Daily Archives: July 15, 2014




make music part of your life series: Bach / I Musici, 1965: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major, BWV 1049


Bach / I Musici, 1965: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major, BWV 1049 

From the LP shown above, issued on the Philips label in 1965.

I. Allegro (0:01)
II. Andante (7:22)
III. Presto (11:51)

Die Brandenburgischen Konzerte sind eine Gruppe von sechs Konzerten von Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 1046–1051). Sie sind dem Markgrafen Christian Ludwig von Brandenburg-Schwedt (1677–1734) gewidmet, den Bach im Winter 1718/1719 in Berlin kennengelernt hatte. Im September 1721 schickte er ihm die Partitur mit einer umfangreichen Widmung. Der Titel Brandenburgische Konzerte wurde von Philipp Spitta in seiner 1873–1879 entstandenen Bach-Biografie geprägt und hat sich heute allgemein durchgesetzt. Bachs Originaltitel lautet „Six Concerts Avec plusieurs Instruments”. Die sechs Konzerte weisen eine hohe stilistische und strukturelle Vielfalt auf. In ihrer Mischung der verschiedensten historischen und zukunftsweisenden Elemente bilden sie eine ganz persönliche und trotzdem allgemeingültige Ausdrucksform.

Les concertos brandebourgeois sont un ensemble de six concertos de Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 1046 à 1051), qui comptent parmi les plus renommés qu’il ait composés. Le qualificatif de brandebourgeois est dû à Philipp Spitta qui, suivant l’usage germanique, fait référence au dédicataire, le margrave Christian Ludwig de Brandebourg.

make music part of your life series: Leoš Janáček: Lachian Dances (1889/90)


Leoš Janáček: Lachian Dances (1889/90)

Leoš Janáček (1854 – 1928), perhaps more than any other composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Gustav Mahler and Sergey Rahmaninov, represents a puzzling case in point as for the cultural and spiritual seismic shift that took place between the 1870s/’80s and the 1920s. He comes from a world already shaken by the French Revolution and all subsequent revolutions up to 1848, yet still sufficiently alive so to remember the old ways: fairy tales and folk legends, style, distinction, Monarchy, Catholicism. This last quarter of the 19th century was at the same time the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII, who indeed fought like a lion in order to ward off the meanwhile 360° onslaught, open and hidden, against the old order and the Catholic Church. However, Janáček, like so many of his generation, was drawn into those false promises of a “new era”, whether pan-Slavic, pantheist, or plain modernist. Still he kept the memories of the old world of his childhood days. His musical oeuvre, especially his folkloristic works, so painfully as well as articulately shows what had been lost – lost forever …

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bratislava
Ondrej Lenárd, conductor

Recorded at Bratislava on January 29/30, 1990

Taken from the CD: “Janáček: Sinfonietta / Lachian Dances / Taras Bulba”, released by NAXOS. Order that CD here: http://www.amazon.com/Jan%C3%A1cek-Si…
or from your local CD-shop.

See also the connected blog: http://thecontemplativeobserver.wordp….

make music part of your life series: Fantasy for Cello & Orchestra by Jules Massenet

Fantasy for Cello & Orchestra by Jules Massenet

I. Animé
II. Modéré [09:14]
III. Animé [12:11]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jules Massenet

Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet (French: [ʒyl emil fʁedeʁik masnɛ]; 12 May 1842 – 13 August 1912) was a French composer best known for his operas. His compositions were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and he ranks as one of the greatest melodists of his era. Soon after his death, Massenet’s style went out of fashion, and many of his operas fell into almost total oblivion. Apart from Manon and Werther, his works were rarely performed. However, since the mid-1970s, many operas of his such as Thaïs and Esclarmonde have undergone periodic revivals.


Massenet was born in Montaud, then an outlying hamlet and now a part of the city of Saint-Étienne, in the Loire. When he was six, his family moved to Paris due to his father’s ill-health. There his mother (Adélaïde Massenet, née Royer; her husband’s second wife) started taking piano pupils. She also taught Jules so well that at the age of 11 he became a pupil of Adolphe-François Laurent (piano), Henri Reber (harmony) and Ambroise Thomas (counterpoint) at the Conservatoire de Paris.[

new at EuZicAsa: ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITTANICA WIDGET (now you can access it directly from euzicasa)


ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA Access Here (will open in new window!)

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 15th, 2014: St. Bonaventure

Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form. Karl Marx & Frederick Engels

Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.

Karl Marx & Frederick Engels (1818-1883) Discuss

today’s holiday: Hakata Gion Yamagasa

Hakata Gion Yamagasa

The Gion Matsuri at Kyoto is the model for several other Gion festivals in Japan, and the largest of these is the Gion Yamagasa Festival at Fukuoka. The elaborate floats for which the festival is famous are called yamagasa, and beautiful new dolls are made for them each year. The festival begins on July 1, when participants purify themselves by collecting sand from the seashore. The highlight of the festival occurs on the morning of July 15, when the Oiyama race is held. This is a five-kilometer race in which teams of 28 men run while carrying yamagasa, weighing about a ton. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Rembrandt van Rijn (1606)


Rembrandt van Rijn (1606)

Rembrandt is considered one of the greatest European painters. Early on, he displayed an interest in the “spotlight effects” of light and shadow that dominate his later paintings and began the studies of his own face and the more formal self-portraits that make up much of his painted and etched work. After moving to Amsterdam around 1631, he quickly became the city’s most fashionable portrait painter and a popular teacher. However, he went bankrupt in 1656. What had happened to his money? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Teutonic Knights Defeated at Battle of Grunwald (1410)

Teutonic Knights Defeated at Battle of Grunwald (1410)

Early in the 15th century, the Teutonic Order, a German military religious order founded during the Third Crusade, sought to expand its influence over Lithuania and Poland. Though its purported mission was to spread Christianity, it invaded the already Christian nations and was defeated at the Battle of Grunwald. Afterward, the Order’s strength waned, and today it exists only as a clerical organization. How was the memory of the Battle of Grunwald used as propaganda during World War I? More… Discuss

HIV Reemerges in “Cured” Child

HIV Reemerges in “Cured” Child

A US-born toddler who, it had been hoped, had been cured of HIV after receiving antiretroviral treatment within hours of birth is, sadly, still infected. Tests had found no detectable levels of the virus in her blood as recently as March, despite the fact that she had not received treatment for nearly two years. Earlier this month, however, the four-year-old had a positive result. The news of the failed cure comes as a blow to the research community and indeed society at large. More… Discuss







Structure of picrocrocin:[28]

  βDglucopyranose derivative
  safranal moiety


A detail from the “Saffron Gatherers” fresco of the “Xeste 3” building. It is one of many depicting saffron; they were found at the Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri, on the Aegean island of Santorini.

Saffron is a plant native to Asia Minor, where for centuries it has been cultivated for its aromatic orange-yellow stigmas—one of the world’s most expensive spices. When handpicked and dried, the stigmas yield saffron powder, the source of the principal yellow dye of the ancient world. The plant is still grown in limited quantities for the powder, which is used in medicines and perfumes and for flavoring. How many flowers must be harvested to produce one pound (0.45 kg) of dry saffron? More… Discuss

word: reverberate


Definition: (verb) Ring or echo with sound.
Synonyms: resound, ring, echo
Usage: The explosion reverberated through the castle. Discuss.