Daily Archives: December 16, 2013

Great Performances: Leonard Cohen -Bird on a wire-with Perla Batalla

The most beautiful interpretation of “Like The Bird On The Wire“, ever. Perla flies like a dove above all, off a wire up in the skies, and dive on the winds of the accordeon, so divinely played. Perla Batalla is the priestess of freedom and joy of life everlasting in this magnificent scene: Sweet like nectar, and the salt of the Earth. If Leonard is the man, Perla is the woman, the lover, enchanter, charmer, the voice. Do you see that too, or is it only me?


“Bird On The Wire”

Like a bird on the wire, 
like a drunk in a midnight choir 
I have tried in my way to be free. 
Like a worm on a hook, 
like a knight from some old fashioned book 
I have saved all my ribbons for thee. 
If I, if I have been unkind, 
I hope that you can just let it go by. 
If I, if I have been untrue 
I hope you know it was never to you. 
Like a baby, stillborn, 
like a beast with his horn 
I have torn everyone who reached out for me. 
But I swear by this song 
and by all that I have done wrong 
I will make it all up to thee. 
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, 
he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.” 
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, 
she cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more?” Oh like a bird on the wire, 
like a drunk in a midnight choir 
I have tried in my way to be free.


Quotation: Henry David Thoreau about voting

All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions … I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Discuss


Gabrielle-Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet (1706)

The wife of a French marquis, du Châtelet defied convention in both her personal and professional life. She was a mathematician and physicist and wrote a number of scientific treatises as well as a translation of Isaac Newton‘s Principia Mathematica. She had several extramarital affairs—the most enduring of which was with philosopher and writer Voltaire, who once described her as “a great man whose only fault was being a woman.” How did she once think her way out of a gambling debt? More… Discuss



US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists (1981)

In 1981, US Brigadier General James Dozier was kidnapped from his apartment in Italy by men posing as plumbers. The kidnappers were members of the Red Brigades, an extreme left-wing terrorist organization that sought to undermine the Italian state and pave the way for Marxist upheaval. Dozier, who was serving as deputy chief of staff at NATO’s Southern European land forces headquarters in Verona, was the first American general ever abducted by a terrorist group. How long was he held captive? More… Discuss



The Ambulocetus

Though similar to crocodiles in appearance and behavior,Ambulocetus was actually an early cetacean—a member of the mammalian order that includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. However, unlike today’s cetaceans, Ambulocetus had legs and so could walk as well as swim. These and other key adaptations of the “walking whale” have helped scientists piece together the way in which whales evolved from land mammals. Ambulocetus lived 50 million years ago in what part of the world? More… Discuss


Freshwater Reserves Discovered Beneath Seabed

Concerns about the future of Earth’s water supply have been growing in recent years. More than 40 percent of the people on Earth already live in conditions of water scarcity, and the UN estimates that by 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will live under high water stress. Still, the numbers have failed to curb consumption, which in the past century has been growing at more than twice the rate of the population. Researchers say we may breathe a little easier though, as they have discovered vast freshwater reserves—an estimated 120,000 cubic miles (500,000 cubic kilometers) of low-salinitywater—beneath the ocean floorMore… Discuss


Phil Donahue on Transformation, On-Screen and Off | On Being


Phil Donahue on Transformation, On-Screen and Off | On Being.

Judge: NSA phone surveillance program unconstitutional – CNN.com


Judge: NSA phone surveillance program unconstitutional – CNN.com.

Great Performances: Dumitru Fărcaş – Du-te, Dor, În Munţi De Piatră (Go Longing in Rocky Mountains)

Dumitru Fărcaş – Du-te, dor, în munţi de piatră
Toate pozele sunt făcute de mine, pe Masivul Ceahlău (Carpaţii Orientali)

All the pictures are took by me in the Ceahlău Massif (the Carpathian Mountains, in Moldavia region of Romania)

Strunga Dracului August 2013 (A wonderful video about the beautiful Fagaras Mountains in Romania)

Great Performances: Rubinstein-Chopin-Piano Concerto No.2

Great Performances:  Rubinstein-Chopin-Piano Concerto No.2
Frédéric Chopin Piano Concerto N.º 2 Op. 21 in F minor: Maestoso-Larghetto-Allegro Vivace-Arthur Rubinstein, Pianist
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by André Previn (HD video)

From Wikipedia

The Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minorOp. 21, is a piano concerto composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830. Chopin wrote the piece before he had finished his formal education, at around 20 years of age. It was first performed on 17 March 1830, in WarsawPoland, with the composer as soloist. It was the second of his piano concertos to be published (after the Piano Concerto No. 1), and so was designated as “No. 2”, even though it was written first.
The work contains the three movements typical of instrumental concertos of the period:

  1. Maestoso
  2. Larghetto and 
  3. Allegro vivace.

What makes Chopin’s Op. 21 an early-Romantic concerto par excellence is the dominance of the piano part. After introducing the first movement, the orchestra cedes all responsibility for musical development to the piano; there is none of the true interplay of forces that is the mainstay of the classical concerto.

Great Performances: Schumann: Violin Concerto / Frank Peter Zimmermann

WDR Sinfonieorchester – Kölner Philharmonie
Frank Peter Zimmermann
Robert Schumann: Violinkonzert
conducted by: Jukka Pekka Saraste (Chefdirigent)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Schumann‘s Violin Concerto in D minorWoO 23 was his only violin concerto and one of his last significant compositions, and one that remained unknown to all but a very small circle for more than 80 years after it was written.

