Tag Archives: London

What was that tune again?…PAPEL DE LIJA (SANDPAPER). L. Anderson. Dir.: Andrés Salado. Percu.: Alfredo Anaya y Alberto Román: make music part of your life series


PAPEL DE LIJA (SANDPAPER). L. Anderson. Dir.: Andrés Salado. Percu.: Alfredo Anaya y Alberto Román.

FROM:

Saint Saens – Piano conc.No.2 – Arthur Rubinstein: great compositions/performances


Saint Saens – Piano conc.No.2 – Arthur Rubinstein

this day in the yesteryear: New London Bridge Opens (1831)


New London Bridge Opens (1831)

The London Bridge of nursery-rhyme fame was built around 1200. Damaged by many fires over the years, it was replaced with a new, five-arched, granite bridge in 1831. The New London Bridge spanned the city’s River Thames for over a century. In 1968, American entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch purchased and reconstructed the bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where it has since become Arizona’s second biggest tourist attraction after the Grand Canyon. How much did McCulloch pay for the bridge? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Daniel Defoe Placed in a Pillory (1703)


Daniel Defoe Placed in a Pillory (1703)

Although Defoe achieved literary immortality with the novel Robinson Crusoe and is called the father of modern journalism, he also produced eloquent, witty, often audacious tracts on public affairs during his prolific writing career. After Defoe’s publication of a pamphlet that ruthlessly satirized the High Church Tories, he was arrested and placed in a pillory. According to legend, what did Defoe’s pillory audience throw at him instead of the customary harmful and noxious objects? More… Discuss

Nocturne – Antonin Dvořák Nocturne In B, Op. 40, B 48 (make music part of your life series)


Antonin Dvořák: Nocturne In B, Op. 40, B 48
Bernhard Güller: Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Moonlight Classics

today’s birthday: William Makepeace Thackeray (1811)


William Makepeace Thackeray (1811)

Thackeray was an English novelist and satirist. In his lifetime, he was seen as the only possible rival of Charles Dickens for his pictures of contemporary life. Thackeray achieved widespread popularity in 1848 with Book of Snobs, but he is best known for another of his novels published that year, Vanity Fair, a satirical panorama of upper-middle-class London life in the early 19th century. Who were Charles James Yellowplush, Michael Angelo Titmarsh, and George Savage Fitz-Boodle? More… Discuss

make music part of your life series: Gabriel Faure, Pelleas and Melisande Suite, Op. 80


Gabriel Faure, Pelleas and Melisande Suite, Op. 80

GABRIEL FAURE: Pelleas and Melisande Suite, Op. 80:

1. Prelude – 00.10
2. Entr’acte: La Fileuse – 06.20
3. Sicilienne de Pelleas et Melisande – 09.20
4. La mort de Melisande – 13.10

Sinfonietta Sofia Orchestra,  conductor Christo Pavlov
New Concert Hall, 01 Oct 2011

Sofia, Bulgaria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Fauré at about the time of his Pelléas et Mélisande music

Pelléas et Mélisande, Op. 80 is a suite derived from incidental music by Gabriel Fauré for Maurice Maeterlinck‘s play of the same name. He was the first of four leading composers to write music inspired by Maeterlinck’s drama. Debussy, Schoenberg and Sibelius followed in the first decade of the 20th century.

Fauré’s music was written for the London production of Maeterlinck’s play in 1898. To meet the tight deadline of the production, Fauré reused some earlier music from incomplete works and enlisted the help of his pupil Charles Koechlin, who orchestrated the music. Fauré later constructed a four-movement suite from the original theatre music, orchestrating the concert version himself.

History

 

The score was commissioned in 1898 by Mrs Patrick Campbell for the play’s first production in English, in which she starred with Johnston Forbes-Robertson and John Martin-Harvey.[n 1] Mrs Campbell had invited Debussy to compose the music, but he was busy working on his operatic version of Maeterlinck’s play, and declined the invitation.[2] Debussy in his letter said: “j’aimerai toujours mieux une chose où, en quelque sorte, l’action sera sacrifiée à l’expression longuement poursuivie des sentiments de l’âme. Il me semble que là, la musique peut se faire plus humaine, plus vécue, que l’on peut creuser et raffiner les moyens d’expression” (“I will always prefer a thing in which, in a way, the action is sacrificed for the expression sought after by the soul. It seems to me that in that case, the music is more human, more lived, that we can refine our means of expression”).[3]

 

 

Fauré was in London in March and April 1898, and was introduced to Mrs Campbell by the musical benefactor Frank Schuster.[4] Fauré accepted her invitation to compose the music for the production, despite the tight deadline – the play was to open in June of that year. He wrote to his wife, “I will have to grind away hard for Mélisande when I get back. I hardly have a month and a half to write all that music. True, some of it is already in my thick head!”[5] It was Mrs Campbell who commissioned Fauré to write the incidental music to the play. She “felt sure M. Gabriel Fauré was the composer needed.”[6]

 

