Category Archives: Arts

Felix Mendelssohn , Rondo brillant in E-flat major, Op.29 (1834)



Published on Jan 16, 2014

Picture: Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland – The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas

Felix Mendelssohn

Work: Rondo brillant in E-flat major, Op.29 (1834)

Pianist: Benjamin Frith

Orchestra: Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor: Robert Stankovsky

Best classical music, Leonard Bernstein, Brahms Tragic Overture Op.81, great compositions/performances


 

Leonard Bernstein, Brahms Tragic Overture Op.81

 

“Gaudeamus” , Best Classical Music, Bernstein – Academic Festival Overture (Brahms), great compositions/performances


Bernstein – Academic Festival Overture (Brahms)

Architecture of cathedrals and great churches , (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


 

Architecture of cathedrals and great churches

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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Salisbury Cathedral from the east. 1220–1380. An essay in Early English Gothic with the tallest spire in England.

 

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Spain, is in the Baroque style.

The architecture of cathedrals, basilicas and abbey churches is characterised by the buildings’ large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that all ultimately derive from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in the Constantinian period.

Cathedrals in particular, as well as many abbey churches and basilicas, have certain complex structural forms that are found less often in parish churches. They also tend to display a higher level of contemporary architectural style and the work of accomplished craftsmen, and occupy a status both ecclesiastical and social that an ordinary parish church does not have. Such a cathedral or great church is generally one of the finest buildings within its region and is a focus of local pride. Many cathedrals and basilicas, and a number of abbey churches are among the world’s most renowned works of architecture. These include St. Peter’s Basilica, Notre Dame de Paris, Cologne Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, Prague Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral, the Basilica of St Denis, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of San Vitale, St Mark’s Basilica, Westminster Abbey, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Washington National Cathedral, Gaudí’s incomplete Sagrada Familia and the ancient church of Hagia Sophia, now a museum.

The earliest large churches date from Late Antiquity. As Christianity and the construction of churches and cathedrals spread throughout the world, their manner of building was dependent upon local materials and local techniques. Different styles of architecture developed and their fashion spread, carried by the establishment of monastic orders, by the posting of bishops from one region to another and by the travelling of master stonemasons who served as architects.[1] The styles of the great church buildings are successively known as Early Christian, Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, various Revival styles of the late 18th to early 20th centuries and Modern.[2] Overlaid on each of the academic styles are the regional characteristics. Some of these characteristics are so typical of a particular country or region that they appear, regardless of style, in the architecture of churches designed many centuries apart.[2]

Function

 

The architecturally unique Basilica of Sagrada Família in Barcelona combines structural elements of the traditional Gothic cathedral with a style drawing on Art Nouveau, local tradition and the imagination of its creator, Antoni Gaudi.

Among the world’s largest and most architecturally significant churches, many were built to serve as cathedrals or abbey churches. Among the Roman Catholic churches, many have been raised to the status of “basilica”. The categories below are not exclusive. A church can be an abbey, serve as a cathedral, and also be a basilica. Among the great Protestant churches, some, such as Ulm Minster have never served as any of these. Others, such as Westminster Abbey, are former abbeys and cathedrals. Neither Orthodox or Protestant churches are designated as “basilicas” in the Catholic sense. The term “cathedral” in Orthodoxy and Protestantism is sometimes loosely applied to a large church that is not a bishop’s principal church. Some significant churches are termed “temples” or “oratories”.

Cathedral

Main article: Cathedral

Among these types of buildings the cathedral is probably the best known, to the extent that the word “cathedral” is sometimes mistakenly applied as a generic term for any very large and imposing church. In fact, a cathedral does not have to be large or imposing, although many cathedrals are. The cathedral takes its name from the word cathedra, or “bishop’s throne” (in Latin: ecclesia cathedralis). A cathedral has a specific ecclesiastical role and administrative purpose as the seat of a bishop.

