Category Archives: Educational

The Traitor, Leonard Cohen With Martha Wainright (from I’m Your Man Show)


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Now the swan it floated on the english river
Ah the rose of high romance it opened wide
A sun tanned woman yearned me through the summer
And the judges watched us from the other side

I told my mother “mother I must leave you
Preserve my room but do not she’d a tear
Should rumour of a shabby ending reach you
It was half my fault and half the atmosphere”

But the rose I sickened with a scarlet fever
And the swan I tempted with a sense of shame
She said at last I was her finest lover
And if she withered I would be to blame

The judges said you missed it by a fraction
Rise up and brace your troops for the attack
Ah the dreamers ride against the men of action
Oh see the men of action falling back

But I lingered on her thighs a fatal moment
I kissed her lips as though I thirsted still
My falsity had stung me like a hornet
The poison sank and it paralysed my will

I could not move to warn all the younger soldiers
That they had been deserted from above
So on battlefields from here to barcelona
I’m listed with the enemies of love

And long ago she said “i must be leaving,
Ah but keep my body here to lie upon
You can move it up and down and when I’m sleeping
Run some wire through that rose and wind the swan”

So daily I renew my idle duty
I touch her here and there — I know my place
I kiss her open mouth and I praise her beauty
And people call me traitor to my face

Christians United By One Faith


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#ChriatiansUnitedByOneFaith

#ChriatiansUnitedByOneFaith

ISTORIA ISLAMULUI SE ZGUDUIE DIN TEMELII! A FOST DESCOPERIT UN CORAN ANTERIOR PROFETULUI MAHOMED


Una din cele mai importante religii ale omenirii ar putea fi zguduita in urma recentelor descoperiri. Fragmentele celui mai vechi Coran din lume, descoperite in Birmingham, ar putea data dinaintea profetului Mahomed si ar urma „sa rescrie” istoria islamului, au anuntat cercetatorii britanici.Oamenii de stiinta de la Universitatea Oxford stiau deja ca pergamentul este printre cele mai vechi texte coranice cunoscute din intreaga lume. Mai multi istorici sustin insa ca documentul este atat de vechi incat il precede pe profetul Mahomed si contrazice relatarile traditionale privind viata acestuia, asa ca modifica radical „edificiul traditiei islamice”, scrie Breitbart, citat de ziare.com.Datarea cu carbon a documentului releva ca acesta a fost scris intre 568 si 645 era noastra, in conditiile in care, in mod traditional, se considera ca Mohamed a trait intre 570 si 632 era noastra.Asta ar insemna ca documentul a fost scris inainte de momentul oficial cand ar fi fost stranse primele texte oficiale si inainte sau imediat dupa nasterea lui Mahomed.

Source: ISTORIA ISLAMULUI SE ZGUDUIE DIN TEMELII! A FOST DESCOPERIT UN CORAN ANTERIOR PROFETULUI MAHOMED

QUOTATION: NU EXISTA SCLAV MAI BUN DECAT CEL CARE CREDE CA ESTE LIBER


NU EXISTA SCAL MAI BUN...

NU EXISTA SCLAV MAI BUN…

#cat#cats#catsofvine#catvine#kitten#kittens#kittensofvine#kittenlove#kitty#kittyca… (Vine by @yo_kim_raccho)— francescofrongia (@francescofrong2) February 4, 2016


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The right is so “freaked out” by climate change because it threatens their “whole worldview.”— BillMoyers.com (@BillMoyersHQ) February 4, 2016


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Donald Trump has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — The Independent (@Independent) February 4, 2016


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Cancer : la formation d’une tumeur en 3D (vidéo) — L’important (@Limportant_fr) February 4, 2016


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WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! They Poisoned Our Water? Interview With UAW Region 1D Assistant Director Steve Dawes On Flint: A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY


They Poisoned Our Water? Interview With UAW Region 1D Assistant Director Steve Dawes On Flint

historic musical bits: Beethoven, Symphony No 6, 3,4,5mov, Otto Klemperer


Beethoven, Symphony No 6, 3,4,5mov, Otto Klemperer

Brahms – Sonata n°3, Paganini Variations – Berezovsky


Brahms – Sonata n°3, Paganini Variations – Berezovsky

historic musical bits: Mendelssohn – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Philharmonia / Klemperer (rec. 1960)


Mendelssohn – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Philharmonia / Klemperer

Published on Dec 29, 2012

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

A Midsummer Night’s Dream op.61

Heather Harper
Janet Baker
Philharmonia Orchestra
Otto Klemperer
Studio recording, London 28-29.I.1960 & 16.II.1960
**********************************************

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
watercolour portrait against blank background of a young man with dark, curly hair, facing the spectator: dressed in fashionable clothes of the 1830s, dark jacket with velvet collar, black silk cravat, high collar, white waistcoat

 
Portrait of Mendelssohn by James Warren Childe, 1839

At two separate times, Felix Mendelssohn composed music for William Shakespeare‘s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. First in 1826, near the start of his career, he wrote a concert overture (Op. 21). Later, in 1842, only a few years before his death, he wrote incidental music (Op. 61) for a production of the play, into which he incorporated the existing Overture. The incidental music includes the world-famous Wedding March. The German title reads Ein Sommernachtstraum.

Overture

The Overture in E major, Op. 21, was written by Mendelssohn at 17 years and 6 months old (it was finished on 6 August 1826),.[1] Contemporary music scholar George Grove called it “the greatest marvel of early maturity that the world has ever seen in music”.[2] It was written as a concert overture, not associated with any performance of the play. The Overture was written after Mendelssohn had read a German translation of the play in 1826. The translation was by August Wilhelm Schlegel, with help from Ludwig Tieck. There was a family connection as well: Schlegel’s brother Friedrich married Felix Mendelssohn’s Aunt Dorothea.[3]

While a romantic piece in atmosphere, the Overture incorporates many classical elements, being cast in sonata form and shaped by regular phrasings and harmonic transitions. The piece is also noted for its striking instrumental effects, such as the emulation of scampering ‘fairy feet’ at the beginning and the braying of Bottom as an ass (effects which were influenced by the aesthetic ideas and suggestions of Mendelssohn’s friend at the time, Adolf Bernhard Marx). Heinrich Eduard Jacob, in his biography of the composer, said that Mendelssohn had scribbled the chords after hearing an evening breeze rustle the leaves in the garden of the family’s home.[3]

The overture begins with four chords in the winds. Following the first theme in the parallel minor (E minor) representing the dancing fairies, a transition (the royal music of the court of Athens) leads to a second theme, that of the lovers. This is followed by the braying of Bottom with the “hee-hawing” being evoked by the strings. A final group of themes, reminiscent of craftsmen and hunting calls, brings the exposition to a close. The fairies dominate most of the development section, while the Lover’s theme is played in a minor key. The recapitulation begins with the same opening four chords in the winds, followed by the Fairies theme and the other section in the second theme, including Bottom’s braying. The fairies return, and ultimately have the final word in the coda, just as in Shakespeare’s play. The overture ends once again with the same opening four chords by the winds.

The Overture was premiered in Stettin (then in Prussia; now Szczecin, Poland) on 20 February 1827,[4] at a concert conducted by Carl Loewe. Mendelssohn had turned 18 just over two weeks earlier. He had to travel 80 miles through a raging snowstorm to get to the concert,[5] which was his first public appearance. Loewe and Mendelssohn also appeared as soloists in Mendelssohn’s Concerto in A-flat major for two pianos and orchestra, and Mendelssohn alone was the soloist for Carl Maria von Weber‘s Konzertstück in F minor. After the intermission, he joined the first violins for a performance of Beethoven‘s Ninth Symphony.