As he often did, Fauré reused music written for incomplete or unsuccessful works.[7] A sicilienne from his unfinished 1893 score for Le Bourgeois gentilhomme was the most substantial piece retrieved for Pelléas et Mélisande.[8] Pressed for time, and never greatly interested in orchestrating, Fauré enlisted the help of his pupil Charles Koechlin, who accompanied him to London.[5] The complete incidental music comprised 19 pieces (2 are missing) of varying length and importance.[9]

 

Fauré conducted the orchestra for the premiere, at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre on 21 June 1898.[10] Mrs Campbell was enchanted by his music, in which, she wrote, “he had grasped with most tender inspiration the poetic purity that pervades and envelops M. Maeterlinck’s lovely play”.[11] She asked him to compose further theatre music for her in the first decade of the 20th century, but to his regret his workload as director of the Paris Conservatoire made it impossible.[12] Over the next 14 years, she revived the play, always using Fauré’s score. In 1904, the music was used for a production of the original French version of the play, starring Sarah Bernhardt.[9] Fauré’s incidental music was used again in Georgette Leblanc‘s production of the play in the cloisters and gardens of Saint-Wandrille abbey in August 1910, conducted by Albert Wolff.[13]

 

There are two different versions of the original theatre score for Pelléas et Mélisande in existence. The first is Koechlin’s autograph of the orchestral score, dating from May and June 1898, and incorporating several rough sketches by Fauré in short score.[9] The second is the conducting score used by Fauré in London; this is also a manuscript in Koechlin’s handwriting.[9]

 

Fauré later reused the music for Mélisande’s song in his song cycle La chanson d’Ève, adapting it to fit words by the Symbolist poet Charles van Lerberghe.[14] The Sicilienne became very popular as an independent piece, with arrangements for flute and piano (by Henri Büsser among others), for cello and piano, as well as other instruments. Extracts from Pelléas et Mélisande were used by George Balanchine as the score for the Emeralds section of his 1967 ballet Jewels.

 

After Fauré, three other leading composers completed works inspired by Maeterlinck’s drama: Debussy‘s opera (1902), Schoenberg‘s early tone poem (1903) and Sibelius‘s incidental music (1905).[15]

great compositions/performances: Barbirolli – Arensky: Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky


Barbirolli – Arensky: Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky

***London Symphony Orchestra
(Recorded in 1947)

John Barbirolli
Born: 12/2/1899 – Holborn, London, England
Died: 7/29/1970 – London, England

Anton Stepanovich Arensky (Russian: Антон Степанович Аренский) (12 July 1861 — 25 February 1906), was a Russian composer of Romantic classical music, a pianist and a professor of music.

Arensky was born in Novgorod, Russia. He was musically precocious and had composed a number of songs and piano pieces by the age of nine. With his mother and father, he moved to Saint Petersburg in 1879, where he studied composition at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. After graduating from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1882, Arensky became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. Among his students there were Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Gretchaninov. In 1895 Arensky returned to Saint Petersburg as the director of the Imperial Choir, a post for which he had been recommended by Mily Balakirev. Arensky retired from this position in 1901, spending his remaining time as a pianist, conductor, and composer. Arensky died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium in Perkjärvi, Finland. It is alleged that drinking and gambling undermined his health.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky was the greatest influence on Arensky’s musical compositions. Indeed, Rimsky-Korsakov said, “In his youth Arensky did not escape some influence from me; later the influence came from Tchaikovsky. He will quickly be forgotten.” The perception that he lacked a distinctive personal style contributed to long-term neglect of his music, though in recent years a large number of his compositions have been recorded. Especially popular are the orchestral Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky based on one of Tchaikovsky’s Songs for Children, Op. 54.

The weather is like the government, always in the wrong. Jerome K. Jerome (three men in a boat)


The weather is like the government, always in the wrong.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) Discuss

Princess Caraboo


Princess Caraboo

“Princess Caraboo” was a famous imposter in 19th-century England. Her real-name was Mary Baker, and she was a cobbler’s daughter. She invented a fictitious language and created an exotic persona, claiming to be Princess Caraboo from the island of Javasu. She alleged that she had been captured by pirates but managed to jump from their ship and swim to safety. For several weeks, Princess Caraboo enjoyed the hospitality and company of local society. How was her true identity finally uncovered? More… Discuss

It’s alright, poetic thought by George-B (the smudge and other poems Page)


It’s alright, poetic thought by George-B (the smudge and other poems Page)

Before me, before I was,
There were two ideas of me, two thoughts
In two minds…and it was alright…
Then one day they came together in one,
New string of DNA, and it was all right…
I was then immersed in the ocean bubble, until
I grew wings, and it was alright…
One day, early morning, I thought
I could leave the ocean
for the rigors of land crawling,
but I did not crawl…
not for a while…and it was alright…
Then
Everything became prosaic, and prose,
and the poetry was lost to
the mundane passage of time,
and nothing could replace that anymore…
not ever…and it’s all right…

great compositions/performances: Leonid Kogan plays Lalo Symphonie Espagnole op.21, Kirill Kondrashin USSR 1959 – LIVE


Leonid Kogan plays Lalo Symphonie Espagnole op.21, Kirill Kondrashin USSR 1959 LIVE

Leonid Kogan (1924-1982), the great Russian violinist.