The role of bishop as administrator of local clergy came into being in the 1st century.[3] It was two hundred years before the first cathedral building was constructed in Rome. With the legalising of Christianity in 313 by the Emperor Constantine I, churches were built rapidly. Five very large churches were founded in Rome and, though much altered or rebuilt, still exist today, including the Cathedral of Rome which is San Giovanni in Laterano and also the better-known St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.[4]

The architectural form which cathedrals took was largely dependent upon their ritual function as the seat of a bishop. Cathedrals are places where, in common with other Christian churches, the Eucharist is celebrated, the Bible is read, the Order of Service is said or sung, prayers are offered and sermons are preached. But in a cathedral, in general, these things are done with a greater amount of elaboration, pageantry and procession than in lesser churches. This elaboration is particularly present during important liturgical rites performed by a Bishop, such as Confirmation and Ordination. A cathedral is often the site of rituals associated with local or national Government, the Bishops performing the tasks of all sorts from the induction of a mayor to the coronation of a monarch. Some of these tasks are apparent in the form and fittings of particular cathedrals.[5]

The church that has the function of cathedral is not always a large building. It might be as small as Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. But frequently, the cathedral, along with some of the abbey churches, was the largest building in any region.[6]

There were a number of reasons for this:

  • The cathedral was created to the Glory of God. It was seen as appropriate that it should be as grand and as beautiful as wealth and skill could make it.[5]
  • As the seat of a Bishop, the Cathedral was the location for certain liturgical rites, such as the Ordination of Priests, which brought together large numbers of clergy and people.
  • It functioned as an ecclesiastical and social meeting-place for many people, not just those of the town in which it stood, but also, on occasions, for the entire region.
  • The cathedral often had its origins in a monastic foundation and was a place of worship for members of a holy order who said the mass privately at a number of small chapels within the cathedral.
  • The cathedral often became a place of worship and burial for wealthy local patrons. These patrons often endowed the cathedrals with money for successive enlargements and building programs.
  • Cathedrals are also traditionally places of pilgrimage, to which people travel from afar to celebrate certain important feast days or to visit the shrine associated with a particular saint. An extended eastern end is often found at cathedrals where the remains of a saint are interred behind the High Altar.[7]

Basilica

Main article: Basilica

The term basilica, when applied to a church, may be used in two ways. In architectural parlance, it signifies a building that has similarities to the basilica structures of Ancient Rome, being of longitudinal rather than central plan, having a central nave with an aisle on either side separated by a colonnade, and an apse at one end.

In the ecclesiastical sense, a basilica is a church that has been designated as such by the pope, and has accordingly received certain privileges. A building that is designated as a basilica might be a cathedral, an abbey, a shrine or a parish church. The four so-called “Major Basilicas” are four churches of Rome of 4th century foundation, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. There are more than 1,500 churches in the world which are designated as “Minor Basilicas”. The reason for such a designation is often that the church is a pilgrimage site and contains the relics of a saint, or an object of religious veneration, such as a supposed fragment of the True Cross. These churches are often large and of considerable architectural significance. They include the Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi; the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem; the Basilica of Our Lady of Fátima, Portugal; the Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan, Shanghai, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Manila, and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Abbey

Main article: Abbey

An abbey church is one that is, or was in the past, the church of a monastic order. Likewise a friary church is the church of an order of friars. These orders include Benedictines, Cistercians, Augustinians, Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits and many more. Many churches of abbey foundation, are or previously were, part of a monastic complex that includes dormitories, refectory, cloisters, library, chapter house and other such buildings.

In many parts of the world, abbey churches frequently served the local community as well as the monastic community. In regions such as England where the monastic communities were dissolved, the abbey churches, where located in a town, have continued to serve as a parish church. In many areas of Asia and South America, the abbeys are the earliest established churches, with the monastic communities acting initially as missionaries to the local people. Well-known abbey churches include Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan, Italy; Westminster Abbey and Beverley Minster in England, the Abbaye aux Hommes and Abbey of St. Denis in France, Melk Abbey in Austria, Great Lavra on Mt Athos in Greece and Malate Church in Manila, Philippines.

Origins and development of the church building

Main article: Church architecture

 

Plan of Old St. Peter’s Basilica, showing atrium (courtyard), narthex (vestibule), central nave with double aisles, a bema for the clergy extending into a transept, and an exedra or semi-circular apse.

The church building grew out of a number of features of the Ancient Roman period:

From house church to church

From the first to the early fourth centuries most Christian communities worshipped in private homes, often secretly. Some Roman churches, such as the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome, are built directly over the houses where early Christians worshipped. Other early Roman churches are built on the sites of Christian martyrdom or at the entrance to catacombs where Christians were buried. The first very large Christian churches were built in Rome and have their origins in the early 4th century, when the Emperor Constantine first legalised Christianity. Several of Rome’s largest churches, notably Santa Maria Maggiore and San Giovanni in Laterano, have their foundation in the 4th century. It is San Giovanni (St John’s) and not the more famous St. Peter’s Basilica which is the cathedral church of Rome. St Peter’s is also of 4th century foundation, though nothing of that appears above the ground.[8]

Atrium

When Early Christian Communities began to build churches they drew on one particular feature of the houses that preceded them, the atrium, or courtyard with a colonnade surrounding it. Most of these atriums have disappeared. A fine example remains at the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome and another was built in the Romanesque period at Sant’Ambrogio, Milan. The descendants of these atria may be seen in the large square cloisters that can be found beside many cathedrals, and in the huge colonnaded squares or piazze at the Basilicas of St Peter’s in Rome and St Mark’s in Venice and the Camposanto (Holy Field) at the Cathedral of Pisa.