The work is in three movements:

  1. In kräftigem, nicht zu schnellem Tempo (D minor)
  2. Langsam (B-flat major)
  3. Lebhaft, doch nicht schnell (D major)

The concerto is in the traditional three-movement quick-slow-quick form. It belongs less to the poetic and passionate style of Schumann’s early masterpieces than to the more objective, classical manner of his later music, as ushered in by the ‘Rhenish’ Symphony of 1850. Certainly the opening movement, which is in sonata form, is conceived more on symphonic than concertante lines. Its powerful opening subject dominates the proceedings, and although the violin’s role is extremely taxing, its subordination to a ‘symphonic’ scheme is emphasized by the fact that there is no cadenza. The second movement, in B flat, has the character of an intensely lyrical intermezzo, and passes without pause into a vigorous and dance-like sonata-rondo finale in the parallel major, D major. An unusual feature of the third movement is its strong polonaise rhythm.

Fabulous Composers/Compositions: Franz Liszt: Liebeslied S 566 “Widmung” by Robert Schumann Rare Transcription

Franz Liszt: Liebeslied S 566 “Widmung” by Robert Schumann Rare Transcription
Pianist Pablo Cintron performs a rare version of Franz Liszt Transciption Robert Schumann’s “Widmung” (“Dedication”) opens his song-cycle Myrthen (‘Myrtles’), which was appropriately named after the blossoms traditionally associated with marriage festivals, as it was his wedding present to his bride, Clara Wieck. He began composing songs as a means of proving his financial stability as a future husband, and in “Widmung”, as was the case with all his compositions of this genre, he deeply expressed his most heart-felt emotions; passion and devotion, fears and longing, frustration and suffering from their separation, and the hopes and dreams of their life together. He began the cycle in the early part of 1840, finishing it in April, well ahead of his self-established September deadline. When complete, “Widmung” and its accompanying poems were lavishly bound with a red velvet inscription, which affectionately read “To my beloved bride.” The song-cycle also contained the composition “Zum Schluss” (“‘In Conclusion'”), that together with “Widmung” made up the two Lieder der Braut (‘The Bride’s Songs), which form the most passionate outpouring in Myrthen. 

“Widmung” was one of five songs in Myrthen with texts from the poems of Friedrich Rückert. When Schumann became captivated by Rückert’s mastery of the rhythmic and technical aspects of poetry, he temporarily turned away from setting Heine’s writings. Schumann was at ease with Rückert’s words as they were slightly easier to set to music than those of the other poet. In “Widmung”, Schumann confessed all of the things Wieck was to him; his peace, angel, repose, rapture, heart, soul, grave for sorrows, better self and his heaven. In this carefully balanced arrangement of text and music, he revealed the depth of his engagement as a poet-musician. This spirited song contains a few devices which reappeared in his later works, including sweeping keyboard passages and the haunting enharmonic progression (A flat major to E flat major) to the central section. He altered the text by repeating the final verse, and these last measures contain a thoughtful instrumental effect, which eclipses the text and introduces a new motif. The work contains the tempo marking “Innig, Lebhaft 3/2,” and is often sung too slowly. The pattern of the accompaniment, rising and falling, reappeared in “Helft mir, ihr Schwestern Op. 42/5” and the melody was paraphrased in the heroine’s song of “Die Löwenbraut Op. 31/1”. “Widmung” was performed on several occasions throughout Schumann’s life, once with his “Das Paradies und die Peri Op. 50″ and another time with his Symphony in B flat major, at a benefit concert on March 31, 1841. The depth of the song had a widespread acceptance and effect, and in France, in 1849, Franz Liszt paved the way for Schumann’s influence, with a publication of “Widmung”, for solo piano. Only 40 of Schumann’s 150 solo songs are still commonly heard in recital halls; popular among vocalists at all levels, “Widmung” is included in that first number, as one of the 


Quotation: Jerome K. Jerome about human memory

The music of life would be mute if the chords of memory were snapped asunder.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) Discuss

Today’s Birthday: MARGARET MEAD (1901)

Margaret Mead (1901)

A prolific writer and avid speaker, anthropologist Margaret Mead was instrumental in popularizing the anthropological concept of culture in the US. Though many later anthropologists have questioned both the accuracy of her observations and the soundness of her conclusions, she remains highly regarded for her many contributions to the field. Over the course of her career, Mead made numerous field trips to observe the peoples of Oceania. What question did she hope to answer on her first such trip? More… Discuss



Last Recorded Eruption of Mount Fuji Begins (1707)

Majestic Mount Fuji, located about 60 mi (100 km) from Tokyo, is the tallest mountain in Japan. The beauty of the snowcapped symmetrical cone, ringed by lakes and virgin forests, has inspired Japanese poets and painters throughout the centuries. Though the volcano is classified as active, its last major eruption began on December 16, 1707, and ended in early 1708. As a sacred mountain, Mount Fuji is a traditional pilgrimage site, but the Aokigahara forest at its base is a popular site for what? More…Discuss



Facebook Mulling a “Sympathize” Button

Facebook’s “Like” button has a lot of uses, but it also has its limitations. For example, when a person posts about the passing of a loved one or an illness, friends may want to show their support but are reluctant to do so with a “Like.” Software engineers for the social media giant have therefore come up with a possible alternative: a “Sympathize” button. This button would replace the “Like” button on status updates tagged with a negative emotion. Facebook does not yet have plans to release the feature, but it could do so in the future. More… Discuss


“Larping” is the act of participating in a live-action-role-playing game (LARP). Fiction and reality are blurred as “larpers” meet and play their games in person—though not as themselves, as fictional characters—in an artificially created or even imagined setting—somewhat like improvisational theater. Settings vary from historical to modern to fantasy. Event arrangers called gamemasters oversee the games, which can last days and include thousands of players. When was the first recorded LARP? More… Discuss