As good as (better than?) Christmas

I like receiving packages in the mail, especially of stuff I want, so today I hit a triple bonanza:

  • I received (finally!) a big box that I had mailed to myself from Minneapolis at the end of the AGO convention on June 27th. (I’m going to overlook the fact that I sent it Priority Mail on the 27th, and it was apparently received on July 1st at the main post office in Cleveland, but I just got a notice in my mail box yesterday, despite the fact that I’ve checked my mail twice since July 1st. It was obviously just sitting around somewhere at the post office for a week. Nonetheless I’m glad it’s here—I was worried that it was permanently lost.) It was filled with dirty clothes (not important), a pair of Birkenstock sandals (important, but not something I was looking forward to), and a bunch of music that I bought at the convention, including some quite expensive European organ music that is hard to come by in the U.S. (Breitkopf & Härtel editions of Mendelssohn, and an edition of Scheidt keyboard music) plus some choral music.
  • I received the DVD of Paul Festa’s film Apparition of the Eternal Church, with a lovely handwritten note from him. (See previous post about the film)
  • Finally, I received two just-released DVDs of two operas by Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes and Billy Budd. These are the first commercial releases of two films made in the 1960s with Britten’s partner Peter Pears in the starring roles. They both have other members of Britten’s “musical family” in the casts—Heather Harper, John Shirley Quirk, Bryan Drake. I remember that the Peter Grimes film was shone on PBS when I was in high school, but, being in the days before cable TV, the reception on the TV in Scranton, Iowa, was terrible, so I missed most of it. The film of Billy Budd is famous, but I’ve never seen it. I’m glad that Decca and BBC have finally released them. (There are some other titles in the Britten-Pears Collection.)

What a shame I have to go to work tomorrow.  It’s tempting to stay home and watch DVDs.  But I’ll be set for the next few evenings.

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