Daily Archives: February 17, 2014

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Image of St. Simon

St. Simon

In St. Matthew’s Gospel, we read of St. Simon or Simeon who is described as one of our Lord’s brethren or kinsmen. His father was Cleophas, St. Joseph’s brother, and his mother, according to some … continue reading


Enhanced by Zemanta


Gambia Independence Day

Gambia gained independence from Britain on February 18, 1965, and became a constitutional monarchy. On that day, people gathered in Bathurst for music, dancing, and the replacement of the Union Jack with the Gambian flag. A public vote in 1970 made the Republic of the Gambia a British Commonwealth. Independence Day is a national holiday in Gambia. More…Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta


Life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848)

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848)

Tiffany was an American artist and designer best known for his work in stained glass. He studied painting with George Inness and later established an interior-decorating firm that came to be known as Tiffany Studios. The firm specialized in favrile glass work, characterized by iridescent colors and natural forms in the Art Nouveau style. After 1900, Tiffany’s firm ventured into jewelry, pottery, and lamps, which became enormously popular in the 1960s and were widely imitated. Who was his father? More… Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta


George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, Secretly Executed (1478)

Sibling rivalry and political intrigue are a dangerous combination. In the case of George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, mixing the two brought about his early demise. As a young man, Clarence joined in a rebellion against his brother, King Edward IV. He soon had a change of heart and reconciled with Edward, but a few years later, he became involved in another plot against him. Clarence was then sent to the Tower of London, where he was secretly executed, allegedly by being drowned in what? More… Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta


Plain Cigarette Packaging Prompts Smokers to Call Quitlines

In October 2012, Australia introduced plain, olive green packaging for cigarettes that prominently feature asmoking-cessation helpline number, and the effort to curb the appeal of cigarettes appears to be working. Within a month of the redesigned packages reaching store shelves, calls to territorial quitlines spiked 78 percent. Six years earlier, Australia introducedcigarette packaging with bold health warnings and graphic medical images of cancerous lungs and gangrenous limbs. This was also associated with a spike in calls to quitlines, but the effect lasted only 20 weeks. The effect of the new, plain packaging is estimated at more than twice this. More…Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta


The Arrow of Time

Time is not perfectly symmetrical—if it were, a video of real events would seem realistic whether played forward or backward. British astronomer Arthur Eddington explored time’s perpetually forward motion with his “arrow of time” concept, developed around 1927. The arrow of time explains why humans have the sense that time is continuously moving from the known past to the unknown future. Though the future always seems to be something that one is moving toward, what is it really? More… Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta

Make Music Part of Your Life: Beethoven / Eschenbach, 1970: Piano Quartet in E flat Major, WoO 36, No. 1 – Amadeus Quartet

Make Music Part of Your Life:  Beethoven / Eschenbach, 1970: Piano Quartet in E flat Major, WoO 36, No. 1 – Amadeus Quartet

From David Hertzberg: “In this 1970 recording, Christoph Eschenbach and members of the Amadeus Quartet — Norbert Brainin, violin; Peter Schidlof, viola; and Martin Lovett, cello — perform the Beethoven Piano quartet in E flat major, WoO 36, No. 1. I recorded this video from a cassette I purchased back in the early 1970s, issued on the Deutsche Grammophon label (serial number 3335 174-10). 

Allegro con spirito (6:53)

(Last year I uploaded this recording in three separate segments.)

More Beethoven:

Beethoven / Gilels / Szell, 1968: Piano Concerto in G major, Op. 58 – Complete – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXoxpW…

Leonid Hambro, 1970: “Happy Birthday Dear Ludwig” – Variations in The Style of Beethoven – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-Uga3…

Fur Elise – Wilhelm Kempff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9DSjo…

Fur Elise – Alicia de Larrocha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFMUEe…

Beethoven / Artur Balsam, 1952: Piano (Violin) Concerto in D major, Op. 61a – Movement 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKKCGw…

David Oistrakh: Romance No. 2 in F major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 50: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz4JEY…

Wilhelm Backhaus: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 – London, 1950s, Karl Böhm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRSTwj…

Emil Gilels, 1968: Piano Concerto in C minor, Op. 37 (Rondo) Beethoven – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeW79S…

Emil Gilels, 1968: Piano Concerto in C major, Op. 15 (Rondo) Beethoven – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojL4Kx…

Emil Gilels, 1983, Beethoven Klaviersonate Nr. 4 Es-dur, Op. 7 –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEfGQ1…

