Entries by Peter Cates

REVIEW POTPOURRI: John Greenleaf Whittier

by Peter Cates John Greenleaf Whittier After barely making ends meet for decades, Quaker poet/abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) hit paydirt in 1866 with the publication of Snowbound, an account of an 1800s family stuck inside the farmhouse during a beautiful blizzard and getting some quality time during its duration. I plan to write about […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Soprano: Mirella Freni

by Peter Cates Soprano: Mirella Freni On Sunday February 9, the soprano Mirella Freni died from the combination of strokes and a degenerative disease she had been suffering for a number of years. I have been a fan of her records ever since first hearing one of her singing a Verdi aria over 50 years […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: The great pianists Peter and Rudolf Serkin

by Peter Cates The great pianists Peter and Rudolf Serkin Peter Serkin (1947-2020) and his father, Rudolf Serkin (1903-1991), achieved fame as classical pianists of immense distinction. I saw each of them perform twice in concert and found their musicianship quite special for different reasons. Before writing about Peter, who died recently of pancreatic cancer, […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

by Peter Cates Shostakovich Symphony No. 13, “Babi Yar” Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) based his 13th Symphony on the poem, ‘Babi Yar,’ by Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1933-2017). Babi Yar is the ravine near Kiev, Ukraine, where over 34,000 Jewish men, women and children were murdered by Nazi Einsatzgruppen death squads during late September 1941. However, […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Gilbert and Sullivan Weekend

by Peter Cates Gilbert and Sullivan Weekend The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company; London, 430144-4, cassette, selections recorded between 1959 and 1973. Playwright Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836-1911) and composer Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900) began a collaboration that produced 14 comic operas from 1871 to 1896, several of which are still produced often around the […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Les Majorettes De Shawinigan

by Peter Cates Les Majorettes De Shawinigan MG-4853; 45 vinyl record, release date unknown. This record came into my possession because of its inclusion in boxes of records doomed otherwise to the dumpster. It doesn’t have the name of any record label, just the listed catalog number, and features the enthusiastic pounding notes of a […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Movie: The Highwaymen (2019)

by Peter Cates The Highwaymen starring Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kim Dickens, William Sadler, Kathy Bates etc.; 2019 film. Can be seen on Netflix. One of the more disturbing elements of cinema, and contributing a little to society’s desensitizing during the last 50 years, has been the stylizing of violence with humor, sophistication, exquisite cinematography […]