Basilica

Early church architecture did not draw its form from Roman temples, as the latter did not have large internal spaces where worshipping congregations could meet. It was the Roman basilica, used for meetings, markets and courts of law that provided a model for the large Christian church and that gave its name to the Christian basilica. Both Roman basilicas and Roman bath houses had at their core a large vaulted building with a high roof, braced on either side by a series of lower chambers or a wide arcaded passage. An important feature of the Roman basilica was that at either end it had a projecting exedra, or apse, a semicircular space roofed with a half-dome. This was where the magistrates sat to hold court. It passed into the church architecture of the Roman world and was adapted in different ways as a feature of cathedral architecture.[8]

The earliest large churches, such as the Cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome, consisted of a single-ended basilica with one aspidal end and a courtyard, or atrium, at the other end. As Christian liturgy developed, processions became part of the proceedings. The processional door was that which led from the furthest end of the building, while the door most used by the public might be that central to one side of the building, as in a basilica of law. This is the case in many cathedrals and churches.[9]

Bema

As numbers of clergy increased, the small apse which contained the altar, or table upon which the sacramental bread and wine were offered in the rite of Holy Communion, was not sufficient to accommodate them. A raised dais called a bema formed part of many large basilican churches. In the case of St. Peter’s Basilica and San Paolo fuori le Mura (St Paul’s outside the Walls) in Rome, this bema extended laterally beyond the main meeting hall, forming two arms so that the building took on the shape of a T with a projecting apse. From this beginning, the plan of the church developed into the so-called Latin Cross which is the shape of most Western Cathedrals and large churches. The arms of the cross are called the transept.[9]

Mausoleum

One of the influences on church architecture was the mausoleum. The mausoleum of a noble Roman was a square or circular domed structure which housed a sarcophagus. Constantine the Great built for his daughter Constantina a mausoleum which has a circular central space surrounded by a lower ambulatory or passageway separated by a colonnade.

This burial place became a place of worship, Santa Costanza, as well as a tomb. It is one of the earliest church buildings that was centrally, rather than longitudinally planned. Constantine was also responsible for the building of the circular, mausoleum-like Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which in turn influenced the plan of a number of buildings, including that constructed in Rome to house the remains of the proto-martyr Saint Stephen, San Stefano Rotondo and the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna.

Ancient circular or polygonal churches are comparatively rare. A small number, such as the Temple Church, London were built during the Crusades in imitation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as isolated examples in England, France and Spain. In Denmark such churches in the Romanesque style are much more numerous. In parts of Eastern Europe there are also round tower-like churches of the Romanesque period but they are generally vernacular architecture and of small scale. Others, like St Martin’s Rotunda at Vishegrad, in the Czech Republic, are finely detailed.

The circular or polygonal form lent itself to those buildings within church complexes that perform a function in which it is desirable for people to stand, or sit around, with a centralised focus, rather than an axial one. In Italy the circular or polygonal form was used throughout the medieval period for baptisteries, while in England it was adapted for chapter houses. In France the aisled polygonal plan was adapted as the eastern terminal and in Spain the same form is often used as a chapel.

Other than Santa Costanza and San Stefano, there was another significant place of worship in Rome that was also circular, the vast Ancient Roman Pantheon, with its numerous statue-filled niches. This too was to become a Christian church and lend its style to the development of Cathedral architecture.[4][8]

Latin Cross and Greek Cross[edit]

 

Plan of the Renaissance St Peter’s Basilica, showing elements of both central and longitudinal plan.

Most cathedrals and great churches have a cruciform groundplan. In churches of Western European tradition, the plan is usually longitudinal, in the form of the so-called Latin Cross with a long nave crossed by a transept. The transept may be as strongly projecting as at York Minster or not project beyond the aisles as at Amiens Cathedral.

