Mahler Das Lied von der Erde. This
famous piece is not typically counted as one of
Mahler’s nine symphonies, but it is really symphonic
in scale and character. It was written after the
death of Mahler’s four year old daughter, taking as
texts some supposedly Chinese poems in German
translation. The overall theme of the poems is of
the beauties of the earth and its eternal cycle of
death and rebirth. I found that it took me a while
to “get” this music, but I now think it’s one of my
favourite works by Mahler.
Howard’s End by E. M. Forster. The novel
is developing apace. It’s hard to believe that the
impending marriage between Margaret Schlegel and Henry
Wilcox will be a glorious success, but at least
Margaret’s personal emotions and feelings seem to
make a deal of sense. She is much more successfully
drawn than Lucy Honeychurch.
A coup in Fiji
There has been an attempted coup in Fiji. I lived for over two years
in Nadi as a young child, and started school there. I can’t really
remember much from that time, and certainly wasn’t aware of the
tension between the native Fijians and the Fijians of Indian descent.
There has already been one coup in Fiji, led by Sitiveni Rabuka in
1987, and the thought of another one plunging the country into chaos
again is very disheartening.
However, this “coup” doesn’t seem to have the
support of the army, and
the President there seems to be holding firm, despite the fact that
much of the rest of the country’s top politicians are being held
hostage in the Parliament in Suva. For example, there are press
releases from the real government at the official web-site.