Daily Archives: July 28, 2014

The prisoners who grew 33,000 lettuces

The prisoners who grew 33,000 lettuces http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28420676

Emmanuel Chabrier: Le Roi malgré lui – Danse slave [Choeur et scène] (Acte III): make music part of your life series

Emmanuel Chabrier: Le Roi malgré lui – Danse slave [Choeur et scène] (Acte III)


The “Danse slave” at the beginning of Act III from the comic opera “Le Roi malgré lui” (King in spite of himself) by French composer Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894).

The libretto of this opera is a real mess, as it was written by in collaboration by two mediocre playwrights Emile de Najac and Paul Burani, partially revised by the poet Jean Richepin and later by Chabrier himself after Richepin gave up the work, disgusted. Chabrier called the libretto a “a bouillabaisse of Najac and Burani, cooked by Richepin, into which I throw the spices.” A synopsis of this convoluted opera can be found here:

Nonetheless, the music of “Le roi malgré lui” is truly wonderful. Maurice Ravel wrote that when the opening bars of the Prelude were first played, harmony in French music completely changed course. In this series of videos, I will present selections from the opera. The famous Fête polonaise from the beginning of Act II was already posted on this channel and can be found here:

You can follow along with a vocal score here:

Minka: Barbara Hendricks
Alexina: Isabel Garcisanz
Henri: Gino Quilico
Comte de Nangis: Peter Jeffes
Conductor: Charles Dutoit
Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Chœurs de Radio France

Quotations 101: Henry Miller (tropic of capricorn, tropic of cancer)

“To walk in money through the night crowd, protected by money, lulled by money, dulled by money, the crowd itself a money, the breath money, no least single object anywhere that is not money, money, money everywhere and still not enough, and then no money or a little money or less money or more money, but money, always money, and if you have money or you don’t have money it is the money that counts and money makes money, but what makes money make money?”

“No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.”

“Take a good look at me. Now tell me, do you think I’m the sort of fellow who gives a fuck what happens once he’s dead? “

Read more about Henry Miller, here

Chopin Etude Op 25 No.11 HQ – Valentina Lisitsa: great performances

Chopin Etude Op 25 No.11 HQ


Prokofiev – Romeo And Juliet – Juliet As A Young Girl: make music part of your life series

Prokofiev – Romeo And Juliet – Juliet As A Young Girl


Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 “Winter Dreams” – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: make music part of your life series

Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 “Winter Dreams” – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


today’s Saint, July28, 2014: St. Innocent I

Image of St. Innocent I

St. Innocent I

Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding Pope St. Anastasius I, on December 22, 401. During Innocent’s pontificate, he emphasized papal supremacy, commending the bishops of Africa for referring the decrees of their councils at Carthage and Millevis in 416, condemning Pelagianism, to the Pope for confirmation. It was his confirmation of these decrees that caused Augustine to make a remark that was to echo through the centuries: “Roma locuta, causa finitas” (Rome has spoken, the matter is ended). Earlier Innocent had stressed to Bishop St. Victrius and the Spanish bishops that matters of great importance were to be referred to Rome for settlement. Innocent strongly favored clerical celibacy and fought the unjust removal of St. John Chrysostom. He vainly sought help from Emperor Honorius at Revenna when the Goths under Alaric captured and sacked Rome. Innocent died in Rome on March 12. His feast day is July 28th.

today’s holiday: Hurricane Supplication Day

Hurricane Supplication Day

Observed in the U.S. Virgin Islands—St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John—Hurricane Supplication Day marks the beginning of the hurricane season. Special church services are held to pray for safety from the storms that ravage these and other Caribbean islands. The custom probably dates back to the “rogation” ceremonies (from the word rogare, meaning “to beg or supplicate”), which began in fifth-century England. Rogations usually followed a frightening series of storms, earthquakes, or other natural disasters. More… Discuss

quotation: Jane Austen

It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind; but when a beginning is made–when the felicities of rapid motion have once been, though slightly, felt–it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss

today’s birthday: Marcel Duchamp (1887)

Marcel Duchamp (1887)

Duchamp was an innovative French-American artist who influenced the Dada, Surrealist, and Pop art movements. His irreverence for conventional aesthetic standards led him to exhibit commonplace objects as works of art that he called “ready-mades,” intended as a derisive gesture against the excessive importance attached to works of art. His most famous works include the controversial Cubist-Futurist painting Nude Descending a Staircase and Fountain, which features what object? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Maximilien Robespierre Guillotined (1794)

Maximilien Robespierre Guillotined (1794)

Known as “the Incorruptible” for his emphasis on civic morality, Robespierre became one of the leading figures of the French Revolution. He was an influential member of the Committee of Public Safety, the political body that controlled France during the bloody revolutionary period known as the “Reign of Terror.” However, popular discontent with the committee’s brutal measures soon grew, and Robespierre was guillotined in the coup of 9 Thermidor. What might have been his last words? More… Discuss

Teen Use of Human Growth Hormone on Rise in US

Teen Use of Human Growth Hormone on Rise in US

American teens are increasingly using synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) without medical supervision in an effort to enhance their athletic performance and appearance. Just five percent of high-school students polled in 2012 said they had used synthetic HGH without a prescription, but by 2013 that number had jumped to 11 percent. The non-profit Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, which carried out the surveys, said the findings highlight the need for better regulation and labeling of over-the-counter products purporting to contain synthetic HGH. More… Discuss



Perfume is a mixture of alcohol and fragrant essential oils. Animal substances—such as musk, ambergris, and civet—were first added as fixatives in the Middle Ages. Since the early 19th century, chemists have produced thousands of synthetic essential oils, some imitating natural products and others yielding new scents. Most perfumes today are blends of natural and synthetic scents and of fixatives that add pungency. Fine perfumes may blend more than 100 ingredients. What is a fragrance wheel? More… Discuss

another day, another word: somnolent


Definition: (adjective) Drowsy; sleepy.
Synonyms: slumbery, slumberous
Usage: The monotonous sound of his voice had a somnolent effect, and I found myself nodding off during the speech. Discuss.

Time to clean your fridge: According to USA TODAY, YOU mayneedto!

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favo-tweet-o: SoundHound: Is there always music playing in your head too?

Is there always music playing in your head too?

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Bedtime Stories || Oh Stargazer | I Miss You Records


Bedtime Stories || Oh Stargazer | I Miss You Records.

The government is punishing some struggling parents, and it will backfire | The Great Debate

RTX11YES.jpgThe government is punishing some struggling parents, and it will backfire | The Great Debate.

When gin was full of sulphuric acid and turpentine

When gin was full of sulphuric acid and turpentine http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28486017

Gaza fighting rages on despite U.N. call for cease-fire


UN calls for immediate Gaza truce

UN calls for immediate Gaza truce http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28519381