Daily Archives: May 21, 2012

New Year’s Concert 2011-Vienna Philharmonic ( What a treat!)

From Wikipedia: “The New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic (German: Das Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker) is a concert of classical music that takes place each year in the morning of January 1 in Vienna, Austria. It is broadcast around the world to an estimated audience of 50 million in 73 countries (as of 2012). 

The music always includes pieces from the Strauss family—Johann Strauss IJohann Strauss IIJosef Strauss and Eduard Strauss—with occasional additional music from other mainly Austrian composers, including Joseph Hellmesberger, Jr.Joseph LannerWolfgang Amadeus MozartOtto Nicolai (the Vienna Philharmonic’s founder), Emil von ReznicekFranz Schubert,Franz von Suppé, and Karl Michael Ziehrer. In 2009, music by Joseph Haydn was played for the first time: the 4th movement of his “Farewell” Symphony to mark the 200th anniversary of his death. There are traditionally about a dozen compositions played, with an interval halfway through the concert and encores at the end. They include waltzespolkasmazurkas, and marches. Of the encores, the first is often a fast polka. The second is Johann Strauss II’s waltz The Blue Danube, whose introduction is interrupted by applause of recognition and a New Year greeting from the musicians to the audience. The last is Johann Strauss I’s Radetzky March, during which the audience claps along under the conductor’s wry direction. The complete duration of the event is around two and a half hours.

“Großer Saal” (Large Hall) of the Musikverein

The concerts have been held in the “Großer Saal” (Large Hall) of the Musikverein since 1939. The orchestra is joined by pairs of balletdancers in selected pieces during the second part of the programme. The dancers come from the Vienna State Opera Ballet and dance at different famous places in Austria, as Schönbrunn PalaceSchloss Esterházy, the Vienna State Opera or the Wiener Musikverein itself. Since 1980 the flowers that decorate the hall have been a gift from the city of SanremoLiguria, Italy.

Boskovsky, concertmaster of the orchestra 1936–1979, conducted the Vienna New Year’s concerts from 1955–1979. In 1980, Lorin Maazel became the first non-Austrian conductor of the concert. The practice of choosing a different star conductor every year (and occasional star soloists) began in 1987 after seven appearances in a row by Maazel. Members of the orchestra voted to rotate conductors. This may have occurred with the telecasts going worldwide, perhaps to make the audio and video recordings more marketable. The first of these rotating stars was Herbert von Karajan, an Austrian, then 78 and in frail health.



Beethoven, Coriolan Overture Op 62, Thielemann, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Beethoven, Coriolan Overture Op 62, Thielemann, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

The Coriolanus Overture (German: Ouvertüre Coriolan, Op. 62) written in 1807 to Heinrich Joseph von Collin‘s 1804 tragedy.

The structure and themes of the overture follow the play very generally. The main C minor theme represents Coriolanus’ resolve and war-like tendencies (he is about to invade Rome), while the more tender E-flat major theme represents the pleadings of his mother to desist. Coriolan eventually gives in to tenderness, but since he cannot turn back having led an army of his former enemies to Rome’s gates, he kills himself. It was premiered in March of 1807 at a private concert of the home of Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz. The Symphony No. 4 in B flat and the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G were premiered in that same concert.


Heinrich Joseph von Collin (1771-1811), Austrian dramatist, was born in Vienna, on 26 December 1771. He received a legal education and entered the Austrian ministry of finance where he found speedy promotion. In 1805 and in 1809, when Austria was under the heel of Napoleon, Collin was entrusted with important political missions. In 1803 he was, together with other members of his family, ennobled, and in 1809 madeHofrat. He died on 28 July 1811 in Vienna. His tragedy Regulus (1801), written in strict classical form, was received with enthusiasm in Vienna, where literary taste, less advanced than that of northern Germany, was still under the ban of French classicism. But in his later dramas, Coriolan(1804), Polyxena (1804), Balboa (1806), and Bianca della Porta (1808), he made some attempt to reconcile the pseudo-classic type of tragedy with that of Shakespeare and the German romanticists. As a lyric poet (Gedichte, collected 1812), Collin has left a collection of stirringWehrmannslieder for the fighters in the cause of Austrian freedom, as well as some excellent ballads (Kaiser Max auf der Martinswand, Herzog Leupold vor Solothurn).