Many of the earliest churches of Byzantium have a longitudinal plan. At Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, there is a central dome, framed on one axis by two high semi-domes and on the other by low rectangular transept arms, the overall plan being square. This large church was to influence the building of many later churches, even into the 21st century. A square plan in which the nave, chancel and transept arms are of equal length forming a Greek cross, the crossing generally surmounted by a dome became the common form in the Orthodox Church, with many churches throughout Eastern Europe and Russia being built in this way. Churches of the Greek Cross form often have a narthex or vestibule which stretches across the front of the church. This type of plan was also to later play a part in the development of church architecture in Western Europe, most notably in Bramante‘s plan for St. Peter’s Basilica.[2][8]

Architecture

 

A schematic plan showing the elements and orientation that are common to many churches

Architectural forms common to many cathedrals and great churches

Note- The list below is compiled from Banister Fletcher.[2] Because of the diversity in the individual building histories, not all the characteristics pertain to every building.

Axis

As described above, the majority of cathedrals and great churches are cruciform in shape with the church having a defined axis. The axis is generally east/west with external emphasis upon the west front, normally the main entrance, and internal emphasis upon the eastern end so that the congregation faces the direction of the coming of Christ. Because it is also the direction of the rising sun, the architectural features of the east end often focus on enhancing interior illumination by the sun. Not every church or cathedral maintains a strict east/west axis, but even in those that do not, the terms East End and West Front are used.[10] Many churches of Rome, notably St Peter’s Basilica, face the opposite direction.

Nave

The majority of cathedrals and large churches of the Western European tradition have a high wide nave with a lower aisle separated by an arcade on either side. Occasionally the aisles are as high as the nave, forming a hall church. Many cathedrals have two aisles on either side. Notre Dame de Paris has two aisles and a row of chapels.

In the case of a centrally planned church, the major axis is that between the main door and the altar.

Transept

The transept forms the arms of the church building. In English cathedrals of monastic foundation there are often two transepts. The intersection where the nave and transept meet is called the crossing and is often surmounted by a small spire called a flèche, a dome or, particularly in England, a large tower with or without a spire.

Vertical emphasis

There is generally a prominent external feature that rises upwards. It may be a dome, a central tower, two western towers or towers at both ends as at Speyer Cathedral. The towers may be finished with pinnacles or spires or a small dome.

Façade

The façade or “west front” is the most ornate part of the exterior with the processional doors, often three in number, and often richly decorated with sculpture, marble or stone tracery. The façade often has a large window, sometimes a rose window or an impressive sculptural group as its central feature.

In the Western European tradition, there are frequently paired towers framing the façade. These towers have their origin in a tradition practised at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. During Holy Week the faithful would process along the Way of the Cross, leading to the Basilica, which in Early Christian times consisted of a domed shrine over the site of the tomb, and a “porch” which had a staircase on either side, supported by a small tower, by which the procession entered and exited. These towers were adopted symbolically, particularly in Romanesque architecture, as corner turrets and flourished in Norman and Gothic architecture as large towers, reaching their height of magnificence at Cologne Cathedral, where they were not completed until the late 19th century.

East end

The east end is the part of the building which shows the greatest diversity of architectural form. At the eastern end, internally, lies the sanctuary where the altar of the cathedral is located.

  • Early Christian and Byzantine – A projecting semi-circular apse.
  • Romanesque – A rounded end. It may be a lower apse projecting from a higher square end, usual in Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe. In France and England the chancel terminated in a high eastern end of semi-circular form, surrounded by an ambulatory. While common in France, in England this form has only been retained without significant change at Norwich Cathedral.
  • France, Spain, German and Eastern European Gothic – The eastern end is long and extends into a high vaulted apsidal end. The eastern aisles are continued around this apse, making a lower passage or ambulatory. There may be a group of projecting, radiating chapels called a chevet.
  • English Gothic – The eastern ends show enormous diversity. Canterbury Cathedral has an apsidal end with ambulatory and projecting chapels. No English Cathedral prior to the 19th century has a fully developed chevet. In the some, notably Lincoln Cathedral, the east end presents a square, cliff-like form while in most this severity is broken by a projecting Lady Chapel. There are also examples of the lower aisle continuing around the square east end.

