Daily Archives: November 26, 2013

Fabulous Compositiouns/Performances: Richard Strauss – Don Quixote op. 35 (1897) with Mistislav Rostropovich, cello / Saito Kinen Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa, conductor.

Richard Strauss: Don Quixote op. 35 (1897): Mistislav Rostropovich, cello. Saito Kinen Orchestra. Seiji Ozawa, conductor.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 


Don Quixote, Op. 35, is a tone poem by Richard Strauss for celloviola and large orchestra. Subtitled Phantastische Variationen über ein Thema ritterlichen Charakters (Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character), the work is based on the novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes. Strauss composed this work in Munich in 1897. The premiere took place in Cologne on 8 March 1898, with Friedrich Grützmacher as the cello soloist and Franz Wüllner as the conductor.[1]

The score is 45 minutes long and is written in theme and variations form, with the solo cello representing Don Quixote, and the solo viola, tenor tuba, and bass clarinet depicting the comic Sancho Panza. The second variation depicts an episode where Don Quixote encounters a herd of sheep and perceives them as an approaching army. Strauss uses dissonant flutter-tonguing in the brass to emulate the bleating of the sheep, an early instance of this extended technique. Strauss later quoted this passage in his music for Le bourgeois gentilhomme, at the moment a servant announces the dish of “leg of mutton in the Italian style”.[2]

All of the “episodes” are taken directly from the Cervantes novel.

  1. Introduction: Mäßiges Zeitmaß. Thema mäßig. “Don Quichotte verliert über der Lektüre der Ritterromane seinen Verstand und beschließt, selbst fahrender Ritter zu werden” (“Don Quixote loses his sanity after reading novels about knights, and decides to become a knight-errant“)
  2. Theme: Mäßig. “Don Quichotte, der Ritter von der traurigen Gestalt” (“Don Quixote, knight of the sorrowful countenance”)
  3. Maggiore: “Sancho Panza”
  4. Variation I: Gemächlich. “Abenteuer an den Windmühlen” (“Adventure at the Windmills”)
  5. Variation II: Kriegerisch. “Der siegreiche Kampf gegen das Heer des großen Kaisers Alifanfaron” (“The victorious struggle against the army of the great emperor Alifanfaron”) [actually a flock of sheep]
  6. Variation III: Mäßiges Zeitmaß. “Gespräch zwischen Ritter und Knappen” (“Dialogue between Knight and Squire”)
  7. Variation IV: Etwas breiter. “Unglückliches Abenteuer mit einer Prozession von Büßern” (“Unhappy adventure with a procession of pilgrims”)
  8. Variation V: Sehr langsam. “Die Waffenwache” (“The knight’s vigil”)
  9. Variation VI: Schnell. “Begegnung mit Dulzinea” (“The Meeting with Dulcinea”)
  10. Variation VII: Ein wenig ruhiger als vorher. “Der Ritt durch die Luft” (“The Ride through the Air”)
  11. Variation VIII: Gemächlich. “Die unglückliche Fahrt auf dem venezianischen Nachen” (“The unhappy voyage in the enchanted boat”)
  12. Variation IX: Schnell und stürmisch. “Kampf gegen vermeintliche Zauberer” (“Battle with the magicians”)
  13. Variation X: Viel breiter. “Zweikampf mit dem Ritter vom blanken Mond” (“Duel with the knight of the bright moon”)
  14. Finale: Sehr ruhig. “Wieder zur Besinnung gekommen” (“Coming to his senses again” – Death of Don Quixote)



Today’s Birthday: WILLIS HAVILAND CARRIER (1876)

Willis Haviland Carrier (1876)

While developing a dehumidifier for the Buffalo Forge Company in the early 1900s, American engineer Willis Carrier discovered that circulating air over cold pipes not only removes water from the air but also cools it. He became the father of air conditioning, holding over 80 patents and dominating air conditioner manufacturing with his company, Carrier Corporation. He invented a practical air conditioning system for skyscrapers in 1939. What did he call his invention when he patented it in 1906? More… Discuss


Quotation: Ralph Waldo Emerson about feeling and reasoning

Heroism feels and never reasons, and therefore is always right.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Discuss

This Day in the Yesteryear: CASABLANCA PREMIERES (1942)

Casablanca Premieres (1942)

One of the most iconic romantic films of all time and winner of three Oscars, Casablanca is a tale of love, heartbreak, and sacrifice. Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart, is an American expatriate living in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1941, who “stick[s his] neck out for nobody.” But when his former lover, played by Ingrid Bergman, and her husband need his help, Blaine’s resolve is tested. To what did Bogart’s son compare the controversial colorization of the black-and-white classic? More… Discuss



Shut Off the Lights for Better Shuteye

When it is time for bed, turning off the TV and any lightsin the bedroom could help you sleep better. Researchers say artificial light at night can affect brain activity levels and lead to poor quality sleep. When study participants were made to sleep in a room with a fluorescent lamp turned on, they spent more time in a shallow stage of sleep and had more “micro-arousals” during the night than when they slept in a room with no artificial light. More… Discuss

Article: MAMMON


In the New Testament, Mammon is the personification of riches and greed in the form of a false god. The term is also used generally in the Bible to describe wealth as a source of corruption. “You cannot serve God and mammon”—meaning that you cannot be both a good person and absorbed with gaining wealth—is one of the most noted Biblical proverbs. The common literary usage of Mammon as a god of covetousness or avarice likely stems from what text, in which Mammon oversees a cave of worldly wealth? More…Discuss