Daily Archives: February 3, 2014

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: SRI LANKA NATIONAL DAY


Sri Lanka National Day

The former British colony of Ceylon changed its name in 1972 to Sri Lanka, which means “Blessed Isle.” Sri Lankans commemorate the granting of their independence from Great Britain on February 4, 1948, with public gatherings throughout the island and special services in the temples, churches, and mosques. There are also parades, folk dances, processions, and national games. More… Discuss

 

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QUOTATION: Miguel de Cervantes


Truth indeed rather alleviates than hurts, and will always bear up against falsehood, as oil does above water.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Discuss

 

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: RAYMOND ARTHUR DART (1893)


Raymond Arthur Dart (1893)

Dart was an Australian-born South African physical anthropologist and paleontologist. In 1924, when Asia was still believed to be the cradle of humankind, Dart’s discovery of the Taung skull near the Kalahari substantiated Charles Darwin’s prediction that such ancestral hominin forms would be found in Africa. Dart named the skull, establishing it as the type specimen of a new genus and species,Australopithecus africanus. What disputed theory of human evolution did he originate? More… Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: FACEBOOK IS LAUNCHED (2004)


Facebook Is Launched (2004)

With over a billion active users, Facebook is the most popular social networking site on the Web. Founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 as a way to facilitate online communication between Harvard University students, the platform was a great success and was soon opened up to students at other colleges, then to high school students, and eventually to anyone in the world over the age of 13 with access to the Internet. What new words and word meanings have been added to the lexicon thanks to Facebook? More… Discuss

 

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NEWS: CRAZY FUNNY!


Crazy Funny!

Does being a little bit crazy make people funnier? A study comparing comedians to people in non-creative jobs finds that comedians tend to score higher on measures of certain psychotic personality traits, like introverted anhedonia—in layman’s terms, a reduced ability to feel social and physical pleasure—and extraverted impulsiveness. Though these traits are typically associated with psychosis, they are not always indicative of an unhealthy mental state and could enable the sort of out-of-the-box thinking that leads to humorMore… Discuss

 

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ARTICLE: IDEOLOGY


Ideology

Though commonly used today, the word “ideology” was born in the highly controversial philosophical and political debates and fights of the French Revolution. French philosopher Antoine Louis Claude, Comte Destutt de Tracy, coined the term in 1796 after having been inspired by John Locke and Etienne de Condillac while imprisoned during the Reign of Terror. He used the word as a label for his “science of ideas.” Who gave it its modern meaning when he used it to rail against political opponents? More… Discuss

 

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Great Compositions/Performances: George Enescu – Romanian Rhapsody n° 2 in D major, Op. 11 (Orchestre de Montbéliard, Paul Staïcu)



The first Romanian Rhapsody composed at 19 years (together with a second one, both bearing the opus number 11) gained a worldwide fame for its lovely folk tunes (in fact, all Enescu’s works are imbued with such folk lightmotifs) and vivid Romanian rhythms, becoming definitely the best known of all his compositions. Here the Rhapsody No.2 is performed with an infectious empathy by the Romanian conductor Paul Staïcu along with his outstanding musicians of Montbéliard Philharmonic Orchestra.  The performance reveals a mighty symphonist with a keen sense of colours and orchestral textures, a rigorous and honest one devoted to principles and truth, extracting the sap of his composition from folk melodies of his people.  The reputed conductor Paul Staïcu has signed a series of recordings devoted to the complete orchestral oeuvres of his fellow compatriot.  The celebrated Romanian Rhapsody in D major op.11 , more reflexive than its pair no.1, the second Romanian Rhapsody is also a youthful work (written in 1900, when the composer was 19) with persistent folk aromas and picturesque suggestions, aiming at fructifying the popular Romanian musical treasure and meditative side of its sentimentality. The rhapsodic character compounds its appeal and favours its reception by audiences. It is a composition putting grave questions and depicting outrageous realities, filtered through a sensitive conscience. It conveys the sufferance of a moral man facing the immorality of a corrupt and pointless world, reflecting on duties and faiths, on life’s sense and destiny. The torturing mood is magisterially recreated by the inspired baton of Paul Staïcu, the main themes flow unceasingly with a desolating vigour and reach finally a concluding climax affirming an undefeated hope in the majesty of mankind.