 

Best Classical Music, Kempff plays Schubert Piano Sonata in B Major D575, great compositions/performances


 


Kempff plays Schubert Piano Sonata in B Major D575

 

best classical music, OTTORINO RESPIGHI – TRILOGIA ROMANA , great compositions/performances


OTTORINO RESPIGHI – TRILOGIA ROMANA

Best Classical Music, O. Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances Suite III. Complete , great compositions/performances


O. Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances Suite III. Complete

Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture Op.21 by Masur, LGO (1997)


Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture Op.21 by Masur, LGO (1997)

George Frideric Handel – Music for the Royal Fireworks


George Frideric Handel – Music for the Royal Fireworks

Russlan And Ludmilla (Overture) / Orchestra Of Mariinsky Theatre


Russlan And Ludmilla (Overture) / Orchestra Of Mariinsky Theatre

romantic tunes, Ludwig van Beethoven – Romance No. 2 In F Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 50 , great compositions/performances


Ludwig van Beethoven – Romance No. 2 In F Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 50

Romantic Tunes, Glazunov – Meditation Op. 32 – Perlman , great compositions/performances


Glazunov – Meditation Op. 32 – Perlman

Music with a voice, †’Adoramus te, Christe’ (Palestrina / Rosselli) †, great compositions/performances


†Adoramus te, Christe (Palestrina / Rosselli)

Historic Music Bits, Palestrina “Adoramus te, Christe” Leopold Stokowski , great compositions/performances


Palestrina “Adoramus te, Christe” Leopold Stokowski

 

Andreas Scholl – Bach: St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 – Erbarme Dich


Andreas Scholl – Bach: St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 – Erbarme Dich

Best Classical Music , : The Adventures of Robin Hood performed live by the John Wilson Orchestra – BBC Proms 2013


The Adventures of Robin Hood performed live by the John Wilson Orchestra – BBC Proms 2013

best classical music, ENRIQUE GRANADOS.- Danzas Españolas ENRIQUE , Piano: Alicia de Larrocha, gregaat compositions/performances


ENRIQUE GRANADOS.- Danzas Españolas,  Piano: Alicia de Larrocha

best classical music, Giacomo Puccini: “Coro a bocca chiusa” (Humming Chorus) from Madame Butterfly , great compositions/performances


Giacomo Puccini: “Coro a bocca chiusa” (Humming Chorus) from Madame Butterfly

best classical music, Hamelin plays Gershwin – Concerto in F , great compositions/performanes


Hamelin plays Gershwin – Concerto in F

Rabindranath Tagore – Gitanjali (a moving introduction by W.B. Yeats, a must read)


Sacred-texts  Hinduism  Tagore


The Gitanjali or `song offerings’ by Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), Nobel prize for literature 1913, with an introduction by William B. Yeats (1865–1939), Nobel prize for literature 1923. First published in 1913.

This work is in public domain according to the Berne convention since January 1st 1992.


RABINDRANATH TAGORE

GITANJALI

Song Offerings
A collection of prose translations
made by the author from
the original Bengali
With an introduction by
W. B. YEATS
to WILLIAM ROTHENSTEIN


INTRODUCTIONIA few days ago I said to a distinguished Bengali doctor of medicine, I know no German, yet if a translation of a German poet had moved me, I would go to the British Museum and find books in English that would tell me something of his life, and of the history of his thought. But though these prose translations from Rabindranath Tagore have stirred my blood as nothing has for years, I shall not know anything of his life, and of the movements of thought that have made them possible, if some Indian traveller will not tell me.' It seemed to him natural that I should be moved, for he said,I read Rabindranath every day, to read one line of his is to forget all the troubles of the world.’ I said, An Englishman living in London in the reign of Richard the Second had he been shown translations from Petrarch or from Dante, would have found no books to answer his questions, but would have questioned some Florentine banker or Lombard merchant as I question you. For all I know, so abundant and simple is this poetry, the new renaissance has been born in your country and I shall never know of it except by hearsay.' He answered,We have other poets, but none that are his equal; we call this the epoch of Rabindranath. No poet seems to me as famous in Europe as he is among us. He is as great in music as in poetry, and his songs are sung from the west of India into Burma wherever Bengali is spoken. He was already famous at nineteen when he wrote his first novel; and plays when he was but little older, are still played in Calcutta. I so much admire the completeness of his life; when he was very young he wrote much of natural objects, he would sit all day in his garden; from his twenty-fifth year or so to his thirty-fifth perhaps, when he had a great sorrow, he wrote the most beautiful love poetry in our language'; and then he said with deep emotion, words can never express what I owed at seventeen to his love poetry. After that his art grew deeper, it became religious and philosophical; all the inspiration of mankind are in his hymns. He is the first among our saints who has not refused to live, but has spoken out of Life itself, and that is why we give him our love.' I may have changed his well-chosen words in my memory but not his thought.A little while ago he was to read divine service in one of our churches—we of the Brahma Samaj use your word `church’ in English—it was the largest in Calcutta and not only was it crowded, but the streets were all but impassable because of the people.’

