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  • LIFESTYLE

    Taste of tradition

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 26/10/2012

    » When a friend suggested a visit to the Sri Yaan area this past weekend for an evening meal at a restaurant called Panettone, Ung-aang Talay naturally conjured up images of a table groaning under the weight of an array of antipasti, heaped plates of pasta, a fragrant parmigiana or oreganata dish and, perhaps a pre-seasonal slice of the Italian Christmas bread after which the place was named.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Lowdown on downloads

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 30/10/2012

    » Today, a list of small items and updates. First, Alan Gilbert's recordings with the New York Philharmonic of Nielsen's Second and Third symphonies for the Ondine label, discussed recently in this column and arguably the finest since Bernstein's 1960s version, have now been made available for downloading by the eclassical.com website as 24bit/192kHZ FLAC files. At 2.4GB the programme is a hefty download, but as you listen, every one of those bytes seems to be audible in a form of recorded sound that approaches the ideal. You hear everything, but without any hint of the chilly digital X-ray effect.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Emotional explosion

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 02/10/2012

    » Listeners with really long musical memories might recall the Nielsen boom of the 1960s, or at least some of the recordings that came out of it. Leonard Bernstein seems to have kicked it off internationally with a recording of the Fifth Symphony in the early 1960s which was so exciting that it was much written about and programmed on the radio, hooking a lot of listeners. When he followed through with an equally stunning recorded account of the Third Symphony a few years later, the name of a composer previously rather obscure outside of his native Denmark became well-known, and before long conductors like Ormandy, Kletzki, Morton Gould and especially Jascha Horenstein began filling the catalogue with new recordings of his work, some of them revelatory.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Fruit of the egg

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 05/10/2012

    » There was a time when the Bangkok weekend market was held at Sanam Luang rather than at Chatuchak, and those who remember it as it was then will recall that it had a character very different from now. The tourism frenzy that began in the late 1980s was still many years off, and the great majority of the people who went to Sanam Luang to browse the market were Bangkok locals. It would have been unusual to spend a couple of hours meandering around there without running into someone you knew.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Shocker cools into a Rite of passage

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 18/09/2012

    » A cluster of articles in Sunday's New York Times drew attention to an upcoming anniversary that music lovers have been anticipating for some time now _ the 100th anniversary next year of the riotous Paris premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring on May 29, 1913. One excellent discussion of the work and its birth by Stravinsky authority Richard Taruskin points out that it was Nijinsky's crude choreography rather than Stravinsky's music that caused the audience to rebel, and that there was so much noisy mayhem in the hall throughout that after the first few minutes the orchestra could not even be heard. But there is no denying that The Rite of Spring was a revolutionary score unlike almost anything that had been heard before in a concert hall and, together with Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, premiered the previous year in Vienna, its influence radically changed the course of Western music.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Northern heat

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 21/09/2012

    » A craving for the nuclear heat of southern Thai food has steered Ung-aang Talay to so many southern food shops recently that when some friends suggested a visit to Gedhawa, a restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 35 that specialises in northern cuisine, U-a T leapt at the opportunity for a change.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Surprises from the South

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 31/08/2012

    » Ask a food-savvy Bangkokian to name some southern Thai dishes and you'll usually hear the same list: kaeng tai pla, kaeng lueang, pat sataw, khua kling, khao yam, some kind of fish fried with turmeric _ in other words, the usual. And no wonder, because these dishes, plus a few others, define the boundaries as far as most Bangkok restaurants are concerned.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Bartok bristles with energy

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 04/09/2012

    » Bartok's two sonatas for violin and piano make no attempt to sweet-talk listeners into loving them. With their abrasive harmonies, jagged themes, and atonality only a fraction of an inch away, they ask a lot from both performers and audiences. But Bartok wrote them in the early 1920s at a time when his creative powers were at white heat, firing off one innovative idea after another.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Hot in the city

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 07/09/2012

    » Time really does devour all things, and seems to have an especially voracious appetite for the quality of the food served at once-favourite restaurants. How many times have you gone to a place you once revered but have been away from for a few years only to find that the dish you went back there for, even correcting for the heightened allure imparted by nostalgia, wasn't quite what it once was?

  • LIFESTYLE

    For the love of larb

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 27/07/2012

    » Once upon a time in Bangkok, som tum was referred to a sugary papaya salad served with coconut rice. In the misty past it was a lunchtime favourite among society women who used to munch it at Dachanee or on the porch of the old Sorn Daeng.

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