The first British performance of the Overture was conducted by Mendelssohn himself, on 24 June 1829, at the Argyll Rooms in London, at a concert in benefit of the victims of the floods in Silesia, and played by an orchestra that had been assembled by Mendelssohn’s friend Sir George Smart.[4]

Incidental music

Mendelssohn wrote the incidental music, Op. 61, for A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1842, 16 years after he wrote the Overture. It was written to a commission from King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Mendelssohn was by then the music director of the King’s Academy of the Arts and of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.[6] A successful presentation of SophoclesAntigone on 28 October 1841 at the New Palace in Potsdam, with music by Mendelssohn (Op. 55) led to the King asking him for more such music, to plays he especially enjoyed. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was produced on 14 October 1843, also at Potsdam. The producer was Ludwig Tieck. This was followed by incidental music for Sophocles’ Oedipus (Potsdam, 1 November 1845; published posthumously as Op. 93) and Jean Racine‘s Athalie (Berlin, 1 December 1845; Op. 74).[1]

The A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, Op. 21, originally written as an independent piece 16 years earlier, was incorporated into the Op. 61 incidental music as its overture, and the first of its 14 numbers. There are also vocal sections and other purely instrumental movements, including the Scherzo, Nocturne and Wedding March. The vocal numbers include the song “Ye spotted snakes” and the melodramas “Over hill, over dale”, “The Spells”, “What hempen homespuns”, and “The Removal of the Spells”. The melodramas served to enhance Shakespeare’s text.

Act I was played without music. The Scherzo, with its sprightly scoring, dominated by chattering winds and dancing strings, acts as an intermezzo between Acts I and II. The Scherzo leads directly into the first melodrama, a passage of text spoken over music. Oberon’s arrival is accompanied by a fairy march, scored with triangle and cymbals.

The vocal piece “Ye spotted snakes” opens Act II’s second scene. The second Intermezzo comes at the end of the second act. Act III includes a quaint march for the entrance of the Mechanicals. We soon hear music quoted from the Overture to accompany the action. The Nocturne includes a solo horn doubled by bassoons, and accompanies the sleeping lovers between Acts III and IV. There is only one melodrama in Act IV. This closes with a reprise of the Nocturne to accompany the mortal lovers’ sleep.

The intermezzo between Acts IV and V is the famous Wedding March, probably the most popular single piece of music composed by Mendelssohn, and one of the most ubiquitous pieces of music ever written.

Act V contains more music than any other, to accompany the wedding feast. There is a brief fanfare for trumpets and timpani, a parody of a funeral march, and a Bergomask dance. The dance uses Bottom’s braying from the Overture as its main thematic material.

The play has three brief epilogues. The first is introduced with a reprise of the theme of the Wedding March and the fairy music of the Overture. After Puck‘s speech, the final musical number is heard – “Through this house give glimmering light”, scored for soprano, mezzo-soprano and chorus. Puck’s famous valedictory speech “If we shadows have offended” is accompanied, as day breaks, by the four chords first heard at the very beginning of the Overture, bringing the work full circle and to a fitting close.

Suite and excerpts

The purely instrumental movements (Overture, Scherzo, Intermezzo, Nocturne, Wedding March, and Bergomask) are often played as a unified suite or as independent pieces, at concert performance or on recording, although this approach never had Mendelssohn’s imprimatur. Like many others, Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra recorded selections for RCA Victor; Ormandy broke with tradition by using the German translation of Shakespeare’s text. In the 1970s Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos recorded a Decca Records LP of the complete incidental music with the New Philharmonia Orchestra and soloists Hanneke van Bork and Alfreda Hodgson; it later was issued on CD.[7] In October 1992, Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra recorded another album of the full score for Deutsche Grammophon; they were joined by soloists Frederica von Stade and Kathleen Battle as well as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Actress Judi Dench was heard reciting those excerpts from the play that were acted against the music. In 1996, Claudio Abbado recorded an album for Sony Masterworks of extended excerpts with Kenneth Branagh acting several roles from the play, performed live.[8]

Scoring

The Overture is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, ophicleide, timpani and strings. The incidental music adds a third trumpet, three trombones, triangle and cymbals to this scoring.

Notes

Parts of the score are used, re-orchestrated by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, in Max Reinhardt‘s 1935 movie A Midsummer Night’s Drea

great compositions/performances: BARTHOLDY QUARTETT plays MENDELSSOHN – STRING QUARTET OP. 44 N. 2


BARTHOLDY QUARTETT plays MENDELSSOHN – STRING QUARTET OP. 44 N. 2

great compositions/performances: Berlioz – Roman Carnival Overture Op. 9 – National Symphony Orchestra Washington – C. Eschenbach


Berlioz – Roman Carnival Overture Op. 9 – National Symphony Orchestra Washington – C. Eschenbach

make music part of your life series: Aaron Copeland The Red Pony Suite: I. Morning on the Ranch


The Red Pony Suite: I. Morning on the Ranch Aaron Copeland

 

fabulous renditions: Valentina Lisitsa plays Chopin Nocturne F Major Op 15 no.1.


Chopin Nocturne F Major Op 15 no.1. Valentina Lisitsa

historic musical bits: Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 – Leonard Bernstein


Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 – Leonard Bernstein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
“Beethoven’s Fifth” redirects here. For the movie, see Beethoven’s 5th (film). For Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto, see Piano Concerto No. 5 (Beethoven).

The coversheet to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The dedication to Prince J. F. M. Lobkowitz and Count Rasumovsky is visible.

The Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 67, was written between 1804–1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music, and one of the most frequently played symphonies.[1] First performed in Vienna‘s Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation soon afterward. E. T. A. Hoffmann described the symphony as “one of the most important works of the time”.

It begins by stating a distinctive four-note “short-short-short-long” motif twice: (About this sound listen )

{\clef treble \key c \minor \time 2/4 {r8 g'8[ g'8 g'8] | ees'2\fermata | r8 f'8[ f'8 f'8] | d'2~ | d'2\fermata | } }

The symphony, and the four-note opening motif in particular, are known worldwide, with the motif appearing frequently in popular culture, from disco to rock and roll, to appearances in film and television.

Since the Second World War it has sometimes been referred to as the “Victory Symphony”.[2] “V” is the Roman character for the number five; the phrase “V for Victory” became well known as a campaign of the Allies of World War II. That Beethoven’s Victory Symphony happened to be his Fifth (or vice versa) is coincidence. Some thirty years after this piece was written, the rhythm of the opening phrase – “dit-dit-dit-dah” – was used for the letter “V” in Morse code, though this is probably also coincidental.[3]

The BBC, during World War Two, prefaced its broadcasts to Europe with those four notes, played on drums.[4][5][6]

History

Development

 
Beethoven in 1804, the year he began work on the Fifth Symphony. Detail of a portrait by W. J. Mähler

The Fifth Symphony had a long development. The first sketches date from 1804 following the completion of the Third Symphony.[7] However, Beethoven repeatedly interrupted his work on the Fifth to prepare other compositions, including the first version of Fidelio, the Appassionata piano sonata, the three Razumovsky string quartets, the Violin Concerto, the Fourth Piano Concerto, the Fourth Symphony, and the Mass in C. The final preparation of the Fifth Symphony, which took place in 1807–1808, was carried out in parallel with the Sixth Symphony, which premiered at the same concert.

Beethoven was in his mid-thirties during this time; his personal life was troubled by increasing deafness.[8] In the world at large, the period was marked by the Napoleonic Wars, political turmoil in Austria, and the occupation of Vienna by Napoleon‘s troops in 1805.

Premiere

The Fifth Symphony was premiered on 22 December 1808 at a mammoth concert at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna consisting entirely of Beethoven premieres, and directed by Beethoven himself.[9] The concert lasted for more than four hours. The two symphonies appeared on the program in reverse order: the Sixth was played first, and the Fifth appeared in the second half.[10] The program was as follows:

  1. The Sixth Symphony
  2. Aria: Ah! perfido, Op. 65
  3. The Gloria movement of the Mass in C major
  4. The Fourth Piano Concerto (played by Beethoven himself)
  5. (Intermission)
  6. The Fifth Symphony
  7. The Sanctus and Benedictus movements of the C major Mass
  8. A solo piano improvisation played by Beethoven
  9. The Choral Fantasy

 
The Theater an der Wien as it appeared in the early 19th century

Beethoven dedicated the Fifth Symphony to two of his patrons, Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz and Count Razumovsky. The dedication appeared in the first printed edition of April 1809.