Édouard-Victoire-Antoine Lalo (1823- 1892) was a French composer.

Symphonie Espagnole, op.21
I. Allergo non troppo (0:00)
II. Scherzando – Allegro molto (7:27)
III. Intermezzo – Allegro non troppo (11:36)
IV. Andante (17:21)
V. Rondo – Allegro(23:41)

Kirill Kondrashin
The USSR State Symphony Ochestra
Recorded in 1959. 10. 21
Live at the Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall

*****

There are three Kogan’s Lalo Symphonie Espagnole recordings I know by now :

with Charles Bruck
Paris Conservatory Orchestra
1950s

with Kirill Kondrashin
Philhamonia Orchestra
London, Abbey Road Studio
1959. 2. 25-27

with Kirill Konrashin
USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Live at Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall
1959. 10. 21

 

 

this day in the yesteryear: Globe Theatre Burns to the Ground (1613)


Globe Theatre Burns to the Ground (1613)

 

English: The Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre,...

English: The Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre, Southwark. This is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, made famous by Shakespeare. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first Globe Theatre was an Elizabethan theatre where several of Shakespeare’s plays were originally staged. It was built around 1598 in London using timber from an earlier theater and was jointly owned by members of the theatrical company to which Shakespeare belonged. The Globe burned down in 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII. It was rebuilt in 1614, but Puritans closed it and all other theaters in 1642, and it was demolished soon after. What caused the fire in 1613? More… Discuss

words, poetic thought by George-B Cuvinte, cugetare poetica de George-B ©Always (my poetry collection – the sludge and other poems)


words, poetic thought by George-B (©Always)
I opened the drawer of words
And picked, mixed,
at random
with hungry hands … words

slippery
heavy
hot
lightning
wet
salt
bitter
blue
black
gray …
randomly
most leaked
through my fingers, like the fine sands
from the beaches of Mamaia …
I sat those words that did not flee
And I built a house of words
And I used that evening armature moonless night
And I put the as firmament to watch over
Being very tired after so much work
I slept in the house of words
with the firmament watching over…

©Always (my poetry collection – the sludge and other poems)

 

this day in the yesteryear: World’s First ATM Installed in Enfield, London (1967)


World’s First ATM Installed in Enfield, London (1967)

ATMs, or automated teller machines, can be used by bank customers to process several different kinds of account transactions, such as cash withdrawals, deposits, and fund transfers, and to review account statements and balances. Most consider the world’s first ATM to be the one invented by John Shepherd-Barron and installed by Barclays Bank in North London on June 27, 1967. However, a mechanical bank deposit box, arguably an ATM, was installed in New York how many years earlier? More… Discuss

my open window, poetic thought by George-B My collection of art)


 

my open window, poetic thought by George-B

From the window into my soul
See the miles long waves
rolling toward the sandy arrival
The bendin’ the wind of smoke stacks
At the highest rim top,
with the warning red light winking at
planes,
birds
clouds, oh yes!

From the window into my heart
See the love for hills,
wild mustard,
patches of wildest squash,
fallen old oak, young brush that’s never be old,
even though dry too early, oh yes!

From the window in my mind
See the music waving at you to join
in the choir,
the band,
orchestra,
instrument, voice, oh yes!

And see the poetry of words, that gather meaning
as they find themselves aligned and joined
by breath
as sole glue and string,
on the background of the cave wall,
from which all sense became to life, oh yeah!

Became to life!
Welcome to my open window!

quotation: Oscar Wilde – If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life. Oscar Wilde


If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Discuss

Saint of the Day, June 22, 2014: St. Thomas More


Saint of the Day

Image of St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More, Martyr (Patron of Lawyers) St. Thomas More was born at London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon leaving the … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Prince William (1982)


English: Prince William and Prince Charles aft...

English: Prince William and Prince Charles after a Polo Match at Ham Polo Club, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prince William (1982)

The eldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, Prince William is second in line for the British throne. In 2011, he wed Catherine Middleton in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey, broadcast live on televisions around the globe and watched by tens of millions of people. Their first child, Prince George, was born in July 2013. Dubbed Wills by the popular media, Wombat by his mother, and Billy the Fish by his Air Force buddies, William is known in official circles by what title? More… Discuss

Bacchus on make music part of your life series: Composer Joseph Horovitz – Blue Ridge – Societat “Unión Musical” de Crevillent


Bacchus on Blue Ridge (Joseph Horovitz) – Societat “Unión Musical” de Crevillent

Bacchus on Blue Ridge (Joseph Horovitz) - Societat "Unión Musical" de Crevillent

Bacchus on Blue Ridge (Joseph Horovitz) – Societat “Unión Musical” de Crevillent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
This article is about the British composer and conductor. For the American cultural historian, see Joseph Horowitz.

Joseph Horovitz (born 26 May 1926 in Vienna, Austria) is a British composer and conductor.

Biography

Horovitz’s Jewish family emigrated to England in 1938 to escape the Nazis. He studied music and modern languages at New College, Oxford, and later attended the Royal College of Music in London, studying composition with Gordon Jacob. He then undertook a year of further study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. His musical career began in 1950, when he became music director at the Bristol Old Vic. He was subsequently active as a conductor of ballet and opera, and toured Europe and the United States.

