Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day 7: From Orthodontia to Elk and Mountain Tops

Our last day before heading home was a busy one. We started with a short visit to the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. I was particularly impressed with the Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery. It had an incredible variety of beautiful arts and crafts for sale at reasonable prices. One of the best shops I've ever been in.

Next we dealt with an orthodontic emergency: Mary Cait had a broken band around a tooth that was causing her great pain. The kind dentist at Alpine Dentistry fixed it in a jiffy and wouldn't even charge us. Restores one's faith in one's fellow man.

We then took the tour at the Celestial Seasonings plant in north Boulder--located appropriately on Sleepytime Drive. We learned much about teas and infusions and had a great time. The stint in the Mint Room (full of raw peppermint) really cleared my sinuses!

Next we set off for Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The park is truly impressive with the longest above-the-tree-line drive in the United States--at least that's my understanding. We walked up several hundred feet from the road near Alpine Pass where we took this photo:

Here was the panorama from that same location:

An unreliable gas gauge gave us a scare, but everything worked out fine and we saw elk on our trip around the back side of the park.

We came back through Idaho Springs, where we had a great pizza dinner at Beau Jo's, and arrived back in Boulder late in the day. Whew! 

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Ten Recommended Classical Recordings: A Sampler for Those New to the Classical Scene

The following is a list of classical recordings that offer a variety of classical genres: opera, symphonies, keyboard, violin concerto, solo cello, piano concerto, and oratorio. Though it is mostly mainstream with respect to the represented composers, it reflects a variety of interesting sounds.

Because the list is intended for someone who is starting to explore classical music many of the recordings are now budget issues. If you have thoughts on the list or would like to pipe in with your own, please do!

1. Mozart: The Magic Flute; Sir Colin Davis, conductor, Staatskapelle Dresden, orchestra; Rundfunkchor Leipzig, choir; Moll, Schreier, Price, Serra, Melbye, Venuti; Philips Duo, recorded in 1985, released on CD in 1994.

2. Beethoven: Symphonies No. 5 and 7, Carlos Kleiber, Wiener Philharmoniker; Deutsche Grammophon, recorded in 1975 and 1976, released on CD in 1996.

3. Bach: Keyboard Pieces, Toccata, BWV 911; Partita BWV 826; English Suite No. 2, BWV 807; Argerich; Deutsche Grammophon, recorded in 1980, released on CD in 2000.

4. Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D; Brahms: Violin Concerto in D; Jascha Heifetz; Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orchestra; RCA, recorded in 1957, released on SACD in 2005.

5. Panorama—Edvard Grieg, two discs of various piano and orchestral works; Deutsche Grammophon Panorama, recorded on various dates, released on CD in 2000.

6. Bach: Six Unaccompanied Suites for Cello; Yo-Yo Ma; Sony, recorded in 1983, released on CD in 1990.

7. Mozart: The Great Piano Concertos, Vol. I—Brendel; Sir Neville Mariner, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; Philips Duo, recorded in 1972-82, released on CD in 1994.

8. Handel: The Messiah; Sir Colin Davis, London Philharmonic Orchestra; Philips Duo, recorded in 1966, released on CD in 1994.

9. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 and Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Martha Argerich, Philips, recorded 1982 and 1980, released on CD in 1995.

10. Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-4 (separate disc one); and Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 5-6 and Orchestral Suite No. 1 (separate disc two), Neville Marriner, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; EMI, recorded in 1985, released on CD in 2004.