Reception and influence

There was little critical response to the premiere performance, which took place under adverse conditions. The orchestra did not play well—with only one rehearsal before the concert—and at one point, following a mistake by one of the performers in the Choral Fantasy, Beethoven had to stop the music and start again.[11] The auditorium was extremely cold and the audience was exhausted by the length of the program. However, a year and a half later, publication of the score resulted in a rapturous unsigned review (actually by E. T. A. Hoffmann) in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung. He described the music with dramatic imagery:

Radiant beams shoot through this region’s deep night, and we become aware of gigantic shadows which, rocking back and forth, close in on us and destroy everything within us except the pain of endless longing—a longing in which every pleasure that rose up in jubilant tones sinks and succumbs, and only through this pain, which, while consuming but not destroying love, hope, and joy, tries to burst our breasts with full-voiced harmonies of all the passions, we live on and are captivated beholders of the spirits.[12]

Apart from the extravagant praise, Hoffmann devoted by far the largest part of his review to a detailed analysis of the symphony, in order to show his readers the devices Beethoven used to arouse particular affects in the listener. In an essay titled “Beethoven’s Instrumental Music”, compiled from this 1810 review and another one from 1813 on the op. 70 string trios, published in three instalments in December 1813, E.T.A. Hoffmann further praised the “indescribably profound, magnificent symphony in C minor”:

How this wonderful composition, in a climax that climbs on and on, leads the listener imperiously forward into the spirit world of the infinite!… No doubt the whole rushes like an ingenious rhapsody past many a man, but the soul of each thoughtful listener is assuredly stirred, deeply and intimately, by a feeling that is none other than that unutterable portentous longing, and until the final chord—indeed, even in the moments that follow it—he will be powerless to step out of that wondrous spirit realm where grief and joy embrace him in the form of sound….[13]

The symphony soon acquired its status as a central item in the repertoire. It was played in the inaugural concerts of the New York Philharmonic on 7 December 1842, and the [US] National Symphony Orchestra on 2 November 1931. It was first recorded by the Odeon Orchestra under Friedrich Kark in 1910. The First Movement (as performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra) was featured on the Voyager Golden Record, a phonograph record containing a broad sample of the images, common sounds, languages, and music of Earth, sent into outer space with the two Voyager probes.[14] Groundbreaking in terms of both its technical and its emotional impact, the Fifth has had a large influence on composers and music critics,[15] and inspired work by such composers as Brahms, Tchaikovsky (his 4th Symphony in particular),[16] Bruckner, Mahler, and Berlioz.[17]

Instrumentation

The symphony is scored for piccolo (fourth movement only), two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets in B and C, two bassoons, contrabassoon or double bassoon (fourth movement only), two horns in E and C, two trumpets, three trombones (alto, tenor, and bass, fourth movement only), timpani (in G-C) and strings.

Form

A typical performance usually lasts around 30–40 minutes. The work is in four movements:

First movement: Allegro con brio

First movement
 
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Performed by the Skidmore College Orchestra. Music courtesy of Musopen

 
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Performed by the Fulda Symphony

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The first movement opens with the four-note motif discussed above, one of the most famous in Western music. There is considerable debate among conductors as to the manner of playing the four opening bars. Some conductors take it in strict allegro tempo; others take the liberty of a weighty treatment, playing the motif in a much slower and more stately tempo; yet others take the motif molto ritardando (a pronounced slowing through each four-note phrase), arguing that the fermata over the fourth note justifies this.[18] Some critics and musicians consider it crucial to convey the spirit of [pause]and-two-and one, as written, and consider the more common one-two-three-four to be misleading.[19] To wit:

About the “ta-ta-ta-Taaa”: Beethoven begins with eight notes. They rhyme, four plus four, and each group of four consists of three quick notes plus one that is lower and much longer (in fact unmeasured). The space between the two rhyming groups is minimal, about one-seventh of a second if we go by Beethoven’s metronome mark; moreover, Beethoven clarifies the shape by lengthening the second of the long notes. This lengthening, which was an afterthought, is tantamount to writing a stronger punctuation mark. As the music progresses, we can hear in the melody of the second theme, for example (or later, in the pairs of antiphonal chords of woodwinds and strings), that the constantly invoked connection between the two four-note units is crucial to the movement. … The source of Beethoven’s unparalleled energy here is in his writing long sentences and broad paragraphs whose surfaces are articulated with exciting activity. Indeed, we discover soon enough that the double “ta-ta-ta-Taaa” is an open-ended beginning, not a closed and self-sufficient unit (Misunderstanding of this opening was nurtured by a nineteenth-century performance tradition in which the first five measures were read as a slow, portentous exordium, the main tempo being attacked only after the second hold.) What makes this opening so dramatic is the violence of the contrast between the urgency in the eighth notes and the ominous freezing of motion in the unmeasured long notes. The music starts with a wild outburst of energy but immediately crashes into a wall. Seconds later, Beethoven jolts us with another such sudden halt. The music draws up to a half-cadence on a G-major chord, short and crisp in the whole orchestra, except for the first violins, who hang on to their high C for an unmeasured length of time. Forward motion resumes with a relentless pounding of eighth notes.[20]

The first movement is in the traditional sonata form that Beethoven inherited from his classical predecessors, Haydn and Mozart (in which the main ideas that are introduced in the first few pages undergo elaborate development through many keys, with a dramatic return to the opening section—the recapitulation—about three-quarters of the way through). It starts out with two dramatic fortissimo phrases, the famous motif, commanding the listener’s attention. Following the first four bars, Beethoven uses imitations and sequences to expand the theme, these pithy imitations tumbling over each other with such rhythmic regularity that they appear to form a single, flowing melody. Shortly after, a very short fortissimo bridge, played by the horns, takes place before a second theme is introduced. This second theme is in E major, the relative major, and it is more lyrical, written piano and featuring the four-note motif in the string accompaniment. The codetta is again based on the four-note motif. The development section follows, including the bridge. During the recapitulation, there is a brief solo passage for oboe in quasi-improvisatory style, and the movement ends with a massive coda.

Second movement: Andante con moto

Second movement
 
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Performed by the Fulda Symphony

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The second movement, in A major, the submediant major of the overall C minor key of the symphony, is a lyrical work in double variation form, which means that two themes are presented and varied in alternation. Following the variations there is a long coda.

The movement opens with an announcement of its theme, a melody in unison by violas and cellos, with accompaniment by the double basses. A second theme soon follows, with a harmony provided by clarinets, bassoons, and violins, with a triplet arpeggio in the violas and bass. A variation of the first theme reasserts itself. This is followed up by a third theme, thirty-second notes in the violas and cellos with a counterphrase running in the flute, oboe, and bassoon. Following an interlude, the whole orchestra participates in a fortissimo, leading to a series of crescendos and a coda to close the movement.[21]

Third movement: Scherzo. Allegro

Third movement
 
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The third movement is in ternary form, consisting of a scherzo and trio. It follows the traditional mold of Classical-era symphonic third movements, containing in sequence the main scherzo, a contrasting trio section, a return of the scherzo, and a coda. However, while the usual Classical symphonies employed a minuet and trio as their third movement, Beethoven chose to use the newer scherzo and trio form.

The movement returns to the opening key of C minor and begins with the following theme, played by the cellos and double basses: (About this sound listen )

\relative c{ \clef bass \key c \minor \time 3/4 \tempo "Allegro" \partial 4 g(\pp | c ees g | c2 ees4 | d2 fis,4) | g2.~ | g2.}

The opening theme is answered by a contrasting theme played by the winds, and this sequence is repeated. Then the horns loudly announce the main theme of the movement, and the music proceeds from there.