Horovitz married Anna in 1956, shortly after coaching at the bi-centenary celebration for Mozart and Glyndeborne. They honeymooned in Majorca, staying in Paguera and visiting Valldemossa. He later used these two names for two clarinet pieces, based on Spanish folk-tunes he had heard there.

Horovitz has been Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music since 1961, and a Council Member of the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain since 1970. Between 1969 and 1996 he belonged to the board of the Performing Rights Society. His works include 16 ballets, including Alice in Wonderland (1953), 2 one-act operas (The Dumb Wife, libretto Peter Shaffer; Gentlemen’s Island, libretto Gordon Snell), and concertos for violin, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, euphonium, tuba and percussion, as well as a popular and often performed jazz concerto for harpsichord or piano.

A large number of his works have been written for wind orchestra and brass band. In 1959, he was awarded the Commonwealth Medal, and since then he has received many other awards for his compositions. His music for television has included Lillie, Rumpole of the Bailey, The Search for the Nile, The Fight Against Slavery, Wessex Tales and Partners in Crime.

Works

Orchestral Works

  • 1948 Concertante for Clarinet and Strings
  • 1963 Trumpet Concerto
  • 1971 Sinfonietta for Light Orchestra
  • 1972 Horizon Overture
  • 1973 Valse
  • 1976 Bassoon Concerto
  • 1977 Jubilee Toy Symphony
  • 1993 Oboe Concerto

Works for Wind Orchestra and Brass Band

  • 1964 Three Pieces From Music Hall Suite for brass band
  • 1970 Sinfonietta for brass band
    • 1. Allegro
    • 2. Lento moderato
    • 3. Con brio
  • 1972 Euphonium Concerto for euphonium and wind orchestra1975 The Dong with a Luminous Nose for brass band
    • 1. Moderato
    • 2. Lento
    • 3. Con moto
  • 1977 Samson for baritone, mixed chorus and brass band
  • 1983 Ballet for Band for brass band
  • 1984 Bacchus on Blue Ridge: Divertimento for wind orchestra
    • 1. Moderato
    • 2. Blues
    • 3. Vivo
  • 1985 Concertino Classico for 2 cornets (or trumpets) and brass band
    • 1. Con brio
    • 2. Larghetto
    • 3. Allegro rustico
  • 1991 Fete Galante for wind orchestra
    • 1. Pavane
    • 2. Menuet
    • 3. Bourée des masques
  • 1992 Dance SuiteAd Astra
    • 1. Allegro
    • 2. Andantino
    • 3. Vivace
  • Commedia Dell’Arte
  • Lillie Theme
  • Theme and Co-Operation for brass band
  • Tuba Concerto for tuba und brass bandWind-Harp
    • 1. Allegro
    • 2. Andante
    • 3. Con Moto

Film scores

Other works

  • 1952 Les Femmes d’Alger: Ballet in one act
  • 1953 The Dumb Wife: Comic opera in one act
  • 1953 Alice in Wonderland: Ballet in two acts
  • 1958 Concerto for Dancers: Ballet in one act
  • 1958 Gentleman’s Island (libretto by Gordon Snell) in English or German for tenor, baritone and chamber orchestra
  • 1961 Horrortorio (words by Alistair Sampson from a scenario by Maurice Richardson) for soloists, chorus and orchestra. It was performed at the Hoffnung Astronautical Musical Festival
  • 1962 Fantasia on a Theme of Couperin for wind nonet
  • 1965 Let’s Make a Ballet: Ballet in one act
  • 1970 Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo: Cantata (text by Michael Flanders) for mixed chorus with piano, double bass and percussion
  • 1970 Lady Macbeth Scena for mezzo-soprano and piano
  • 1975 Summer Sunday: a comical-tragical-ecological Pastoral for mixed choir and piano
  • 1980 Miss Carter Wore Pink: Ballet in one act

Chamber Music

  • 1964 Music Hall Suite for brass quintet1976 Brass Polka for brass quartet
    • 1. Soubrette Song
    • 2. Trick-cyclists
    • 3. Adagio-team
    • 4. Soft shoe shuffle
    • 5. Les Girls
  • 1969 String Quartet No. 5
  • Sonatina, op. 3 for oboe and piano
  • Quartet for oboe and strings, op. 18
  • Ghetto Song for solo guitar
  • 1981 Sonatina For Clarinet and Piano
    • 1. Allegro calmato
    • 2. Lento quasi Andante
    • 3. Con brio

 

quotation: Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. John Milton


Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.

