...Frank Gehry's performing-arts center at Bard College, where I spent the weekend. Bard's Shostakovich Festival continues for another week, the probable highlight being the Fourteenth Symphony with the great Russian bass Nikita Storojev. Fans of the Solomon Volkov controversy will be interested to know that Laurel Fay has uncovered a memo by Shostakovich's close friend Isaak Glikman, reporting that the composer railed against the writing of memoirs in the months before his death. He also asked, "What sort of person is this Solomon Volkov?" A full report will appear in the New Yorker in a couple of weeks.
On Saturday I broke away from the round-the-clock socialist-realist hilarity to visit the other chief cultural destination in upstate New York, the Rodgers Book Barn. It's one of the most delightful used-book stores in the country, not just because of the selection (large, cheap) but because of the adventure of getting there. Study the map closely and watch out for those little signs. I picked up first editions of Isherwood's Prater Violet and Klaus Mann's Pathetic Symphony.
I wrote a brief discography to accompany my Björk profile, which appears in the New Yorker this week but is not yet online. Some more Björkiana will follow later this week.