The trio section is in C major and is written in a contrapuntal texture. When the scherzo returns for the final time, it is performed by the strings pizzicato and very quietly.

“The scherzo offers contrasts that are somewhat similar to those of the slow movement in that they derive from extreme difference in character between scherzo and trio … The Scherzo then contrasts this figure with the famous ‘motto’ (3 + 1) from the first movement, which gradually takes command of the whole movement.”[22]

The third movement is also notable for its transition to the fourth movement, widely considered one of the greatest musical transitions of all time.[23]

Fourth movement: Allegro

Fourth movement
 
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The fourth movement begins without pause from the transition. The music resounds in C major, an unusual choice by the composer as a symphony that begins in C minor is expected to finish in that key.[24] In Beethoven’s words:

Many assert that every minor piece must end in the minor. Nego! …Joy follows sorrow, sunshine—rain.[25]

The triumphant and exhilarating finale is written in an unusual variant of sonata form: at the end of the development section, the music halts on a dominant cadence, played fortissimo, and the music continues after a pause with a quiet reprise of the “horn theme” of the scherzo movement. The recapitulation is then introduced by a crescendo coming out of the last bars of the interpolated scherzo section, just as the same music was introduced at the opening of the movement. The interruption of the finale with material from the third “dance” movement was pioneered by Haydn, who had done the same in his Symphony No. 46 in B, from 1772. It is unknown whether Beethoven was familiar with this work or not.[citation needed]

The Fifth Symphony finale includes a very long coda, in which the main themes of the movement are played in temporally compressed form. Towards the end the tempo is increased to presto. The symphony ends with 29 bars of C major chords, played fortissimo. In The Classical Style, Charles Rosen suggests that this ending reflects Beethoven’s sense of Classical proportions: the “unbelievably long” pure C major cadence is needed “to ground the extreme tension of [this] immense work.”[26]

It was shown recently that this long chord sequence was a pattern that Beethoven borrowed from the Italian composer Luigi Cherubini, whom Beethoven “esteemed the most” among his contemporary musicians. Spending much of his life in France, Cherubini employed this pattern consistently to close his overtures, which Beethoven knew well. The ending of his famous symphony repeats almost note by note and pause by pause the conclusion of Cherubini’s overture to his opera Eliza, composed in 1794 and presented in Vienna in 1803.[27]

Influences

The 19th century musicologist Gustav Nottebohm first pointed out that the third movement’s theme has the same sequence of intervals as the opening theme of the final movement of Mozart‘s famous Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550. Here is Mozart’s theme: (About this sound listen )

\relative c' { \key g \minor \time 2/2 \tempo "Allegro assai" \partial 4 d4\p( g) bes-. d-. g-. bes2( a4) cis,8\f }

While such resemblances sometimes occur by accident, this is unlikely to be so in the present case. Nottebohm discovered the resemblance when he examined a sketchbook used by Beethoven in composing the Fifth Symphony: here, 29 measures of Mozart’s finale appear, copied out by Beethoven.[28][need quotation to verify]

Lore

Much has been written about the Fifth Symphony in books, scholarly articles, and program notes for live and recorded performances. This section summarizes some themes that commonly appear in this material.

Fate motif

The initial motif of the symphony has sometimes been credited with symbolic significance as a representation of Fate knocking at the door. This idea comes from Beethoven’s secretary and factotum Anton Schindler, who wrote, many years after Beethoven’s death:

The composer himself provided the key to these depths when one day, in this author’s presence, he pointed to the beginning of the first movement and expressed in these words the fundamental idea of his work: “Thus Fate knocks at the door!”[29]

Schindler’s testimony concerning any point of Beethoven’s life is disparaged by experts (he is believed to have forged entries in Beethoven’s conversation books).[30] Moreover, it is often commented that Schindler offered a highly romanticized view of the composer.

There is another tale concerning the same motif; the version given here is from Antony Hopkins‘ description of the symphony.[7] Carl Czerny (Beethoven’s pupil, who premiered the “Emperor” Concerto in Vienna) claimed that “the little pattern of notes had come to [Beethoven] from a yellow-hammer‘s song, heard as he walked in the Prater-park in Vienna.” Hopkins further remarks that “given the choice between a yellow-hammer and Fate-at-the-door, the public has preferred the more dramatic myth, though Czerny’s account is too unlikely to have been invented.”

In his Omnibus television lecture series in 1954, Leonard Bernstein has likened the Fate Motif to the four note coda common to classical symphonies. These notes would terminate the classical symphony as a musical coda, but for Beethoven they become a motif repeating throughout the work for a very different and dramatic effect, he says.[31]

Evaluations of these interpretations tend to be skeptical. “The popular legend that Beethoven intended this grand exordium of the symphony to suggest ‘Fate Knocking at the gate’ is apocryphal; Beethoven’s pupil, Ferdinand Ries, was really author of this would-be poetic exegesis, which Beethoven received very sarcastically when Ries imparted it to him.”[18] Elizabeth Schwarm Glesner remarks that “Beethoven had been known to say nearly anything to relieve himself of questioning pests”; this might be taken to impugn both tales.[32]

Beethoven’s choice of key

The key of the Fifth Symphony, C minor, is commonly regarded as a special key for Beethoven, specifically a “stormy, heroic tonality”.[33] Beethoven wrote a number of works in C minor whose character is broadly similar to that of the Fifth Symphony. Writer Charles Rosen says,

Beethoven in C minor has come to symbolize his artistic character. In every case, it reveals Beethoven as Hero. C minor does not show Beethoven at his most subtle, but it does give him to us in his most extroverted form, where he seems to be most impatient of any compromise.[34]

Repetition of the opening motif throughout the symphony

It is commonly asserted that the opening four-note rhythmic motif (short-short-short-long; see above) is repeated throughout the symphony, unifying it. “It is a rhythmic pattern (dit-dit-dit-dot*) that makes its appearance in each of the other three movements and thus contributes to the overall unity of the symphony” (Doug Briscoe[35]); “a single motif that unifies the entire work” (Peter Gutmann[36]); “the key motif of the entire symphony”;[37] “the rhythm of the famous opening figure … recurs at crucial points in later movements” (Richard Bratby[38]). The New Grove encyclopedia cautiously endorses this view, reporting that “[t]he famous opening motif is to be heard in almost every bar of the first movement—and, allowing for modifications, in the other movements.”[39]

There are several passages in the symphony that have led to this view. For instance, in the third movement the horns play the following solo in which the short-short-short-long pattern occurs repeatedly:

\relative c'' {
\key c \minor
\time 3/4
\set Score.currentBarNumber = #19
\bar ""
\[ g4\ff^"a 2" g g | g2. | \]
g4 g g | g2. |
g4 g g | <es g>2. |
<g bes>4( <f as>) <es g>^^ | <bes f'>2. |
}

In the second movement (at measure 76), an accompanying line plays a similar rhythm (About this sound listen ):

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In the finale, Doug Briscoe (cited above) suggests that the motif may be heard in the piccolo part, presumably meaning the following passage (About this sound listen ):

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Later, in the coda of the finale, the bass instruments repeatedly play the following (About this sound listen ):

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On the other hand, some commentators are unimpressed with these resemblances and consider them to be accidental. Antony Hopkins,[7] discussing the theme in the scherzo, says “no musician with an ounce of feeling could confuse [the two rhythms]”, explaining that the scherzo rhythm begins on a strong musical beat whereas the first-movement theme begins on a weak one. Donald Francis Tovey[40] pours scorn on the idea that a rhythmic motif unifies the symphony: “This profound discovery was supposed to reveal an unsuspected unity in the work, but it does not seem to have been carried far enough.” Applied consistently, he continues, the same approach would lead to the conclusion that many other works by Beethoven are also “unified” with this symphony, as the motif appears in the “Appassionata” piano sonata, the Fourth Piano Concerto (About this sound listen ), and in the String Quartet, Op. 74. Tovey concludes, “the simple truth is that Beethoven could not do without just such purely rhythmic figures at this stage of his art.”

