Monday: occasionally sublime silent filmmaking up to and including this scene
but hell thereafter
D. W. Griffith's monstrous-fascinating, ultimately unforgivable 1915 epic The Birth of a Nation, from Civil War to Klu Klux Klan, released on Eureka DVD.
Tuesday: dazzling total theatre
Chiwetel Ejiofor (pictured left with Daniel Kaluuya as Joseph Mobuto) gives a towering performance as Patrice Lumumba in Joe Wright's hyper-imaginative production of Aimé Césaire's A Season in the Congo at the Young Vic.
Wednesday - unique opera salon - and Friday - public performance, almost as sublime
Renée Fleming, by no means the only great thing about the Royal Opera's concert performance of Strauss's Capriccio.
Wednesday afternoon: noble portraiture
Franz Hals's portrait of an unknown man, seen in a quick visit to the National Gallery to look at the paintings on loan from Birmingham University's Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Room One.
Thursday: transcendental pianism
Yevgeny Sudbin surpasses himself in Liszt and Scriabin at the Wigmore Hall.
Saturday matinee: beyond-bad drama
Gabriel, a dire new play by Samuel Adamson at Shakespeare's Globe only partly redeemed by trumpeter Alison Balsom and Purcell's music.
Saturday evening: first-class conducting, singing and playing, music so-so
Antonio Pappano conducts his superb Accademia di Santa Cecilia forces in second-drawer Verdi at the Proms.
Sunday: a much-needed day off, including quality time with J's adorable godson Frankie, his brother Charlie and dad Nick Hills from Amsterdam lounging around the Victoria and Albert Museum's courtyard pool (the perfect place if you have to be in central London on a baking day). J went to the second performance of Capriccio and, I'm relieved to say, loved every minute of it.
Thanks, anyway, to The Arts Desk for making most of my visits possible. And for that same institution I'm soon to plunge into the wretched Albertine colosseum again for the first two instalments of Wagner's Ring as conducted by Barenboim. Siegfried and Götterdämmerung will be sacrificed to The Turn of the Screw and A Midsummer Night's Dream up in north Norfolk at the weekend*, by which time Donner will have swung into action and our glorious heatwave will have crumbled into rainy days, I'm told.
Consequently I thought I'd throw in one of Frederic Church's admirable sketches, much better than his (over) finished paintings and previously in the NG's Room One before the Barber selection took over, of cumulo-nimbus clouds over his home, Olana, for Sue. As she knows, I and New York friend John Morris experienced an almighty storm up there, from which we sheltered in the porch, watching the fork lightning all over the Hudson Valley.
As for the end of our summer idyll here, never mind; we've had our vision and everyone except harrassed mothers seems to be the sunnier of temper for it.
*23/7 Now that I'm reeling from the diamond-cut magnificence of the Rheingold, I'm sorrier than I thought I would be about missing the last two instalments. But that doesn't stop me anticipating the Brittenfest with the keenest pleasure.
Photo credits: A Season in the Congo: Johan Persson; Capriccio: Catherine Ashmore; Yevgeny Subin: Clive Barda; Gabriel: John Haynes; Pappano at the Proms: Chris Christodoulou