Daily Archives: November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving: Johnny Cash – Pickin’ Time

Star Route USA 1962
Happy Thanksgiving:  Johnny Cash – Pickin’ Time

Awaiting Cornucopia: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Summertime

Happy Thanksgiving: Aaron Copland – Themes from Our Town and The Red Pony

Grover’s Corners (from Our Town)
EMI Studios, London England; Producer: Paul Myers – June 1974

Grandfather’s Story (from The Red Pony)
The Phoenix Symphony – conducted by James Sedares – May 1991



Great Performances: Johannes Brahms 4 Pieces for Piano Op.119, Radu Lupu

Johannes Brahms 4 Pieces for Piano Op.119, Radu Lupu
Johannes Brahms 4 Pieces for Piano Op.119

I. Intermezzo in B minor –3:16
II. Intermezzo in E minor 3:168:36
III. Intermezzo in C major 8:3610:17
IV. Rhapsody in E flat major. 10:17

Radu Lupu Piano

Fabulous Composers/Compositions: Rimsky-Korsakov – Christmas Eve: Orchestral Suite (1895)

Christmas Eve (Suite)

I. Christmas Night
II. Ballet of the Stars
III. Witches’ Sabbath and Ride on the Devil’s Back
IV. Polonaise
V. Vakula and the Slippers

A thrilling orchestral suite by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), based on music from the 1895 opera of the same name. The plot of the opera follows the short story “Christmas Eve” from Nikolai Gogol‘s “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka“. The same story also formed the basis of Tchaikovsky’s operas “Vakula the Smith” and “Cherevichki“.

A synopsis of Gogol’s short story is available on Wikipedia:


Fabulous Composers/Compositions: Rimsky-Korsakov – Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36

Also known as The Great Russian Easter Overture, is a concert overture written by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov between August 1887 and April 1888, and dedicated to the memories of Modest Mussorgsky and Alexander Borodin, two members of the legendary “Mighty Handful“.

It is subtitled “Overture on Liturgical Themes”. It is the last of the composer’s series of three exceptionally brilliant orchestral works, preceded by Capriccio Espagnol and Scheherazade. The work received its premiere in St. Petersburg in late December 1888.

Conductor: Zubin Mehta 
Orchestra: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

Picture: Il’ja Efimovič Repin, Easter Procession in the region of Kursk (1880-1883)


Fabulous Compositions/Composers: Franz Schubert – 6 Moment Musicaux, D 780

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Six moments musicauxD 780 (Op. 94) is a collection of six short pieces for solo piano composed by Franz Schubert. The movements are as follows:

  1. Moderato in C major
  2. Andantino in A-flat major
  3. Allegro moderato in F minor
  4. Moderato in C-sharp minor
  5. Allegro vivace in F minor
  6. Allegretto in A-flat major

Along with the Impromptus, they are among the most frequently played of all Schubert’s piano music, and have been recorded many times. No. 3 in F minor has been arranged by Leopold Godowsky and others.

It has been said that Schubert was deeply influenced in writing these pieces by the Impromptus, Op. 7, of Jan Václav Voříšek (1822).[1][2]

They were published by Leidersorf in Vienna in 1828, under the title “Six Momens [sic] musicals [sic]”. The correct French forms are now usually used – moments(instead of momens), and musicaux (instead of musicals). The sixth number was published in 1824 in a Christmas album under the title Les plaintes d’un troubadour.[2]


Quotation: William Shakespeare about adversity

Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616):  As You Like It: Act 2, Scene 1

Today’s Birthday: ALEXANDER GODUNOV (1949)

Alexander Godunov (1949)

Godunov was a Russian ballet dancer and film actor whose defection caused a diplomatic incident between the US and USSR. On August 21, 1979, while on tour with the Bolshoi Ballet in New York City, Godunov requested political asylum. Days later, the KGB put his wife, a soloist with the company, on a plane to Moscow, but the State Department grounded it until officials determined that she was leaving voluntarily. The couple later divorced. In what blockbuster did Godunov play a German terrorist?More… Discuss


This Day in the Yesteryear: THE COCOANUT GROVE NIGHTCLUB FIRE (1942)

The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire (1942)

The deadliest nightclub fire in US history, the Cocoanut Grove fire claimed 492 lives. When the fire broke out, the Boston, Massachusetts, club was packed well beyond capacity. About 1,000 people were inside, with limited avenues of escape. Side doors had been locked to prevent patrons from skipping out on tabs, and the main entrance, a revolving door, was rendered useless by the crush of the crowd, as were other unlocked doors that opened inward. What is one theory as to what sparked the fire? More…Discuss


King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz in 2002

King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz in 2002 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saudi Arabia Arrests Men over Free Hugs

For nearly a decade, people around the globe have been setting up shop in public spaces to offer a single ware—hugs—gratis. The Free Hugs campaign is a movement aimed at promoting random act of kindness, but not everyone approves of the movement or its methods. Two men were recently arrested in Saudi Arabia for offering free hugs to passers-by, charged with indulging in exotic practices and offending public order. They were reportedly made to sign a pledge stating that they would not engage in the practice again. More… Discuss


South African Taxi Wars

In 1987, South Africa’s lucrative taxi industry—serving over 60 percent of commuters—was deregulated. Since then, it has been dominated by turf wars among rival associations of taxi operators that use mafia-like tactics, including hired killings. The wars intensified with the end of apartheid in 1994. In addition to the violence, the industry is also plagued by the inherent danger created by outdated vehicles and reckless drivers. How many taxi-related deaths occurred annually in the 1990s? More… Discuss