To Tovey’s objection can be added the prominence of the short-short-short-long rhythmic figure in earlier works by Beethoven’s older Classical contemporaries Haydn and Mozart. To give just two examples, it is found in Haydn’s “Miracle” Symphony, No. 96) (About this sound listen ) and in Mozart‘s Piano Concerto No. 25, K. 503 (About this sound listen ). Such examples show that “short-short-short-long” rhythms were a regular part of the musical language of the composers of Beethoven’s day.

It seems likely that whether or not Beethoven deliberately, or unconsciously, wove a single rhythmic motif through the Fifth Symphony will (in Hopkins’s words) “remain eternally open to debate.”[7]

Use of La Folia

 
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Beethoven Symphony No. 5 Movement 2, La Folia Variation (measures 166–176)

Folia is a dance form with a distinctive rhythm and harmony, which was used by many composers from the Renaissance well into the 19th and even 20th century, often in the context of a theme and variations.[41] It was used by Beethoven in his Fifth Symphony in the harmony midway through the slow movement (bar 166–177).[42] Although some recent sources mention that the fragment of the Folia theme in Beethoven’s symphony was detected only in the 90s of the last century, Reed J. Hoyt analyzed some Folia-aspects in the oeuvre of Beethoven already in 1982 in his “Letter to the Editor”, in the journal College Music Symposium 21, where he draws attention to the existence of complex archetypal patterns and their relationship.[43]

Trombones and piccolos

While it is commonly stated that the last movement of Beethoven’s Fifth is the first time the trombone and the piccolo were used in a concert symphony, it is not true. The Swedish composer Joachim Nicolas Eggert specified trombones for his Symphony in E major written in 1807,[44] and examples of earlier symphonies with a part for piccolo abound, including Michael Haydn‘s Symphony No. 19 in C major, composed in August 1773.

Textual questions

Third movement repeat

In the autograph score (that is, the original version from Beethoven’s hand), the third movement contains a repeat mark: when the scherzo and trio sections have both been played through, the performers are directed to return to the very beginning and play these two sections again. Then comes a third rendering of the scherzo, this time notated differently for pizzicato strings and transitioning directly to the finale (see description above). Most modern printed editions of the score do not render this repeat mark; and indeed most performances of the symphony render the movement as ABA’ (where A = scherzo, B = trio, and A’ = modified scherzo), in contrast to the ABABA’ of the autograph score.

The repeat mark in the autograph is unlikely to be simply an error on the composer’s part. The ABABA’ scheme for scherzi appears elsewhere in Beethoven, in the Bagatelle for solo piano, Op. 33, No. 7 (1802), and in the Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Symphonies. However, it is possible that for the Fifth Symphony, Beethoven originally preferred ABABA’, but changed his mind in the course of publication in favor of ABA’.

Since Beethoven’s day, published editions of the symphony have always printed ABA’. However, in 1978 an edition specifying ABABA’ was prepared by Peter Gülke and published by Peters. In 1999, yet another edition by Jonathan Del Mar was published by Bärenreiter[45][46] which advocates a return to ABA’. In the accompanying book of commentary,[47] Del Mar defends in depth the view that ABA’ represents Beethoven’s final intention; in other words, that conventional wisdom was right all along.

In concert performances, ABA’ prevailed until fairly recent times. However, since the appearance of the Gülke edition conductors have felt more free to exercise their own choice. The conductor Caroline Brown, in notes to her recorded ABABA’ performance with the Hanover Band (Nimbus Records, #5007), writes:

Re-establishing the repeat certainly alters the structural emphasis normally apparent in this Symphony. It makes the scherzo less of a transitional make-weight, and, by allowing the listener more time to become involved with the main thematic motif of the scherzo, the side-ways step into the bridge passage leading to the finale seems all the more unexpected and extraordinary in its intensity.

Performances with ABABA’ seem to be particularly favored by conductors who specialize in authentic performance (that is, using instruments of the kind employed in Beethoven’s day). These include Brown, as well as Christopher Hogwood, John Eliot Gardiner, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. ABABA’ performances on modern instruments have also been recorded by the New Philharmonia Orchestra under Pierre Boulez, the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich under David Zinman, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.

In the first movement, the passage that introduces the second subject of the exposition is assigned by Beethoven as a solo to the pair of horns.

\relative c'' {
\key c \minor
\time 2/4
r8 bes[\ff^"a 2" bes bes] | es,2\sf | f\sf | bes,\sf |
}

At this location, the theme is played in the key of E major. When the same theme is repeated later on in the recapitulation section, it is given in the key of C major. Antony Hopkins wrote,[7] “this … presented a problem to Beethoven, for the horns [of his day], severely limited in the notes they could actually play before the invention of valves, were unable to play the phrase in the ‘new’ key of C major—at least not without stopping the bell with the hand and thus muffling the tone. Beethoven therefore had to give the theme to a pair of bassoons, who, high in their compass, were bound to seem a less than adequate substitute. In modern performances the heroic implications of the original thought are regarded as more worthy of preservation than the secondary matter of scoring; the phrase is invariably played by horns, to whose mechanical abilities it can now safely be trusted.”

In fact, even before Hopkins wrote this passage (1981), some conductors had experimented with preserving Beethoven’s original scoring for bassoons. This can be heard on many performances including those conducted by Caroline Brown mentioned in the preceding section as well as in a recent recording by Simon Rattle with the Vienna Philharmonic. Although horns capable of playing the passage in C major were developed not long after the premiere of the Fifth Symphony (according to this source, 1814), it is not known whether Beethoven would have wanted to substitute modern horns, or keep the bassoons, in the crucial passage.

There are strong arguments in favor of keeping the original scoring even when modern valve horns are available. The structure of the movement posits a programatic alteration of light and darkness, represented by major and minor. Within this framework, the topically heroic transitional theme dispels the darkness of the minor first theme group and ushers in the major second theme group. However, in the development section, Beethoven systematically fragments and dismembers this heroic theme in bars 180–210. Thus he may have rescored its return in the recapitulation for a weaker sound to foreshadow the essential expositional closure in minor. Moreover, the horns used in the fourth movement are natural horns in C, which can easily play this passage. If Beethoven had wanted the second theme in the horns, he could have had the horns resting for the previous bars to give them time to switch instruments, and then written “muta in c,” similar to his “muta in f” instruction in measure 412 of the first movement of Symphony No. 3.

BRITTEN_Suite on English Folk Tunes (A Time There Was)


BRITTEN_Suite on English Folk Tunes (A Time There Was)

 

Saint of the Day for Saturday, January 9th, 2016: St. Adrian, Abbot


Image of St. Adrian, Abbot

St. Adrian, Abbot

Born in Africa, Adrian became abbot of the monastery at Nerida, near Naples. He declined an appointment as archbishop of Canterbury, but accompanied St. Theodore to England when the latter was … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

 

today’s holiday: Black Nazarene Fiesta


Black Nazarene Fiesta

The Fiesta of Quiapo District is the largest festival in Manila, Philippines. It is held each year in honor of the Quiapo District’s patron saint, the Black Nazarene, a life-sized statue of Jesus carved from blackwood, whose shrine is located in Quiapo’s baroque church. The traditional nine-day fiesta features nightly cultural events, band concerts, and fireworks. On the last day of the festival, January 9, there is a procession of barefoot men pulling a carriage that holds the 200-year-old statue on the way to Calvary. More… Discuss

quotation : Washington Irving


There is a healthful hardiness about real dignity that never dreads contact and communion with others, however humble.

