The post-celebratory day

The fourth installment in the story of my 80th birthday. The core of the story:

The day itself was quiet but pleasant (though I refused to go out of the house for any purpose, since it was a goddamn oven out there). Kim Darnell brought me a large assortment of salmon-based sushi, plus a collection of tartlets, mostly with fruit — enough for two substantial meals, the second of which was my breakfast today. Mostly I spent yesterday responding to birthday wishes, of which there were many hundreds. I know an awful lot of people.

A surprising development was that for this birthday I got not one, but three (different) Jacquie Lawson ecards (charming brief animations developing a scene or story, accompanied by music, usually classical music). Details below.

Preceding installments:

on 9/5 in “The rainbow party dog”:  a rainbow dog in flowers from Ned Deily

on 9/5 in “More for the birds”: astonishing bird-related gifts from Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky

on 9/6 in “Celebratory day”, with comments from readers, colleagues, and former students thanking me for things I have said or written, sometimes quite specific things — wonderful gifts

Jacquie Lawson ecards. For some years now, Benita Bendon Campbell and her husband Ed Campbell have sent me these charming cards on special occasions. For my Ancients birthday, they managed to find something in rainbow-for-gay (the company says it was inspired by the Hindu Holi festival, in which face-painting with bright colors plays a central role) with music by my guy Mozart (his Clarinet Concerto, third movement: Mozart’s music for the clarinet is all delicious, though I think the Clarinet Quintet is a masterpiece). Screenshot from the end of the animation (in which colors are splashed one by one onto a vertical surface):


And then came Rod Williams, with one of the most common types of Lawson animations: one by one, flowers pop up until a whole floral arrangement has been assembled the result in this case (to a Strauss waltz):


The company site provides information on the particular flowers involved and their conventional “meanings” as gifts to someone. In the past, I have sometimes, posted about these in detail

And why do I get this card? Because of my frequent postings on plants, including ornamental flowers. Again, the gift is tailored for me.

Finally, from Helen Aristar-Dry, a world tour (with a seagull as guide), with birthday greetings in the language of each of the countries visited (music: the Berceuse from the Dolly Suite, for piano duo, by Gabriel Fauré). The return home at the end of the trip:


Bonus: the Jussen brothers. Looking up the Dolly Suite, I came across this lovely performance by Lucas and Arthur Jussen, recorded on 7/22/16 in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam — playing a selection from the Dolly Suite, starting with the Berceuse.

On the Jussens, from Wikipedia:

Lucas & Arthur Jussen are a Dutch piano duo.

Lucas Jussen (born 27 February 1993 in Hilversum, in the Netherlands) and Arthur Jussen (born 28 September 1996 also in Hilversum) are brothers who have been performing in public since early childhood and often together as a piano duo.

They are strikingly handsome — and fully aware of their attractiveness, often playing with it in public, as here:


3 Responses to “The post-celebratory day”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    I often say “Everything is better with clarinet”. Although I most commonly say this in connection with the presence of a clarinet in the ensemble playing for a contra or English Country dance, it’s also true of classical music; the Mozart concerto and quintet are among my favorite pieces, and there are orchestral passages in other pieces (some by Mozart, some not) where a featured clarinet gives me especial delight.

    And the Dolly Suite is an absolute gem. I made a pass at playing with a friend a few years ago, and although it was a bit rough (it’s near the outer edge of my technical capability, especially with minimal practice) it was still lots of fun.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      On the Dolly Suite: it sounds easy to play, but is actually quite challenging. What the Jussens achieve is a remarkable delicacy in performance (with the two players fully interwoven with one another), another level past technical competence. When I could play the piano, I loved playing piano duos and two-piano pieces, seeing them as pianists’ chamber music. But such a performance was way beyond me.

      I can still listen with great pleasure, of course.

    • Robert Coren Says:

      Another Mozart masterpiece involving the clarinet, which I have managed to play with moderate success, is the Kegelstatt Trio (piano, clarinet, and viola). (The friend I mentioned playing four-hands with above is also a violist.) Plus Brahms wrote several glorious chamber pieces involving the clarinet late in his life.

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