Other Indians came to see me and their reverence for this man sounded strange in our world, where we hide great and little things under the same veil of obvious comedy and half-serious depreciation. When we were making the cathedrals had we a like reverence for our great men? Every morning at three---I know, for I have seen it'---one said to me,he sits immovable in contemplation, and for two hours does not awake from his reverie upon the nature of God. His father, the Maha Rishi, would sometimes sit there all through the next day; once, upon a river, he fell into contemplation because of the beauty of the landscape, and the rowers waited for eight hours before they could continue their journey.’ He then told me of Mr. Tagore’s family and how for generations great men have come out of its cradles. Today,' he said,there are Gogonendranath and Abanindranath Tagore, who are artists; and Dwijendranath, Rabindranath’s brother, who is a great philosopher. The squirrels come from the boughs and climb on to his knees and the birds alight upon his hands.’ I notice in these men’s thought a sense of visible beauty and meaning as though they held that doctrine of Nietzsche that we must not believe in the moral or intellectual beauty which does not sooner or later impress itself upon physical things. I said, In the East you know how to keep a family illustrious. The other day the curator of a museum pointed out to me a little dark-skinned man who was arranging their Chinese prints and said, ``That is the hereditary connoisseur of the Mikado, he is the fourteenth of his family to hold the post.'' 'He answered,When Rabindranath was a boy he had all round him in his home literature and music.’ I thought of the abundance, of the simplicity of the poems, and said, In your country is there much propagandist writing, much criticism? We have to do so much, especially in my own country, that our minds gradually cease to be creative, and yet we cannot help it. If our life was not a continual warfare, we would not have taste, we would not know what is good, we would not find hearers and readers. Four-fifths of our energy is spent in the quarrel with bad taste, whether in our own minds or in the minds of others.'I understand,’ he replied, `we too have our propagandist writing. In the villages they recite long mythological poems adapted from the Sanskrit in the Middle Ages, and they often insert passages telling the people that they must do their duties.’


II
I have carried the manuscript of these translations about with me for days, reading it in railway trains, or on the top of omnibuses and in restaurants, and I have often had to close it lest some stranger would see how much it moved me. These lyrics—which are in the original, my Indians tell me, full of subtlety of rhythm, of untranslatable delicacies of colour, of metrical invention—display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my live long. The work of a supreme culture, they yet appear as much the growth of the common soil as the grass and the rushes. A tradition, where poetry and religion are the same thing, has passed through the centuries, gathering from learned and unlearned metaphor and emotion, and carried back again to the multitude the thought of the scholar and of the noble. If the civilization of Bengal remains unbroken, if that common mind which—as one divines—runs through all, is not, as with us, broken into a dozen minds that know nothing of each other, something even of what is most subtle in these verses will have come, in a few generations, to the beggar on the roads. When there was but one mind in England, Chaucer wrote his Troilus and Cressida, and thought he had written to be read, or to be read out—for our time was coming on apace—he was sung by minstrels for a while. Rabindranath Tagore, like Chaucer’s forerunners, writes music for his words, and one understands at every moment that he is so abundant, so spontaneous, so daring in his passion, so full of surprise, because he is doing something which has never seemed strange, unnatural, or in need of defence. These verses will not lie in little well-printed books upon ladies’ tables, who turn the pages with indolent hands that they may sigh over a life without meaning, which is yet all they can know of life, or be carried by students at the university to be laid aside when the work of life begins, but, as the generations pass, travellers will hum them on the highway and men rowing upon the rivers. Lovers, while they await one another, shall find, in murmuring them, this love of God a magic gulf wherein their own more bitter passion may bathe and renew its youth. At every moment the heart of this poet flows outward to these without derogation or condescension, for it has known that they will understand; and it has filled itself with the circumstance of their lives. The traveller in the read-brown clothes that he wears that dust may not show upon him, the girl searching in her bed for the petals fallen from the wreath of her royal lover, the servant or the bride awaiting the master’s home-coming in the empty house, are images of the heart turning to God. Flowers and rivers, the blowing of conch shells, the heavy rain of the Indian July, or the moods of that heart in union or in separation; and a man sitting in a boat upon a river playing lute, like one of those figures full of mysterious meaning in a Chinese picture, is God Himself. A whole people, a whole civilization, immeasurably strange to us, seems to have been taken up into this imagination; and yet we are not moved because of its strangeness, but because we have met our own image, as though we had walked in Rossetti’s willow wood, or heard, perhaps for the first time in literature, our voice as in a dream.