Washington Irving (1783-1859) Discuss

today’s birthday: Richard Halliburton (1900)


Richard Halliburton (1900)

Halliburton was an American adventurer and pioneer of adventure journalism. He liked to recreate historical and legendary feats in his travels, such as Hannibal’s passage over the Alps on an elephant and Odysseus’s journey around the Mediterranean, and made his living writing and lecturing about his experiences. He is, however, perhaps best known for having swum the length of the Panama Canal. He disappeared while attempting to sail a Chinese junk, the Sea Dragon, from Hong Kong to where? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Martyrs’ Day: Riots over Sovereignty of Panama Canal Zone (1964)


Martyrs’ Day: Riots over Sovereignty of Panama Canal Zone (1964)

Martyrs’ Day is a Panamanian holiday commemorating the 1964 riots that began after a Panamanian flag was torn in a conflict between Panamanian and Canal Zone students over the right of the Panamanian flag to be flown alongside the US flag. US Army units became involved in suppressing the violence, and 4 soldiers and more than 20 Panamanians were killed. The incident contributed to the US decision to transfer control of the Canal Zone to Panama. When was full control of the canal given to Panama? More… Discuss

The Rabbit-Proof Fence


The Rabbit-Proof Fence

When Thomas Austin released 24 rabbits onto his Australian farm in 1859, he was unaware of the damage they would cause to the Australian ecosystem. Within 35 years, the rabbits, which had no natural predators in Australia, spread throughout the mainland and destroyed millions of acres of farmland. In 1901, construction began on a fence that would traverse Western Australia from north to south and was intended to contain the rabbits east of the barrier. What animal was used to inspect the fence? More… Discuss

diluent


diluent

Definition: (noun) An inert substance used to dilute.
Synonyms: dilutant
Usage: The artist thinned the paint to a pale yellow using a diluent and a bit of white. Discuss.

this pressed: How Much Could Obama’s Gun Moves Affect Gun Violence? Nobody Knows. – ProPublica


The executive actions on guns unveiled yesterday by President Obama drew predictable praise from gun control advocates and bile from gun-rights supporters and Republican lawmakers, including some who called his actions “unconstitutional.”But, as some have noted, the actions themselves are extremely modest, raising questions about how much they will really do to stem gun violence.Obama’s most significant step is an attempt to expand the number of gun sellers who conduct background checks on buyers. To do this, he is not changing the requirements for who is required to conduct a background check and who is not. Instead, he is giving a very high level of publicity to new “guidance” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that simply explains what the current law is.Under federal law, licensed firearm dealers have to comply with a set of regulations, including conducting background checks on prospective purchasers to make sure they are not prohibited from owning a gun because of a criminal record or other disqualifying factor. More occasional sellers of guns—one private individual selling to another private individual—do not have to follow these rules.For decades, gun control advocates have decried this gaping loophole in the nation’s federal background check law. After a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, Congressional Democrats tried and failed to close this loophole by passing legislation to require background checks on more gun sales.Obama is now approaching the problem from a different angle: He is focusing on gun sellers who may be operating in a gray area between being an occasional seller and a licensed dealer.According to the ATF, its new guidance breaks down how federal courts have interpreted the somewhat fuzzy line between occasional gun sellers, who are not required to conduct background checks, and people who are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, who must have a federal license, conduct background checks, and comply with other federal regulations on dealers.A father selling off part of his personal collection of high-end firearms to finance his son’s college education does not need a federal firearms license, the ATF explained. But a man who lost his job and is now “buying firearms from friends and reselling them though an internet site” does need a license.Experts say there’s some indication that gun sellers operating in this gray area are a problem, and that they play a role in supplying guns to people with criminal records.Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said sellers whose livelihoods don’t depend on gun sales may exercise prudence beyond what’s required by law when making transactions. When he conducted focus groups with gun owners in Texas, he said, many said they would not sell a gun without voluntarily checking whether a potential buyer had a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon, so they could be sure they were selling to a person who could legally own a gun.But private sellers who are trying to make a profit may be less scrupulous about whether the person who is buying their gun could pass a background check, Webster said.“If you are, on a regular basis, buying and selling a whole lot of guns and are doing that to make money, I think that probably clouds judgment,” he said.Webster cited a November 2015 study by the gun control group Everytownfor Gun Safety, which analyzed a year’s worth of ads posted by unlicensed sellers on Armslist.com, an online gun marketplace. The report found that a small proportion of unlicensed sellers were selling a very large number of guns on the site: “Those offering 25 or more guns accounted for 1 in 500 sellers but offered 1 in 20 guns,” the report found. These private, high-volume sellers should be required to be licensed, the report concluded.It’s not clear how the findings of this one study might reflect the larger online marketplace for guns—or the broader patterns of offline unlicensed sales.“The bottom line: we don’t know how big this is, but we have enough evidence to know that thousands of guns are being sold by individuals who are selling a lot of guns in fairly risky kinds of ways,” Webster said.The Everytown report also concluded that the vague legal definition of who should be a licensed gun seller had undermined efforts to prosecute people for dealing in firearms without a license.Webster said it would be interesting to see if the White House’s attempt to clarify the law resulted in more cases targeting people for selling guns without a license. “Time will tell,” he said, noting that simply putting a spotlight on these sellers should also have “some deterrent effect.”Even if the president succeeds in shrinking this gray area of the gun market, it’s not clear what effect that might have on gun violence overall.Phil Cook, a Duke University gun policy expert, was one of the researchers who recently surveyed 99 inmates at th

Source: How Much Could Obama’s Gun Moves Affect Gun Violence? Nobody Knows. – ProPublica

historic musical bits: Dinu Lipatti plays Liszt Concerto No. 1 in E flat Orchestre de la Suisse Romande Ernest Ansermet, rec. 1947


Dinu Lipatti plays Liszt Concerto No. 1 in E flat Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Ernest Ansermet
rec. 1947

 
 
 
 
 

great compositions/performances: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15, in D major, Op. 28, – Artur Schnabel


Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major Op. 28 – Artur Schnabel

great compositions/performances: P. I. Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 1 “Winter Daydreams” (Fedoseyev),1991


P. I. Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 1 “Winter Daydreams” (Fedoseyev)

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 : St. John Neumann


Image of St. John Neumann

St. John Neumann

This American saint was born in Bohemia in 1811. He was looking forward to being ordained in 1835 when the bishop decided there would be no more ordinations. It is difficult for us to imagine now, … continue reading

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today’s holiday: Twelfth Night


Twelfth Night

In England, the evening before the Epiphany is called Epiphany Eve, or Twelfth Night, and it traditionally marks the end of the Christmas season. Celebrations reflect ancient Winter Solstice rites encouraging the rebirth of the New Year and also the Magi‘s visit to the Christ child. Pageants held on this night typically include masked figures, costumed musicians, and traditional dances. Customarily, the Twelfth Night cake is sliced and served, and the man who gets the hidden bean and the woman the pea are the king and queen for the festivities. More… Discuss

Quotation: Wine is a turncoat; first a friend and then an enemy. Henry Fielding (1707-1754)


Wine is a turncoat; first a friend and then an enemy.

Henry Fielding (1707-1754) Discuss

today’s birthday: Alvin Ailey, Jr. (1931)


Alvin Ailey, Jr. (1931)

American choreographer and dancer Alvin Ailey, Jr., formed his own company, the American Dance Theater—now called the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater—in 1958. Multiracial since 1963, Ailey’s dance company has been internationally acclaimed and has brought recognition to many African-American and Asian dancers. His works, influenced by jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and modern dance, explore a wide range of black experience, from gospel music to social inequality. What is his most popular work? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Louis XV of France Survives Assassination Attempt (1757)


Louis XV of France Survives Assassination Attempt (1757)

Louis XV was king of France from 1715 to 1774. An orphan from age three, Louis succeeded to the throne upon the death of his great-grandfather Louis XIV, under the regency of the duke of Orléans. In 1757, the unpopular king was stabbed in the side by Robert Damiens. Convinced he was dying, Louis called for a confessor and begged his wife to forgive his infidelities. The small blade had, however, done little damage, and the king survived. How did Voltaire mock the king’s allegedly shallow wound? More… Discuss

Mandala Airlines Flight 091


Mandala Airlines Flight 091

On September 5, 2005, a Jakarta-bound jetliner operated by Mandala Airlines crashed into a heavily populated residential area mere seconds after taking off from Polonia International Airport. At least 39 people on the ground and 104 passengers reportedly died in the incident. The plane had been inspected only a few months earlier and was deemed airworthy. Some suspect that the crash resulted from illegal overloading of the flight. Supposedly, more than two tons of what was onboard? More… Discuss

word: endothermic


endothermic

Definition: (adjective) Characterized by or causing the absorption of heat; endoergic.
Synonyms: heat-absorbing, endothermal
Usage: Endothermic reactions are often described as reactions that “feel cold,” and they contrast with exothermic reactions, in which heat is released. Discuss.