Stephen Kovacevich, 1975: Piano Concerto in C minor, Op. 37, Movement 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYBM5z…

Beethoven / Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio: Piano Trio in B flat major, Op. 97 – Archduke (Allegro), 1966: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQAswV…

Solomon, 1958: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 – Rondo –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_Vi8m…

Friedrich Gulda, 1954: Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1 (1) –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RwDZs…

Christoph Eschenbach, 1970: Piano Quartet in C Major, WoO 36, No. 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBp3jh…

Artur Balsam: Piano (Violin) Concerto in D major, Op. 61 – Rondo, 1950s – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD8ul2…

Stephen Kovacevich: Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 13, Movement 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGamRs…

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In European classical music, piano quartet denotes a chamber music composition for piano and three other instruments, or a musical ensemble comprising such instruments. Those other instruments are usually a string trio consisting of a violinviola and cello.

Piano quartets for that standard lineup were written by Wolfgang Amadeus MozartRobert SchumannLudwig van BeethovenJohannes BrahmsAntonín Dvořák andGabriel Fauré among others. In the 20th century, composers have also written for more varied groups, with Anton Webern‘s Quartet, opus 22 (1930), for example, being for piano, violin, clarinet and tenor saxophone, and Paul Hindemith‘s quartet (1938) as well as Olivier Messiaen‘s Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1940) both for piano, violin, cello and clarinet. An early example of this can be found in Franz Berwald‘s quartet for piano, horn, clarinet and bassoon (1819), his opus 1.[1]

A rare form of piano quartets consist of two pianos with two players at each piano. This type of ensemble is informally referred to as “8 hand piano”, or “2 piano 8 hands”. 8 hand piano was popular in the late 19th century before the advent of recordings as it was a mechanism to reproduce and study symphonic works. Music lovers could hear the major symphonic works all in the convenience of a parlour or music hall that had two pianos and four pianists. Many of the popular works of Wolfgang Amadeus MozartRobert SchumannJohannes BrahmsAntonín Dvořák were transcribed for two piano eight hands. The majority of 8 hand piano music consist of transcriptions, or arrangements.


Ludwig van Beethoven (Listeni/ˈlʊdvɪɡ væn ˈb.tvən/German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːt.hoːfən] ( listen); baptised 17 December 1770[1] – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 concertos for piano, 32 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets. He also composed other chamber music, choral works (including the celebrated Missa Solemnis), and songs.

Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and Christian Gottlob Neefe. During his first 22 years in Bonn, Beethoven intended to study with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and befriended Joseph Haydn. Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792 and began studying with Haydn, quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. In about 1800 his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. 

The three piano quartets of WoO 36, written when the composer was 15, are among the most substantial of Beethoven‘s earliest compositions. They are so early, in fact, that the autograph score calls for “clavecin” instead of piano. The same manuscript gives “basso” instead of cello, with the pieces ordered C major, E flat major, and D major. The pieces were not printed until 1828 in Vienna, in the order E flat, D, and C. Material from the C major Trio was subsequently used in the Piano Sonatas, Op. 2, Nos. 1 and 3. These are the only works Beethoven composed for this ensemble, which he abandoned for the piano trio after moving to Vienna.

When he was a boy, Beethoven was musically influenced primarily by Christian Gottlob Neefe(1748-98), a composer and one of Beethoven‘s first music teachers, Abbé Franz Sterkel(1750-1817), one of the foremost pianists in Europe, and Mozart. Of these influences, Neefe’s was the most immediate and Mozart‘s the most profound. Each of the three quartets of WoO 36 draws on a specific violin sonata by Mozart, from the set published in 1781. The first ofBeethoven‘s quartets is modeled on Mozart‘s K. 379/373a, the second on K. 380/374f, and the third on K. 296. All three quartets of WoO 36 are in three movements.

The E flat major quartet is unusual in that its slow introductory movement jumps without pause into an Allegro con spirito in E flat minor. The E flat minor movement, in sonata form, features a tiny development, but contains some adventurous passages in the recapitulation. The final movement is a set of six variations in an ornamental style on a high-Classical-era theme with two eight-measure segments. Each of the segments is repeated, the first moving to the dominant and the second returning to the tonic. Beethoven follows this pattern in all of the variations, the fifth of which is in E flat minor. After the variations have run their course, the theme returns, only slightly rearranged, followed by a coda reminiscent of the first variation. Throughout the work, the piano dominates the proceedings.

