Entries by Gordon Gerrard

Fitness Advice from Edwardian England

This whole fitness thing is a bit exhausting. Every time I check my Facebook or Twitter feed, I am bombarded with ads showing impossibly toned people doing all sorts of intimidating feats at the gym. Their chiseled six-pack abs feature prominently, and those of us who are naturally a little more soft-edged are apparently supposed […]

Mendelssohn and the bloody Scots

From what I can gather, 16th century Scotland may have been a challenging place to live. Granted, I expect that for people who are a bit soft like me, 16th century anywhere would not have been a walk in the park. If you need to be reminded of some of the rather gory details particular […]

Razumovsky’s faulty flue

According to my Starbucks order, it’s now officially the holidays. Of course, I’m not one to judge, but appropriate planning should have begun by now. Christmas will be a high priority for many of you. For our American friends, Thanksgiving is a major hurdle yet to be cleared. Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are also fast approaching. […]

Swindlers, mountebanks and Mozart’s Requiem

Keeping up with the news lately has been a grim undertaking. It’s hard to be entirely objective about this, but it does seem to me that the customary gloom and doom of headlines has been ratcheted up a few notches. By way of intentional contrast then, allow me to highlight one recent news bite that […]

Tchaikovsky and the dead cat

You would be hard pressed to find a musician out there who doesn’t appreciate a standing ovation. There are those who will pooh-pooh the practice, lamenting that giving a standing O seems to have almost become mandatory for anyone who isn’t monstrously ungenerous. But I am a strong advocate of you audience members expressing yourselves […]

Copland and modern pioneering

It’s abundantly clear to me that I would have made a terrible pioneer. The notion that my forebears eked out an existence here—especially here!—in eighteen-something-or-other inspires both tremendous awe and sheer terror in me. Had I been the one forced to find and/or kill my food and to rely on my questionable dexterity to create […]

Stravinsky and TED Talks by Kermit the Frog

Recently I watched Kermit the Frog do a TED Talk. If this piques your curiosity, the talk is easy enough to find online. Kermit’s addition to the TED canon is called “The Creative Act of Listening to a Talking Frog,” and it’s not bad. I guess I had assumed that my days of learning life […]

When Mozart’s Ass Was Burning

I am trying to recall the last time I received an actual, honest-to-goodness letter. Emails don’t count and neither does the reassuringly consistent correspondence I receive from the Canada Revenue Agency. (Don’t worry, I have paid my taxes.) No, I mean letters, on tree-derived paper, from friends, relatives or significant others; the kind with sentences, […]