with the musicians after the concert added to a first class evening.

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Allegro on the Elbe – 6 Dresden

 

Dresden is the capital of Saxony and it is built on both sides of the Elbe. In 1945, it was a town of no strategic importance, full of historic buildings from the XV century onwards. Inexplicably, the Allies flattened the city  with mass bombing raids, destroyed its historic centre, and killed 35,000 of its inhabitants.

Remarkably, while it was part of the GDR,  master stone-masons and artisans of all trades were recruited to rebuild the town in its original form. I hope the following photographs will give some idea of their success. Note that the blackened portions of the buildings and statuary are the serviceable remains of the bombed-out structures which the restorers were able to incorporate in their work.

We drew into the dock in the centre of Dresden at nighttime.

Click on the pictures for detail:

Dresden at night . . . .

Dresden at night . . . .

 

. . . . .. .View from the top deck.

. . . . .. .View from the top deck.

 

Morning  view . . . .

Morning view . . . .

 

 . . . . . .

. . . . . .

 

                                                . . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

 

 . . . . . .

. . . . . .

 

 . . note the wall-length frieze on the left

. . note the wall-length frieze on the left

 

. . . . .detail . . . .

. . . . .detail . . . .

 

 . . . .detail . . . .

. . . .detail . . . .

 

SONY DSC

. . . . . detail , . . . .

 

SONY DSC

Massively carved portico . . .

 

 . . . to think that these have been created by  modern craftsmen within the last 50 years!

. . . to think that these buildings have been created by modern craftsmen within the last 50 years!

 

 . . . . . .

. . . . . .

 

There is fine statuary in every niche . . . .

There is fine statuary in every niche . . . .

 

 . . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

 

 . . .and bronzes everywhere . . .

. . .and bronzes everywhere . . .

 

 . . . . .

. . . . .

 

 . . . . .

. . . . .

 

 . . . . . .

. . . . . .

 

Inner courtyard of the restored Palace

Inner courtyard of the restored Palace

 

 . . . crowded!

. . . crowded!

 

Heroic style

Heroic style

 

Courtyard

Courtyard

 

Medieval style

Medieval style

 

Romantic style.

Romantic style.

 

. . . . . and so, on to Bad Schandau and Swiss Saxony . . . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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