Since the Renaissance the writing of European saints—however familiar their metaphor and the general structure of their thought—has ceased to hold our attention. We know that we must at last forsake the world, and we are accustomed in moments of weariness or exaltation to consider a voluntary forsaking; but how can we, who have read so much poetry, seen so many paintings, listened to so much music, where the cry of the flesh and the cry of the soul seems one, forsake it harshly and rudely? What have we in common with St. Bernard covering his eyes that they may not dwell upon the beauty of the lakes of Switzerland, or with the violent rhetoric of the Book of Revelations? We would, if we might, find, as in this book, words full of courtesy. I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers! I bow to you all and take my departure. Here I give back the keys of my door---and I give up all claims to my house. I only ask for last kind words from you. We were neighbours for long, but I received more than I could give. Now the day has dawned and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out. A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.' And it is our own mood, when it is furthest froma Kempis or John of the Cross, that cries, And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well.' Yet it is not only in our thoughts of the parting that this book fathoms all. We had not known that we loved God, hardly it may be that we believed in Him; yet looking backward upon our life we discover, in our exploration of the pathways of woods, in our delight in the lonely places of hills, in that mysterious claim that we have made, unavailingly on the woman that we have loved, the emotion that created this insidious sweetness.Entering my heart unbidden even as one of the common crowd, unknown to me, my king, thou didst press the signet of eternity upon many a fleeting moment.’ This is no longer the sanctity of the cell and of the scourge; being but a lifting up, as it were, into a greater intensity of the mood of the painter, painting the dust and the sunlight, and we go for a like voice to St. Francis and to William Blake who have seemed so alien in our violent history.


III

We write long books where no page perhaps has any quality to make writing a pleasure, being confident in some general design, just as we fight and make money and fill our heads with politics—all dull things in the doing—while Mr. Tagore, like the Indian civilization itself, has been content to discover the soul and surrender himself to its spontaneity. He often seems to contrast life with that of those who have loved more after our fashion, and have more seeming weight in the world, and always humbly as though he were only sure his way is best for him: Men going home glance at me and smile and fill me with shame. I sit like a beggar maid, drawing my skirt over my face, and when they ask me, what it is I want, I drop my eyes and answer them not.' At another time, remembering how his life had once a different shape, he will say,Many an hour I have spent in the strife of the good and the evil, but now it is the pleasure of my playmate of the empty days to draw my heart on to him; and I know not why this sudden call to what useless inconsequence.’ An innocence, a simplicity that one does not find elsewhere in literature makes the birds and the leaves seem as near to him as they are near to children, and the changes of the seasons great events as before our thoughts had arisen between them and us. At times I wonder if he has it from the literature of Bengal or from religion, and at other times, remembering the birds alighting on his brother’s hands, I find pleasure in thinking it hereditary, a mystery that was growing through the centuries like the courtesy of a Tristan or a Pelanore. Indeed, when he is speaking of children, so much a part of himself this quality seems, one is not certain that he is not also speaking of the saints, `They build their houses with sand and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds. They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.’

W.B. YEATS September 1912

GITANJALI


1
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.


When thou commandest me to sing it seems that my heart would break with pride; and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony—and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.

I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence.

I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing of my song thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself and call thee friend who art my lord.


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‘Paintings of Pains’ (palette de Frida Kahlo_Mexico_1952-1_) (FotoSketcher_ Emergence 2)


'Paintings of Pains' (palette de Frida Kahlo_Mexico_1952-1_) (FotoSketcher_ Emergence 2)

‘Paintings of Pains’ (palette de Frida Kahlo_Mexico_1952-1_) (FotoSketcher_ Emergence 2)

Palette de Frida Kahlo, Mexique, 1952 — Old Pics Archive (@oldpicsarchive)


Johann Sebastian Bach: Bist du bei mir (BWV 508) , Per-Olov Kindgren , great compositions/perfoemances


Johann Sebastian Bach: Bist du bei mir (BWV 508)

Rondo for Violin and String Quartet in A Major, D. 438 – Franz Schubert , make music part of your life series


Rondo for Violin and String Quartet in A Major, D. 438 – Franz Schubert

Ottorino Respighi – Trittico botticelliano / Three Botticelli Pictures , great compositions/performances


Ottorino Respighi – Trittico botticelliano / Three Botticelli Pictures

Historic Musical Bits, Sviatoslav Richter – Schumann – Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), Op 82 , (recorded 1956), great compositions/performances


Sviatoslav Richter – Schumann – Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), Op 82

best classical music, Schubert Symphony No 5 B flat major Bavarian RSO Maazel , make music part of your life series