John Milton (1608-1674) Discuss

news: “Eugene” Passes Turing Test


“Eugene” Passes Turing Test

In 1950, British mathematician and computer theorist Alan Turing predicted that by 2000, a computer could be programmed so that after 5 minutes of questioning, the average interrogator would not have more than a 70% chance of telling whether he was talking to a machine or another person. The ability of a machine to carry on a conversation indistinguishable from that of a human, he contended, is the true measure of artificial intelligence. And while he was a little off on the timing, a computer program has finally passed the Turing test. Last Saturday, a program called Eugene Goostman convinced 33% of the judges at the Royal Society in London that it was human. More… Discuss

word: acumen


acumen 

Definition: (noun) Shrewdness shown by keen insight.
Synonyms: insightfulness
Usage: His sharp business acumen meant he quickly rose to the top. Discuss.

make music part of your life series: Bedřich Smetana Má Vlast My Fatherland 6. BLANÍK, Rafael Kubelík


Smetana: Má Vlast – Harnoncourt/RCO(2010Live)

Smetana: Má Vlast - Harnoncourt/RCO(2010Live)

Smetana: Má Vlast – Harnoncourt/RCO(2010Live)

 

 

just a thought: “There is no difference between people, not that we’re born with, not of any significance.” (©always)


just a thought:  “There is no difference between people. Not in our make at least. The differences are pondered upon us by the culture and tradition of the people we’re born to. Our natural senses about the world around us are shaped into the likeness of those around us from early age, before we can determine by ourselves the values that are imposed upon us.

There is no difference between people, not that we’re born with, not of any significance.” (©always)

George B.

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Big Ben history and chimes!


Big Ben

Big Ben is the nickname of the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster in London. Famous for its accuracy, the clock rings in the new year in England.

Originally, only the Great Bell—the largest bell in the tower—was called “Big Ben,” but eventually, the moniker was applied to the clock itself and then to the entire tower. In 2012, the iconic British landmark was officially renamed Elizabeth Tower, in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. Who is generally accepted as the real-life “Ben”? More… Discuss

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great compositions/performances: Barbirolli – Arensky: Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky (improved sound)


Barbirolli – Arensky: Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky

London Symphony Orchestra
Recorded in 1947

John Barbirolli in the mid-1960s

John Barbirolli in the mid-1960s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Barbirolli
Born: 12/2/1899 – Holborn, London, England
Died: 7/29/1970 – London, England

Anton Stepanovich Arensky (Russian: Антон Степанович Аренский) (12 July 1861 — 25 February 1906), was a Russian composer of Romantic classical music, a pianist and a professor of music.

Anton Arensky, 1895

Anton Arensky, 1895

Arensky was born in Novgorod, Russia. He was musically precocious and had composed a number of songs and piano pieces by the age of nine. With his mother and father, he moved to Saint Petersburg in 1879, where he studied composition at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. After graduating from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1882, Arensky became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. Among his students there were Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Gretchaninov. In 1895 Arensky returned to Saint Petersburg as the director of the Imperial Choir, a post for which he had been recommended by Mily Balakirev. Arensky retired from this position in 1901, spending his remaining time as a pianist, conductor, and composer. Arensky died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium in Perkjärvi, Finland. It is alleged that drinking and gambling undermined his health.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky was the greatest influence on Arensky’s musical compositions. Indeed, Rimsky-Korsakov said, “In his youth Arensky did not escape some influence from me; later the influence came from Tchaikovsky. He will quickly be forgotten.” The perception that he lacked a distinctive personal style contributed to long-term neglect of his music, though in recent years a large number of his compositions have been recorded. Especially popular are the orchestral Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky based on one of Tchaikovsky’s Songs for Children, Op. 54.

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today’s holiday: Shick-Shack Day


Shick-Shack Day

The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that this day takes its name from a corruption of a derogatory term for Protestants who did not follow the doctrines of the Church of England. It was later applied to those who did not wear the traditional sprig of oak on May 29, or Royal Oak Day—the birthday of Charles II, and the day in 1660 on which he made his entry into London as king. Shick-shack has since become synonymous with the oak-apple or sprig of oak itself, and May 29 is celebrated in memory of the restoration of King Charles and his preservation in the Royal Oak. More… Discuss

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Today’s Birthday: Alexander Pope (1688)


Alexander Pope (1688)

Pope, recognized as the greatest English poet of the 18th century, was almost entirely self-taught. He established his poetic reputation with the Pastorals in 1709 and the Essay on Criticism in 1711. The Rape of the Lock, a mock-heroic epic ridiculing high society, is perhaps his most popular work. A number of passages from his works have taken on a somewhat proverbial quality, such as “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” From what health problems did Pope suffer? More… Discuss

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Ascot Racecourse


Ascot Racecourse

Ascot Racecourse, located southwest of London, England, in the small village of Ascot, is used for thoroughbred horse racing. Founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, it is still closely associated with the British Royal family. Ascot is perhaps most famous for the annual Royal Ascot, which takes place in June and is one of the world’s most renowned race meetings. It is also a major event on the British social calendar. What tends to overshadow the actual racing in press coverage of the Royal Ascot? More… Discuss

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Great Compositions/Performances: Schumann Kinderszenen Op 15 – Valentina Lisitsa


Schumann Kinderszenen Op 15 – Valentina Lisitsa Haskil Argerich Horowitz Bosendorfer

 

First edition title page

Kinderszenen (German pronunciation: [ˈkɪndɐˌst͡seːnən]; original spelling Kinderscenen, “Scenes from Childhood“), Opus 15, by Robert Schumann, is a set of thirteen pieces of music for piano written in 1838. In this work, Schumann provides us with his adult reminiscences of childhood. Schumann had originally written 30 movements for this work, but chose 13 for the final version.[1] Robert Polansky has discussed the unused movements.[2]