“Andante Cantabile” for Cello and string orchestra -P.I.Tchaikovsky, Han Na Chang, Haydn cello concerto, Philharmonic Sinfonietta Berlin


“Andante Cantabile” for Cello and string orchestra -P.I.Tchaikovsky

today’s birthday: Rudyard Kipling (1865)


Rudyard Kipling (1865)

Kipling was raised in England but returned to his birthplace, India, as a 16-year-old journalist. He soon became famous for his stories and poetry, which often feature the heat, strife, and ennui of India and romanticize British imperialism. While in the US in the 1890s, he published The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, stories of the boy Mowgli in the Indian jungle that have become children’s classics. In 1907, he became the first English language writer to win what award? More… Discuss

word: pirogue


pirogue

Definition: (noun) A canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk.
Synonyms: dugout canoe, dugout
Usage: Then I’ll take you some night in the pirogue when the moon shines. Discuss.

The Air France Robbery


The Air France Robbery

In the 1960s, Air France was used to transport American money exchanged in France back to the US. Once the currency reached New York’s JFK International Airport, it was locked in a secure strong room. In 1967, 23-year-old mobster Henry Hill orchestrated an audacious robbery of the Air France cargo terminal. Using a copy of the strong room key, Hill and his associates quietly stole $420,000. They raised no alarm and were never prosecuted for the crime. How did Hill procure the copied key? More… Discuss

quotation: from Wikiquote – Henri Matisse


Wikiquote is a free online compendium of sourced quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information. Visit the help page or experiment in the sandbox to learn how you can edit nearly any page right now; or go to the Log in to start contributing to Wikiquote.
Quote of the day
Henri Matisse, 1913, photograph by Alvin Langdon Coburn.jpgYou study, you learn, but you guard the original naiveté. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.

great compositions/performances: Gustav Holst – The Planets, Op. 32


Gustav Holst – The Planets, Op. 32

great compositions/performances: Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 3 Op. 37 in C minor. Evgeny Kissin


Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 3 Op. 37 in C minor. Evgeny Kissin

 

historic musical bits: Leonid Kogan – Schumann – Fantasie in C major, Op 131


Leonid Kogan – Schumann – Fantasie in C major, Op 131

Shostakovich – Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10 [Kirill Kondrashin, USSR State SO, 1951]


Shostakovich – Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10 [Kirill Kondrashin, USSR State SO, 1951]

Fabulous Renditions: Ennio Morricone – The Mission Main Theme (Morricone Conducts Morricone)


Ennio Morricone – The Mission Main Theme (Morricone Conducts Morricone)

 

 


Yerba mate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yerba mate (from Spanish [ˈʝerβa ˈmate]; Portuguese: erva-mate [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmate] or [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmatʃɪ]) is a species of the holly family (Aquifoliaceae), with the botanical name Ilex paraguariensis A. St.-Hil.[1] named by the French botanist Auguste François César Prouvençal de Saint-Hilaire.[2]Yerba mate is widely known as the source of the beverage called mate (Portuguese: chimarrão, tererê/tereré and other variations). It is traditionally consumed in central and southern regions of South America, particularly Argentina, Bolivia, southern and center-western Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Chile.[3] It is also very popular in Syria where it is imported from Argentina.[4] Yerba mate was initially utilized and cultivated by the Guaraní people and in some Tupí communities in southern Brazil, prior to European colonization. It was scientifically classified by the Swiss botanist Moses Bertoni, who settled in Paraguay in 1895.[citation needed] Yerba mate can also be found in various energy drinks on the market today.

Yerba mate, erva mate, mate, or maté
Ilex paraguariensis
Ilex paraguariensis - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-074.jpg
Ilex paraguariensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Species: I. paraguariensis
Binomial name
Ilex paraguariensis

Description

Yerba mate, Ilex paraguariensis, begins as a shrub and then matures to a tree and can grow up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The leaves are evergreen, 7–110 millimetres (0.3–4.3 in) long and 30–55 millimetres (1.2–2.2 in) wide, with a serrated margin. The leaves are often called yerba (Spanish) or erva (Portuguese), both of which mean “herb”. They contain caffeine (known in some parts of the world as mateine) and also contains related xanthine alkaloids and are harvested commercially.

The flowers are small, greenish-white, with four petals. The fruit is a red drupe 4–6 millimetres (0.16–0.24 in) in diameter.

Cultivation

 Plantation in Misiones, Argentina.

The Yerba mate plant is grown and processed in South America, specifically in northern Argentina (Corrientes, Misiones), Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul). Cultivators are known as yerbateros (Spanish) or ervateiros (Brazilian Portuguese).

Seeds used to germinate new plants are harvested from January until April only after they have turned dark purple. After harvest, they are submerged in water in order to eliminate floating non-viable seeds and detritus like twigs, leaves, etc. New plants are started between March and May. For plants established in pots, transplanting takes place April through September. Plants with bare roots are transplanted only during the months of June and July.[5]

Many of the natural enemies of yerba mate are difficult to control in a plantation setting. Insect pests include Gyropsylla spegazziniana, an insect that lays eggs in branches, Hedyphates betulinus, an insect that weakens the tree and makes it more susceptible to mold and mildew, “Perigonia lusca”, an insect that eats the leaves, and several species of mites.[5]

When yerba mate is harvested, the branches are often dried by a wood fire, imparting a smoky flavor. The plant Ilex paraguariensis can vary in strength of the flavor, caffeine levels and other nutrients depending on whether it is a male or female plant. Female plants tend to be milder in flavor and lower in caffeine. They are also relatively scarce in the areas where yerba mate is planted and cultivated.[6]

According to FAO in 2012, Brazil is the biggest producer of mate in the world with 513,256 MT (58%), followed by Argentina with 290,000 MT (32%) and Paraguay with 85,490 MT (10%).[7]

Use as a beverage

Main article: Mate (beverage)

 Steaming mate infusion in its customary cup that resembles the shape of a gourd, the customary vessel

The infusion, called mate in Spanish-speaking countries or chimarrão in Brazil, is prepared by filling a container, typically a gourd, up to three-quarters full with dry leaves (and twigs) of the mate plant, and filling it up with water at a temperature of 70–80 °C (158–176 °F), hot but not boiling. Sugar may or may not be added; and the mate may be prepared with cold water (tereré).[8]

Drinking mate with friends from a hollow gourd (also called a guampa, porongo or mate in Spanish, cabaça or cuia in Portuguese, or zucca in Italian) through a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish, bomba in Portuguese), refilling and passing to the next person after finishing the few mouthfuls of beverage, is a common social practice in Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil among people of all ages.

Yerba mate is most popular in Uruguay, where people are seen walking the streets carrying the mate and termo (thermal vacuum flask) in their arms. You can also find hot water stations to refill the termo while on the road. In Argentina 5 kg (11 lb) of yerba mate is consumed annually per capita; in Uruguay, the largest consumer, consumption is 10 kg (22 lb).[9] The amount of the herb used to prepare the infusion is much greater than that used for tea and other beverages, accounting for the large weight used.[10]

 Yerba Mate shop, Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

The flavor of brewed mate resembles an infusion of vegetables, herbs, grass and is reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. Some consider the flavor to be very agreeable, but it is generally bitter if steeped in boiling water. Flavored mate is also sold, in which the mate leaves are blended with other herbs (such as peppermint) or citrus rind.[11]

In Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, a toasted version of mate, known as mate cocido (Paraguay), chá mate (Brazil) or just mate, is sold in teabags and in a loose leaf form. It is often served sweetened in specialized shops or on the street, either hot or iced, pure or with fruit juice (especially lime – known in Brazil as limão) or milk. In Argentina and southern Brazil, this is commonly consumed for breakfast or in a café for afternoon tea, often with a selection of sweet pastries (facturas).

