Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Coupl'a Things XXXVI

1) RIP Yvonne Loriod, French pianist and wife of the late composer Oliver Messiaen who died Monday, May 17, at the age of 86, after years of poor health.

Loriod was born on 20 January 1924 near Paris. She had piano lessons from childhood, as did her sister Jeanne, four and a half years younger. Jeanne Loriod, who died in 2001, became a leading exponent of the electronic instrument the ondes martenot. Long regarded as a brilliant pianist, Yvonne giving monthly recitals as a young girl and by 14 she knew the whole of Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” and all 32 Beethoven sonatas.

Yvonne was Messiaen's second wife. He had fallen in love with her when she was a teenage student of his at the Paris Conservatoire and she was his muse for five decades (they only married in 1961 after the death of Messiaen's first wife, in a sanatorium, after many years of mental illness). Loriod's playing was the inspiration for music from the gigantic cycle Vingt regards sur l'enfant-J├ęsus, for solo piano, to the piano parts of orchestral pieces in the Turangalila Symphony and Des canyons aux ├ętoiles. She also specialized in modern French piano music, being a leading proponent and performer of the piano works of Pierre Boulez.

2) Happy Birthday to Overland Park, KS! On May17th, 1960 voters in the Mission Urban Township approved the motion to form a city, which was made official on May 20th. Just 50 years ago, this sprawling suburb was mostly farm and field. Now it is the second largest city in Kansas behind Wichita with over 175,000 people. When it officially incorporated as a city, it had less than 29,000. Despite the late blooming, it quickly overtook older suburbs such as Olathe, Prairie Village and Lenexa and passed by state capital Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas in population.

We would sometimes like to, but we could not live without you OPKS? Maybe we could with out many of your drivers who never seem to know how to signal or what "one way" means and some of your politicians as well. You are vital to the area and you know it. So enjoy your birthday. Are they serving cupcakes? (inside joke to KC area people.. we sometimes call OPKS and its county "Cupcake County")

Anyway...many more!

3) Move over Susan Boyle, 80 year old Janey Cutler is this year's sensation from Britain. What is with these spunky Scottish ladies and their singing? Must be the pubs and scotch.

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