Schubert Symphony No 5 B flat major Bavarian RSO Maazel

quotation:, Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation., Jonathan Swift


Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Discuss

LISZT Orchestral Hungarian Rhapsody No 4, Herbert von Karajan / Berliner Philharmoniker


LISZT Orchestral Hungarian Rhapsody No 4

Robert Schumann- Romanze op. 94 no. 2


Robert Schumann- Romanze op. 94 no. 2

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Aram Khachaturian – Masquerade: Waltz

best classical music: , Amilcare Ponchielli – La danza delle ore / La Danse des heures / Dance of the Hours , make music part of your life series


Amilcare Ponchielli – La danza delle ore / La Danse des heures / Dance of the Hours

Henryk Górecki – Symphony Nº3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). Second Movement, make music part of your life series


Henryk Górecki – Symphony Nº3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). Second Movement.

Best Classical Music:, “Debussy: La Mer – 2. Play of the Waves (Jeux de vagues)” by London Symphony Orchestra, make music part of your life series


Debussy – La Mer

Best Classical music: Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov, Les Ruses d’amour, Op. 61, Introduction et Scene I, Iasi Moldova Philharmonic Orchestra, Horia Andreescu, make music part of your life series


Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov, Les Ruses d’amour, Op. 61, Introduction et Scene I

today’s birthday: Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755)


Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755)

Recognized as the most important female painter of the 18th century, Vigée-Lebrun began painting portraits professionally in her early teens and went on to have a long and successful career. In 1779, she was summoned to Versailles to paint Marie Antoinette, whom she would paint at least 30 more times. At the outbreak of the French Revolution, she fled France and traveled abroad, finding acclaim and prominent sitters wherever she went. Which notable figures did she paint during her travels? More… Discuss

Best classical music , Antonín Dvořák – Serenade in D minor, Op. 44 , great compositions/performances


Antonín Dvořák – Serenade in D minor, Op. 44

best classical music: , Mozart – Violin Sonata No. 35 in A major, K. 526 , great compositions/performances


Mozart – Violin Sonata No. 35 in A major, K. 526

Best Classical Music, Edvard Grieg – Peer Gynt Suite No 2, op. 55 , great compositions/performances


Edvard Grieg – Peer Gynt Suite No 2, op. 55

today’s birthday: Charles Willson Peale (1741)


Charles Willson Peale (1741)

Peale was an American painter, inventor, and naturalist. After studying painting in London, he returned to America and became the country’s preeminent portrait painter. A captain in the militia during the American Revolution, he painted many portraits of military leaders. Later, he established a portrait gallery, founded the Peale Museum, and even formed the first scientific expedition in American history. Peale is probably best known for his portraits of which historical figure? More… Discuss

Best Classical Music Series: Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 21, K.467 / Yeol Eum Son,


Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 21, K.467 / Yeol Eum Son

Gioachino Rossini – La Cenerentola (Cinderella) – Ouverture (Alberto Zedda)


Gioachino Rossini – La Cenerentola – Ouverture (Alberto Zedda)

Best Classical Music Series: Antonín Dvořák – Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World” By Von Karajan


Antonín Dvořák – Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World” By Von Karajan

historic musical bits: Arthur Rubinstein – Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No 1 in B-flat minor, Op 23 , great compositions/performance


Arthur Rubinstein – Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No 1 in B-flat minor, Op 23


Nathan Milstein – Saint-Saëns – Violin Concerto No 3 in B minor, Op 61

Felix Mendelssohn – Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 , great compositions/performances


Felix Mendelssohn – Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49

Itzhak Perlman – Beethoven Violin Concerto – Daniel Barenboim , great compositions/performances


Itzhak Perlman – Beethoven Violin Concerto – Daniel Barenboim

today’s holiday: Pan American Day


Pan American Day

The International Union of American Republics (now called the Pan American Union)—general secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS)—designated April 14 as Pan American Day in 1930. Although each member country holds its own celebration, it is at the Pan American Union building in Washington, DC, that one of the largest observances takes place. Students from all over the Western Hemisphere travel to Washington where, against a backdrop of flags in the courtyard of the House of the Americas, they perform folk songs and dances. More… Discuss

Hristos a Inviat (Corul Madrigal)


Hristos a Inviat

Krystian Zimerman – Beethoven – Piano Concerto No 2, Op 19


Krystian Zimerman – Beethoven – Piano Concerto No 2, Op 19

Published on Nov 29, 2012

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No 2 in Bb major, Op 19

Krystian Zimerman, piano
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