His younger brother Matthäus von Collin (1779-1824), was, as editor of the Wiener Jahrbücher für Literatur, an even more potent force in the literary life of Vienna. He was, moreover, in sympathy with the Romantic movement, and intimate with its leaders. His dramas on themes from Austrian national history (Belas Krieg mit dem Vater, (1808); Der Tod Friedrichs des Streitbaren, 1813) may be regarded as the immediate precursors of Grillparzer‘s historical tragedies.

Heinrich’s Gesammelte Werke appeared in 6 vols. (1812-1814); he is the subject of an excellent monograph by F. Laban (1879). See also A. Hauffen, Des Drama der klassischen Periode, ii.2 (1891), where a reprint of Regulus will be found. M. von Collins Dramatische Dichtungen were published in 4 vols. (1815-1817); his Nachgelassene Schriften, edited by J. von Hammer, in 2 vols. (1827). A study of his life and work by J. Wihan will be found in Euphorion, Erganzungsheft, v (1901).
(From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Joseph_von_Collin)

Ultimately, in a classic way, Coriolan under the direction of Herbert von Karajan (1974): The music flows in a more natural way, like a river that has learned its course.


Romneya coulteri, Matilija Poppy: I’m going to get me some!

Romneya coulteri, Matilija Poppy

Romneya coulteri, Matilija Poppy


Matilija Poppy is a perennial/shrub to eight feet tall and if in a light soil forever wide(It spreads by rhizomes). The large papier-mache flowers are white with a yellow center. Romneya likes sun and good drainage. In heavy soils it can be difficult to establish. You will lose none in sand near the coast, but 2 of 3 in interior adobe will die. They do grow in red clay that is almost waterlogged in winter, dry as Death Valley in summer. In sandy soils they can grow under your house and come out the other side, under driveways, or consume your entire yard. This plant is not for condos or small yards. In the Temecula area they grow in gravely sand up into the chaparral in red clay. Associated plants range from Mulfat, Baccharis, willows, and Cottonwoods through Ceanothus crassifolia, Quercus berberdifolia(dumosa), Rhus laurina, Rhus ovata,Keckellia antirrnoides, Diplacus puniceus, Poison Oak, Artemisia californica, Lotus scoparius, Eriophyllum confertiflorum, Eriodyticon crassifolium, Salvia mellifera, and Chamise. Water well when planted, then once per week or so though first summer. They should kick by the next spring, when they do, stop watering. Kick?=grow to six feet or so, start spreading and flower. No amending, no fertilizer tabs, doesn’t even care about mulch. Of course in cool climates you can get away with all sorts of things…. “You may be interested to know that I bought one of these plants locally some years ago and despite the fact that my area,(Cheshire, England) could not be more different from California, it appears to be thriving. We have lots of wet weather, cold winds and overcast skies and the area is noted for its rich agricultural land, its roses and its turf!” Matilija poppies commonly go deciduous in summer or fall and come back in spring. If you buy one in it’s deciduous stage, it will look dead to an average gardener in Seattle. Nope, it’s just deadest stickus, normal mode for fall.

Today’s Quotation: Alexander Hamilton – on State Constitutions

Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Discuss

Today’s Birthday: HENRI ROUSSEAU (1844)

Henri Rousseau (1844)

Rousseau was an entirely self-taught French painter. He held a minor post as a tax collector in Paris for more than 20 years before retiring to paint at the age of 49. His work remained consistently naive and imaginative and was often ridiculed. It was only after his death that Rousseau gained recognition as an artistic genius. Though he never left France or saw a jungle, he is best known for his paintings of lush, tropical scenes and wild animals. What was his inspiration for the exotic scenes? More… Discuss

Museum of Modern Art Henri Rousseau. The Dream...

Museum of Modern Art Henri Rousseau. The Dream, 1910 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)