Beethoven cast the D major quartet in a more traditional format, with a central slow movement enclosed by two fast ones. The opening Allegro is in sonata form and modulates to the dominant. Boasting a much larger development section than that of the E flat quartet, the movement touches on D minor before the recapitulation. The second movement, in F sharp minor, is in two parts and marked Andante con moto. The piano opens the concluding Rondo, a movement of youthful energy dominated by the keyboard part.

The quartet in C major is also in three movements, the second of which is in a relaxed F major. After a very brief development section, Beethoven begins the recapitulation on the subdominant, a procedure Schubert would use in several of his works. The second movement features some of the most compelling melodic passages of Beethoven‘s youth, although his tendency to double most of these robs them of some of their delicacy. Nearly all of the thematic material in the closing Rondo is concentrated in the piano part.

Despite the degree to which some aspects of the Piano Quartets, WoO 36, look forward to the mature Beethoven, they have little independent life as concert pieces that command interest for more than curiosity value

Enhanced by Zemanta

New Independent Fukushima Food Contamination Results | SimplyInfo

polimasterdetectNew Independent Fukushima Food Contamination Results | SimplyInfo.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Madama Butterfly – Vogliatemi bene – Jonas Kaufmann and Angela GheorghiuMadama Butterfly – Vogliatemi bene – Jonas Kaufmann and Angela Gheorghiu

Jonas Kaufmann and Angela Gheorghiu, Vogliatemi bene, from the recording sessions of the EMI Madama Butterfly in Rome, July 2008

Buy “Madama Butterfly, Act 1: Vogliatemi bene, un bene piccolino (Butterfly/Pinkerton)” on

Google PlayAmazonMP3,  

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Dark Money Man: How Sean Noble Moved the Kochs’ Cash into Politics and Made Millions – ProPublica

The Dark Money Man: How Sean Noble Moved the Kochs’ Cash into Politics and Made Millions – ProPublica.

Saint of the Day for Monday, February 17th, 2014: ST. ALEXIS FALCONIERI

Saint of the Day for Monday, February 17th, 2014


Saint Alexis Falconieri

St. Alexis Falconieri

Feastday: February 17
Patron of the city of Orvieto (Italy)
1200 – 1310
Founder and mystic, one of the first Servants of Mary or Servites. The son of a wealthy merchant in Florence, Italy, Alexis and six companions joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in … continue reading


Enhanced by Zemanta

Archbishop denounces flagrant persecution of Christians in the Middle East – Living Faith – Home & Family – Catholic Online

Archbishop Chullikatt says that now,

Archbishop Chullikatt says that now, “because of the conflict, Christians are caught in the crossfire.”

Archbishop denounces flagrant persecution of Christians in the Middle East – Living Faith – Home & Family – Catholic Online.



Quirinus was an ancient Roman deity who closely resembled Mars, the god of war. His name is associated with that of the Quirinal, one of the seven hills on which Rome was built. Eventually, Quirinus was identified withRomulus, one of the legendary founders of Rome, and his festival on February 17 coincided with the date on which Romulus was believed to have been deified. This festival was also associated with the advent of spring warfare, when the shields and weapons of the army, which had been purified and retired for the winter, were brought out. More… Discuss



Enhanced by Zemanta

QUOTATION: Jane Austen

One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta


Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836)

One of the best 19th-century lyric poets, Bécquer was a Spanish poet and writer of romantic tales. Orphaned by 11, unhappily married, and living in poverty for most of his brief life, he became lonely and introspective. His celebrated suite of poems, Rimas, is characterized by the melancholy and resigned bitterness of the romantics. He was moderately well known during his life but gained wider acclaim following the posthumous publication of many of his works. What caused his early death? More… Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta


The Southern Leyte Mudslide (2006)

After 10 days of heavy rains and a minor earthquake, a cliff face in the Southern Leyte province of the Philippines collapsed, initiating the world’s deadliest single landslide in nearly two decades. More than 1,100 people were killed when a torrent of rocks, mud, and debris buried the village of Guinsaugon. The international community quickly came to the aid of the island nation, but difficult conditions hampered the relief effort. What do some believe also contributed to the deadly landslide? More…Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta


Multinational Disease Prevention and Containment Initiative

In our increasingly globalized world, the threat ofepidemics and pandemics looms larger with each passing day. We have seen several outbreaks of dangerous, potentially fatal, contagious illnesses in recent years, some of which spread across borders and even oceans. In an effort to prevent avoidable epidemics, twenty-seven countries jointly launched the Global Health Security Agenda, a multinational initiative to improve the prevention, detection, response to, and containment of infectious disease outbreaks.More… Discuss


Enhanced by Zemanta