Nr. 7, Träumerei, is one of Schumann’s best known pieces; it was the title of a 1944 German biographical film on Robert Schumann.[3] Träumerei is also the opening and closing musical theme in the 1947 Hollywood film Song of Love, starring Katharine Hepburn as Clara Wieck Schumann.[4]

Schumann had originally labeled this work Leichte Stücke (Easy Pieces). Likewise, the section titles were only added after the completion of the music, and Schumann described the titles as “nothing more than delicate hints for execution and interpretation”.[5] Timothy Taylor has discussed Schumann’s choice of titles for this work in the context of the changing situation of music in 19th century culture and economics.[6]

In 1974, Eric Sams noted that there was no known complete manuscript of Kinderszenen

Movements
Title Key Play
1. Von fremden Ländern und Menschen
Of Foreign Lands and Peoples
G major
 
Menu
 
0:00
2. Kuriose Geschichte
A Curious Story
[8]
D major
 
Menu
 
0:00
3. Hasche-Mann
Blind Man’s Bluff
B minor
 
Menu
 
0:00
4. Bittendes Kind
Pleading Child
D major
 
Menu
 
0:00
5. Glückes genug
Happy Enough
D major
 
Menu
 
0:00
6. Wichtige Begebenheit
An Important Event
A major
 
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7. Träumerei
Dreaming
F major
 
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8. Am Kamin
At the Fireside
[9]
F major
 
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9. Ritter vom Steckenpferd
Knight of the Hobbyhorse
C major
 
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10. Fast zu ernst
Almost Too Serious
G-sharp minor
 
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11. Fürchtenmachen
Frightening
E minor
 
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12. Kind im Einschlummern
Child Falling Asleep
E minor
 
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13. Der Dichter spricht
The Poet Speaks
G major
 
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TODAY’S SAINT – MAY 16: St. Simon Stock


St. Simon Stock

Image of St. Simon Stock

Facts

Feastday: May 16

Although little is known about Simon Stock’s early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning “tree trunk,” derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. It is also believed that, as a young man, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he joined a group of Carmelites with whom he later returned to Europe. Simon Stock founded many Carmelite Communities, especially in University towns such as Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, and Bologna, and he helped to change the Carmelites from a hermit Order to one of mendicant friars. In 1254 he was elected Superior-General of his Order at London. Simon Stock’s lasting fame came from an apparition he had in Cambridge, England, on July 16, 1251, at a time when the Carmelite Order was being oppressed. In it the Virgin Mary appeared to him holding the brown scapular in one hand. Her words were: “Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection.” The scapular (from the Latin, scapula, meaning “shoulder blade”) consists of two pieces of cloth, one worn on the chest, and the other on the back, which were connected by straps or strings passing over the shoulders. In certain Orders, monks and nuns wear scapulars that reach from the shoulders almost to the ground as outer garments. Lay persons usually wear scapulars underneath their clothing; these consist of two pieces of material only a few inches square. There are elaborate rules governing the wearing of the scapular: although it may be worn by any Catholic, even an infant, the investiture must be done by a priest. And the scapular must be worn in the proper manner; if an individual neglects to wear it for a time, the benefits are forfeited. The Catholic Church has approved eighteen different kinds of scapulars of which the best known is the woolen brown scapular, or the Scapular of Mount Carmel, that the Virgin Mary bestowed on Simon Stock. His feast day is May 16th.

May
16
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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Edward Elgar – Chanson de Matin Opus 15 – No 2


Edward Elgar – Chanson de Matin Opus 15 – No 2

A tribute to Sir Edward Elgar – 1857 / 1934
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by George Weldon

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: Florence Nightingale (1820)


Florence Nightingale (1820)

Though Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing, she had limited formal nursing training. She became superintendent of a small London hospital in 1853. The next year, she organized a unit of 38 female nurses for service in the Crimean War, and her efforts made her legendary. With the testimonial fund collected for her war services, she established the Nightingale School and Home for training nurses at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London. Why was she called “The Lady with the Lamp”? More… Discuss

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TODAY’S SAINT, MAY 11: Frost Saints’ Days


Frost Saints’ Days

These three consecutive days in May mark the feasts of St. Mammertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatus. In the wine-growing districts of France, a severe cold spell occasionally strikes at this time of year, inflicting serious damage on the grapevines; some in rural France have believed that it is the result of their having offended one of the three saints, who for this reason are called the “frost saints.” French farmers have been known to show their displeasure over a cold snap at this time of year by flogging the statues and defacing the pictures of Mammertus, Pancras, and Servatus. More… Discuss

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10-Year Cancer Survival Up in England and Wales


10-Year Cancer Survival Up in England and Wales

Better diagnostic tools as well as treatments are helping cancer patients live longer in England and Wales. Half of people now being diagnosed with cancer there will survive for at least a decade, double the rate of the early 1970s. However, for some cancers, like pancreatic cancer and lung cancer, survival rates remain extremely low. London-based Cancer Research UK lauded the progress but said that further inroads need to be made and set a goal of 75 percent 10-year survival within two decades. More… Discuss