  

The Romanian Athenaeum, at about the time of the Rhapsodies’ premiere there in 1903

The two Romanian Rhapsodies, Op. 11, for orchestra, are George Enescu‘s best-known compositions. They were both written in 1901, and first performed together in 1903. The two rhapsodies, and particularly the first, have long held a permanent place in the repertory of every major orchestra. They employ elements of lăutărească music, vivid Romanian rhythms, and an air of spontaneity. They exhibit exotic modal coloring, with some scales having ‘mobile’ thirds, sixths or sevenths, creating a shifting major/minor atmosphere, one of the characteristics of Romanian lăutărească music.[1][not in citation given] They also incorporate some material found in the later drafts of his Poème roumaine, Op. 1.[2]

File:Ateneul Român stage.jpg

The stage of the Athenaeum in Bucharest

The two Romanian Rhapsodies were composed in Paris, and premiered together in a concert at the Romanian Athenaeumin Bucharest which also included the world premiere of Enescu’s First Suite for Orchestra, Op. 9 (1903). The composer conducted all three of his own works, which were preceded on the programme by Berlioz’s Overture to Les francs-jugesand Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, both conducted by Eduard Wachmann. The concert took place on 23 February 1903[3](according to the Julian calendar in use in Romania at that time; 8 March 1903 Gregorian).[4] The Second Rhapsody was played first, and Enescu maintained this order of performance throughout his life.[5]

Rhapsody No. 2 in D major

The Second Rhapsody, like the first, was completed in 1901,[14][7] but is more inward and reflective. Its essential character is not dance, but song.[15][5] It is based on the popular 19th-century ballad “Pe o stîncă neagră, într-un vechi castel” (“On a dark rock, in an old castle”) which, like the opening melody of the First Rhapsody Enescu may have learned from the lăutar Chioru,[1] though again there is some doubt whether Enescu actually remembered it from Chioru.[10] After a development culminating in a canonic presentation, this theme is joined by a dance tune, “Sîrba lui Pompieru” (“Sîrba of the Fireman”), followed shortly afterward by the second half of a folksong, “Văleu, lupu mă mănîncă” (“Aiee, I’m being devoured by a wolf!”), which is treated in canon.[16] Toward the end there is a brief moment of animation, bringing to mind the spirit of country lăutari, but the work ends quietly.[17]

Unlike the First Rhapsody, there is no controversy at all about the scoring of the Second, which is given in the published score as: 3 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, 2 timpani, cymbal, 2 harps, first violins, second violins, violas, cellos, and double basses.[18]

 

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Antoine de Lhoyer: Concerto for guitar & strings, Op. 16 (1799) – Part II / Ensemble Matheus



ANTOINE DE LHOYER [1768-1852]

Concerto pour la guitare avec accompagnement de 2 violons, alto et basse, Opus 16

date: 1799 (Hamburg, Boehme, 1802)

II. Adagio (arranged by Philippe Spinosi) – 0:05

Philippe Spinosi (R. Lacote, 1824 guitar)
Violin I
Laurence Paugam (J. Knit, 1770 c.)
Emmanuel Curial (N.-A. Chappuy, 1750 c.)
Marc-Antoine Raffy (Ch. Jacquot, Early XIX Century)
Cécile Mille (Fresbrunner, 1750 c.)
Violin II
Françoise Paugam (Italy, Early XVIII Century)
Anne-Violaine Caillaux (A. Meyer, Metz, XVIII Century)
Tami Troman (A. Castagneri, Paris, 1738)
Viola
Malik Haudidier (J. L. Blivet, 1998 after A. Testore, Milan, 1747)
Marie-Aude Guyon (Maucotel et Deschamp, 1906)
Pauline Warnier (Austrian anonymous, XVIII Century violoncello)
Thierry Runarvot (1700 c., Naples double bass)

Ensemble Matheus / Jean-Christophe Spinosi (conductor)

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