Arts & Culture


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The Organ of Stambaugh Auditorium
Colin Lynch ’06MusM

Raven, $15.98

On this eclectic and arresting album, Colin Lynch works out on an organ by the early-twentieth-century master E. M. Skinner (responsible for much of the majesty of the Woolsey Hall organ). Lynch pulls out all the stops, almost literally, but wisely does not let his versatility and showmanship overshadow the compositions—or the magnificent instrument at his disposal.


Adé: A Love Story
Rebecca Walker ’92

New Harvest/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $20

“Africa was part of our mythology,” says the protagonist of this slender, rich novel. After graduation from Yale, she and a companion travel to that continent, eventually settling in an out-of-the-way East African island. There, the young woman of Jewish and Christian heritage—who would come to be known as Farida, jewel in Arabic—meets Adé, a Muslim fisherman and wood carver. Farida tries to separate myth from the real Africa as she and Adé attempt to make an unlikely life together.


Hindemith: The Complete Piano Concertos
the Yale Symphony Orchestra (Toshiyuki Shimada, conductor) with Idil Biret

Naxos, $19.98

This is the YSO’s major-label debut, pairing the undergrad symphony with the eminent Turkish pianist Idil Biret; they perform all five of the piano concertos Hindemith composed between 1923 and 1945. (By 1940, Hindemith was teaching at Yale.) These are lively, sometimes explosive performances, Biret’s mannered romantic playing gloriously combining with the often lusty and hotheaded orchestra behind her.


The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future
Paul Sabin ’92, Associate Professor of History

Yale University Press, $28.50

In 1980, biologist Paul Ehrlich made a $1,000 bet with Julian Simon, an economist, about the direction of prices of five metals over the next ten years. Ehrlich said they’d go up, due to scarcity caused by population growth; Simon was convinced that market forces and human ingenuity would drive prices down. Historian Sabin examines the “profoundly different ways of seeing the world” behind the wager—Simon won, incidentally—and calls for a more nuanced view of environmental problems.


Glittering Images: A Journey through Art from Egypt to Star Wars
Camille Paglia ’74PhD

Vintage Books/Random House, $18.95

According to firebrand culture critic Paglia, the fine arts are in mortal peril: criticized by both the left and the right, ignored because of digital technology and “slavishly monitored personal electronic devices.” As a result, our psyches are being “assaulted, coerced, desensitized.” Paglia, to the rescue, offers a quirky collection of images, from an ancient depiction of Queen Nefertari to George Lucas’s Revenge of the Sith, to help the would-be art appreciator “find focus.”


What Makes a Hero? The Surprising Science of Selflessness
Elizabeth Svoboda ’03

Current/Penguin Group, $27.95

When skydiving instructor Dave Hartsock’s primary and back-up parachutes failed to deploy properly in a tandem dive, he calmly positioned himself under his student and partner to break her fall. True heroes—Hartsock, who was paralyzed as a result of his quick action, is certainly one—risk their own lives to save others. Science writer Svoboda (who has written for this magazine) takes readers into labs, schools, and corporate boardrooms to explore why ordinary people do extraordinary things.

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