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today’s birthday: J. M. Barrie (1860)


J. M. Barrie (1860)

Barrie was a Scottish novelist and dramatist best known for his play Peter Pan, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. Emotionally immature—likely due to his domineering mother—Barrie was prone to sentimentality in his writing. Yet his best works reveal a profound understanding of human nature and a capacity for irony and wit. His 1917 tragicomedy Dear Brutus is widely considered his best work. Why was Barrie disappointed with the statue of Peter Pan erected in Kensington Gardens, London? More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: SAINT PAUL’S CATHEDRAL


Saint Paul’s Cathedral

London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the finest churches built in the English baroque style. The original church dates back to the 7th century, but a series of fires led to architect Sir Christopher Wren redesigning the building in the 17th century. More recently, the cathedral hosted the globally televised 1981 wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer. The cathedral’s prominent form on the skyline is also used frequently in films set in London. What are some examples? More… Discuss

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QUOTATION: Lewis Carroll


Take care of the sense and the sounds will take care of themselves.

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) Discuss

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SAINT OF THE DAY April 22: ST. ABDIESUS April 22


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 22 Saint of the Day

ST. ABDIESUS
April 22: Also called Hebed Jesus, a deacon in the Christian community of … Read More

April
22

 

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Taj Mahal + James Cotton – Honky Tonk Women And The Rolling Stones tooooo!



44 years after their first performance at Hyde Park, Rolling Stones are back in London this summer. To recollect that historic gig of 1969 you can watch Stones performing “Honky Tonk Women

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Great Compositions/Performances: “The Wild Dove” , Antonin Dvorak , Alexander Rahbari with London Philharmonic Orchestra


The Wild Dove op.110 (Symphonic poem)
Composer : Antonin Dvorak
Conductor :Alexander Rahbari
London Philharmonic Orchestra , Henry Wood Hall 
Sound Engineer : Mike Clements

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENCE DAY


Zimbabwe Independence Day

Like much of Africa, the area that is now Zimbabwe was long controlled by Europeans. In 1922, the 34,000 European settlers chose to become a self-governing British colony, Southern Rhodesia; in 1923, Southern Rhodesia was annexed by the British Crown. A fight for independence took place in the 1970s. An independent constitution was written for Zimbabwe in London in 1979, and independence followed on April 18, 1980. Independence Day is celebrated in every city and district of the nation with political rallies, parades, traditional dances, singing, and fireworks. More…Discuss

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Henry Purcell: Welcome to all the pleasures



Henry Purcell: Welcome to all the pleasures
(Welcome to all the pleasures (An Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day), for soloists, chorus & instruments, Z. 339)

Welcome to All the Pleasures is one of the Odes written for the celebration of St. Cecilia’s Day byHenry Purcell. The libretto is by Christopher Fishburn. Purcell had been writing Odes for the Royal Family since 1680, but in 1683 the Musical Society of London commissioned him to write an ode in honor of the public celebration of the feast of St. Cecilia. The “Musical Society” was a group of amateur and professional musicians that had organized a festival for the “great patroness of music.” It was the first year of their festival and Purcell was their first commissioned composer. Purcell composed the work for three solo voices, chorus, four-part strings, and continuo. Formally, he produces a concerto grosso effect when he balances the trio of voices (concertino) against the chorus and orchestra (ripieno).

The opening symphony has two movements; one maestoso and the second vivace. The maestoso is full of suspensions and canonic entrances and has a full texture. The vivace is contrapuntal throughout. The words “Welcome to all the Pleasures” are set on imitative entrances. When each voice proclaims “Welcome!,” an echo of invitations is produced. “Hail Great Assembly” breaks out in fugal style. The movement ends with an instrumental ritornello.

Here the Deities Approve is a countertenor solo written over a three measure ground bass. The vocal line is lyrical and plastic; the countertenor soars above the rest of the ensemble. There follows a string ritornello. Throughout this ode Purcell uses instruments at least as much as the voices. While joys Celestial sets joys on dotted rhythmic figures, and places the word “Celestial” on a falling, augmented dotted figure. The effect is joyful and celestial. Then there follows an instrumental ritornello based on the dotted rhythmic theme. Purcell imitates and varies this theme within a highly contrapuntal texture.

Then Lift up your Voices features a solo and chorus. Again the chorus begins with imitative entrances, but eventually comes together in homophony. Afterwards there is a solo harpsichord interlude, which can be played extemporaneously, making for a beautiful respite from the rest of the ode. Beauty, thou scene of love is a beautiful tenor solo. The solo is in two sections, the first of which is repeated. The ritornello takes over the solo line from the tenor voice as Purcell sets it in an inventive four-part contrapuntal style.

In a consort of voices has a diatonic, joyful melody in E major, and adds a bright feeling to the movement. The tenor voice has a solo based on the opening theme, and soon the chorus enters canonically. One of the most striking aspects of this movement is Purcell’s setting of the name “Cecilia,” which he repeats many times in all the voices and registers. He sets the music to the sound of the word. He ends the piece by having the singers drop out one by one, starting with the treble voices. Finally the bass is left alone to quietly sing the final “Ce-cil-ia.”

