Daily Archives: July 4, 2014

make music part of your life series: Gioacchino Rossini – Silken Ladder Overture


Gioacchino Rossini – Silken Ladder Overture

In this 1978 recording, Claudio Abbado conducts the London Symphony Orchestra. RCA is the official owner of this recording.

Photo: http://pixabay.com/en/marian-column-p…

This recording is no longer available on CD, but you can find alternate recordings of this specific overture on ArkivMusic:

make music part of your life Series: “The Banjo”, by Louis Moreau Gottschalk


The Banjo“, by Louis Moreau Gottschalk

(Performed by pianist, ROLLIN WILBER)

El Capitan – Army Field Band (Concert Band & Soldiers’ Chorus)


El Capitan – Army Field Band (Concert Band & Soldiers’ Chorus)

John Philip Sousa, the composer of the song.

John Philip Sousa, the composer of the song. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The US Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus perform John Philip Sousa‘s 1896 march El Capitan.
Modern orchestration by Keith Brion and Loras Schissel Copyright (c) 1999 Willow Blossom Music Courtesy of Keith Brion.

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The United States Army Field Band
4214 Field Band Drive
Fort Meade, Maryland 20755-5330

fabulous musical moments: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 96, “American” by Antonín Dvořák – Lento (Performed by the Fry Street Quartet) (


String Quartet in F Major, Op. 96, “American” by Antonín Dvořák – Lento (Performed by the Fry Street Quartet)

great compostions/performances: Dvořák / String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 “American” (Cleveland Quartet)

Dvořák / String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 “American” (Cleveland Quartet)

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904):

String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96, B. 179 “American” (1893)

00:00 Allegro ma non troppo
09:08 – Lento
16:14 – Molto vivace
20:00 – Finale. Vivace ma non troppo

Performed by the Cleveland Quartet (Telarc, 1991).

“From its first performance, Dvořák’s  ‘American’ Quartet has enjoyed lasting popularity for its tunefulness, its rhythmic verve, and its happy interplay of the four instruments. Given all the publicity afforded Dvořák’s ideas on American music, one might reasonably ask just how ‘American’ Op. 96 really is. A theme in the third movement qualifies as having been borrowed from an American: ‘a damned bird (red, only with black wings)’ that kept singing where he was working. Dvořák worked the native bird’s song into the scherzo (measures 21 and following). Beyond that we are on less firm ground. Many of the themes are entirely or nearly pentatonic, and some have wanted to see in this the influence of the black spiritual. But in fact Bohemian music is just as frequently pentatonic, and similar themes can be found in Dvořák’s music long before he came to America. The opening of the work was based on Smetana‘s First Quartet, though Dvořák’s mood is entirely diferent — lighter and livelier throughout, with the poignant exception of the lyrical second movement, the plaintive melody of which — echoed between violin and cello — is a wonderful foil to the high spirits of the remaining three movements.” – Steven Ledbetter

Painting: Airborne (1996), Andrew Wyeth

today’s holiday: Independence Day (4th of July)

Independence Day (United States)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Fourth of July” and “4th of July” redirect here. For the date, see July 4. For other uses, see Independence Day (disambiguation). For other related material, see Fourth of July (disambiguation).
Independence Day
Fourth of July fireworks behind the Washington Monument, 1986.jpg

Displays of fireworks, such as these over the Washington Monument, take place across the United States on Independence Day.
Also called The Fourth of July
The Fourth
Observed by United States
Type National
Significance The day in 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress
Celebrations Fireworks, Family reunions, Concerts, Barbecues, Picnics, Parades, Baseball games
Date July 4
Next time 4 July 2015
Frequency annual

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States of America commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now officially known as the United Kingdom). Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.[1][2][3]

make music part of your life series: Dalia Lazar performs Chopin’s Waltz, Op. 64 No. 3 in A flat Major


Dalia Lazar performs Chopin’s Waltz, Op. 64 No. 3 in A flat Major

Frédéric Chopin‘s Waltz, Op. 64 No. 3 in A flat Major
Performed by Dalia Lazar in Hrvatski Glazbeni Zavod.
May 17, 2012 recital, Zagreb, Croatia.


fabulous musical moments: Schubert / A. Brendel, 1961: Fantasy in C Major, D. 760 (Op. 15) – The Wanderer –


Schubert / A. Brendel, 1961: Fantasy in C Major, D. 760 (Op. 15) – The Wanderer – 

Wanderer-Fantasie (German translation would Fantasy Traveller) is the popular name of the Opus 15 (D 760) in C major by Franz Schubert written in November 1822. This is a Fantasy for piano in the classical form of the sonata. There is strong correlation between movements, so this part is interpreted as a process of sonata with significant variations from the classical form.

today’s holiday: Apache Maidens’ Puberty Rites

Apache Maidens’ Puberty Rites

The Apache Maidens’ Puberty Rites are a coming-of-age celebration of girls of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, held for four days and nights around the Fourth of July in Mescalero, New Mexico. On the first and last days, the girls run around a basket four times, symbolizing the four stages of life (infancy, childhood, adulthood, and old age). On the last day, their faces are painted with white clay and they enact the role of White Painted Woman, preparing for a rewarding adult life. Other events include a rodeo, a powwow, a parade on July 4, and the nighttime Dance of the Mountain Gods. More… Discuss

quotation: One story is good, till another is told. Aesop (620 BC-560 BC)

One story is good, till another is told.

Aesop (620 BC560 BC) Discuss

today’s birthday: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804)

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804)

Hawthorne was one of the great masters of American fiction. His novels and tales are penetrating explorations of moral and spiritual conflicts, and his masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, is often considered the first American psychological novel. Hawthorne also helped to establish the American short story as a significant art form with his haunting tales of human loneliness, frustration, hypocrisy, eccentricity, and frailty. What future US president did Hawthorne befriend in college? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: West Point Opens (1802)

West Point Opens (1802)

Before it was home to young men and women training to be US Army officers, West Point, New York, was the site of a military post. Congress signed legislation establishing the United States Military Academy there in 1802, though it was initially an apprentice school for military engineers. Its curriculum broadened in 1866, and, after World War I, Superintendent Douglas MacArthur pushed for major changes in the physical fitness and athletic programs. What collegiate tradition began at West Point? More… Discuss

Raise Your Glass

Raise Your Glass

Two recent studies furnish further evidence that low-to-moderate alcohol consumption may be good for the heart whereas heavy drinking almost certainly is not. In one study, low levels of alcohol use were associated with a moderate reduction in heart attack risk, and in the other, moderate consumption was associated with a reduced risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Episodes of heavy drinking, defined as six or more drinks in 24 hours, however, were associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction. More… Discuss



The earliest known precursor to football—or soccer, as it is known in some parts of the world—cuju is an ancient Chinese game that involves passing a ball through an opening into a net using only one’s feet. Originally part of the military’s fitness training regimen, the sport gained traction in the royal courts and among the upper classes in around 200 BCE. Cuju games were then standardized, and rules were laid out. With what were cuju balls initially filled? More… Discuss

word: animadversion



(noun) Strong criticism.




I meant no animadversions against any one, and certainly intended no disrespectful allusions to your mother. Discuss.