Liana Brook Guberman, Soprano
Jenny Green, Soprano
Alexandra Lushtak, Soprano
Christopher Sokolowski, Tenor
Christian Zaremba, Bass 
Hudson Valley Chamber Singers,
Hudson Valley Singers,
NYMO Ensemble,
Anastasia Dedik, Harpsichord
Eu, Harpsichord, organ, direction

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: BRIXTON RIOT (1981)


Brixton Riot (1981)

In the early 1980s, south London‘s Brixton neighborhood was plagued by severe social and economic problems, including high rates of unemployment and crime and poor housing conditions. In 1981, in an effort to reduce street crime, police began stopping and searching anyone they deemed suspicious—a policy that many residents of the predominantly black community found discriminatory and heavy-handed. Eventually, the angry residents rioted. How many people were injured during the clash? More… Discuss

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NEWS: STOLEN MASTERPIECES FOUND IN UNLIKELY PLACE


Stolen Masterpieces Found in Unlikely Place

Nearly 40 years ago, an Italian factory worker bought two paintings at a lost-property auction for 45,000 lire (23.24 euros). He hung the works in his home, enjoying them but never knowing their true value until recently, when his son began probing their origins. The paintings in question are now believed to be a Paul Gauguin and a Pierre Bonnard that have a combined estimated value of between 10.6 million and 30.6 million euros. The works had been stolen from a London home in 1970 and then, for reasons that remain unknown, abandoned on a train in northern Italy. After no one stepped forward to claim the then-unidentified paintings, the state railway company put them up for auction. More… Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: KARL PEARSON (1857)


Karl Pearson (1857)

English scientist and professor of mathematics Karl Pearson was an instrumental figure in the development of mathematical statistics. In 1911, he became professor of eugenics at the University of London and director of the eugenics laboratory. A disciple of Francis Galton, Pearson applied statistical methods to the study of biological problems, especially evolution and heredity, in a science he called biometrics. Today, Pearson’s views on eugenics are considered deeply racist. Why? More… Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: A. E. HOUSMAN (1859)


A. E. Housman (1859)

Housman studied at Oxford but left without a degree because he failed his final examinations. While working as a Patent Office clerk, Housman studied Latin texts and wrote journal articles that led to his appointment as a professor at University College, London, and later at Cambridge. He is remembered for the much-anthologized poem “When I was One-and-Twenty,” and his verse, based on Classical and traditional models, exerted a strong influence on later poets. Who was his famous brother?More… Discuss

When I Was One-and-Twenty

BY A. E. HOUSMAN

When I was one-and-twenty
       I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
       But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
       But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
       No use to talk to me.
When I was one-and-twenty
       I heard him say again,
“The heart out of the bosom
       Was never given in vain;
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
       And sold for endless rue.”
And I am two-and-twenty,
       And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.
Share this text …?
***Source: Father: An Anthology of Verse (EP Dutton & Company, 1931)***

 

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SAINT OF THE DAY March 22: Saint of the Day ST. LEA


SAINT OF THE DAY

March 22 Saint of the Day

ST. LEA
March 22: A letter which St. Jerome wrote to St. Marcella provides the … Read More

March
22

 

 

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Edward Elgar Salut d’amour op. 12 – Berliner Philharmoniker, Ion Marin Conducting 2010



Berliner PhilharmonikerEdward Elgar Salut d’amour op. 12 2010
von der Berliner Waldbühne, Dirigent Ion Marin

For other uses, see Salut D’Amour (disambiguation).
Salut d'Amour by Elgar general cover 1899.JPG

Salut d’Amour, Op. 12, is a musical work composed by Edward Elgar in 1888, originally written for violin and piano.

History[edit]

Elgar finished the piece in July 1888, when he was engaged to be married to Caroline Alice Roberts, and he called it “Liebesgruss” (‘Love’s Greeting’) because of Miss Roberts’ fluency in German. When he returned home to London on 22 September from a holiday at the house of his friend Dr. Charles Buck, in Settle, he presented it to her as an engagement present. Alice, for her part, offered him a poem called “The Wind at Dawn” which she had written years before and which he soon set to music.[1]

The dedication was in French: “à Carice”. “Carice” was a combination of his wife’s names Caroline Alice, and was the name to be given to their daughter born two years later.

It was not published by Schott & Co. until a year later, and the first editions were for violin and piano, piano solo, cello and piano, and for small orchestra. Few copies were sold until Schott changed the title to “Salut d’Amour” with Liebesgruss as a sub-title, and the composer’s name as ‘Ed. Elgar’. The French title, Elgar realised, would help the work to be sold not only in France but in other European countries: Schott was a German publisher, with offices in MainzLondonParis and Brussels.

The first public performance was of the orchestral version, at a Crystal Palace concert on 11 November 1889, conducted by August Manns.

The work’s first recording was made in 1915 for The Gramophone Company with an orchestra conducted by the composer.

Woo Thou Sweet Music by Elgar song cover.jpg

“Salut d’amour” is one of Elgar’s best-known works and has inspired numerous arrangements for widely varying instrumental combinations. It was even arranged as a song “Woo thou, Sweet Music” with words by A. C. Bunten.[2]

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