 Yerba for sale in the open air market of La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain.

An iced, sweetened version of toasted mate is sold as an uncarbonated soft drink, with or without fruit flavoring. In Brazil, this cold version of chá mate is specially popular in the South and Southeast regions, and can easily be found in retail stores in the same cooler as soft-drinks.[12] Mate batido, which is toasted, has less of a bitter flavor and more of a spicy fragrance. Mate batido becomes creamy when shaken. Mate batido is more popular in the coastal cities of Brazil, as opposed to the far southern states, where it is consumed in the traditional way (green, consumed with a silver straw from a shared gourd), and called chimarrão (cimarrón in Spanish, particularly that of Argentina[13]).

In Paraguay, western Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul, west of São Paulo) and the Argentine littoral, a mate infusion, called tereré in Spanish and Portuguese or tererê in Portuguese in southern regions of Brazil, is also consumed as a cold or iced beverage, usually sucked out of a horn cup called guampa with a bombilla. Tereré can be prepared with cold water (the most common way in Paraguay and Brazil), or fruit juice (the most common way in Argentina). The version with water is more bitter; fruit juice acts as a sweetener (in Brazil, that is usually avoided with the addition of table sugar). Medicinal or culinary herbs, known as yuyos (weeds), may be crushed with a pestle and mortar, and added to the water for taste or medicinal reasons. Tereré is most popular in Paraguay, Brazil, and the Litoral (northeast Argentina).[14]

In the same way as people meet for tea or coffee, friends often gather and drink mate (matear) in Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Sharing mate is almost a ritual, following customary rules. In warm weather the hot water is sometimes replaced by lemonade, but not in Uruguay.

 Selection of Yerba Mate gourds and bombillas at a street vendor, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The gourd (mate in Spanish) is given by the brewer to each person, often in a circle, in turn; the recipient does not give thanks, drinks the few mouthfuls and returns the mate to the brewer, who refills it and passes it to the next person in clockwise order.

During August, Paraguayans have a tradition of mixing mate with crushed leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant known as flor de agosto[15] (the flower of August, plants of the Senecio genus, particularly Senecio grisebachii), which contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Modifying mate in this fashion is potentially toxic, as these alkaloids can cause a rare condition of the liver, veno-occlusive disease, which produces liver failure due to progressive occlusion of the small venous channels in the liver.[16]

In South Africa, mate is not well known, but has been introduced to Stellenbosch by a student who sells it nationally. In the tiny hamlet of Groot Marico in the northwest province, mate was introduced to the local tourism office by the returning descendants of the Boers, who in 1902 had emigrated to Patagonia in Argentina after losing the Anglo Boer War. It is also commonly consumed in Lebanon, Syria and some other parts of the Middle East mainly by Druze and Alawite population, following emigration to South America and return by many people, and worldwide by expatriates from the Southern Cone.[17]

Chemical composition and properties

Polyphenols

Yerba mate contains a variety of polyphenols such as the flavonoids quercetin and rutin.[18]

Xanthines

Yerba mate contains three xanthines: caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, the main one being caffeine. Caffeine content varies between 0.7% and 1.7% of dry weight[19] (compared with 0.4– 9.3% for tea leaves, 2.5–7.6% in guarana, and up to 3.2% for ground coffee);[20] theobromine content varies from 0.3% to 0.9%; theophylline is present in small quantities, or can be completely absent.[21] A substance previously called “mateine” is a synonym for caffeine (like theine and guaranine).

Mineral content

Yerba mate also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese.[22]

Health effects

As of 2011 there have not been any double-blind, randomized prospective clinical trials of Yerba mate consumption with respect to chronic disease.[23] Yerba mate has been claimed to have various effects on human health and these effects have been attributed to the high quantity of polyphenols found in mate tea.[18]

Research has found that Yerba mate may improve allergy symptoms[24] and reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus and high blood sugar in mice.[25]

Mate also contains compounds that act as an appetite suppressant and possible weight loss tool,[26] increases mental energy and focus,[27] improves mood,[28] and promotes deeper sleep; however, sleep may only be affected in people who are sensitive to caffeine.[27]

Lipid metabolism

Some non-blinded studies have found mate consumption to be effective in lipid lowering.[23]

Cancer

The consumption of hot mate tea is associated with oral cancer,[29] esophageal cancer,[30] cancer of the larynx,[30] and squamous cell cancers of the head and neck.[31][32] Studies show a correlation between tea temperature and likelihood of cancer, making it unclear how much of a role mate itself plays as a carcinogen.[30]

Weight loss

Yerba mate contains polyphenols such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which work by inhibiting enzymes like pancreatic lipase[33] and lipoprotein lipase, which in turn play a role in fat metabolism. Yerba mate has been shown to increase satiety by slowing gastric emptying. Effects on weight loss may be due to reduced absorption of dietary fats and/or altered cholesterol metabolism.[34]

Despite yerba mate’s potential for reducing body weight, there is minimal data on the effects of yerba mate on body weight in humans.[35] Therefore, yerba mate should not be recommended over diet and physical exercise[36] without further study on its effects being warranted.

Mechanism of action

E-NTPDase activity

Research also shows that mate preparations can alter the concentration of members of the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase) family, resulting in an elevated level of extracellular ATP, ADP, and AMP. This was found with chronic ingestion (15 days) of an aqueous mate extract, and may lead to a novel mechanism for manipulation of vascular regenerative factors, i.e., treating heart disease.[medical citation needed]

Antioxidants

In an investigation of mate antioxidant activity, there was a correlation found between content of caffeoyl-derivatives and antioxidant capacity (AOC).[medical citation needed] Amongst a group of Ilex species, Ilex paraguariensis antioxidant activity was the highest.[medical citation needed]

Monoamine oxidase inhibition activity

A paper from the University of São Paulo cites yerba mate extract as an inhibitor of MAO activity; the maximal inhibition observed in vitro was 40–50%. A monoamine oxidase inhibitor is a type of antidepressant, so there is some data to suggest that yerba mate has a calming effect in this regard.[37]

History

Main article: History of yerba mate

 
Yerba mate growing in the wild

Mate was first consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and also spread in the Tupí people that lived in southern Brazil, Paraguay and became widespread during European colonization.[citation needed] In the Spanish colony of Paraguay in the late 16th century, both Spanish settlers and indigenous Guaranís, who had, to some extent, before the Spanish arrival, consumed it.[citation needed] Mate consumption spread in the 17th century to the River Plate and from there to Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.[citation needed] This widespread consumption turned it into Paraguay’s main commodity above other wares, such as tobacco, and indigenous peoples labour was used to harvest wild stands.[citation needed]

In the mid 17th century, Jesuits managed to domesticate the plant and establish plantations in their Indian reductions in Misiones, Argentina, sparking severe competition with the Paraguayan harvesters of wild stands.[citation needed] After their expulsion in the 1770s, their plantations fell into decay, as did their domestication secrets.[citation needed] The industry continued to be of prime importance for the Paraguayan economy after independence, but development in benefit of the Paraguayan state halted after the War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870) that devastated the country both economically and demographically.[citation needed] Some regions with mate plantations in Paraguay became Argentine territory.[citation needed]

 Lithograph of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, a 19th-century ruler of Paraguay, holding a mate and bombilla

Brazil then became the largest producer of mate.[38] In Brazilian and Argentine projects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the plant was domesticated once again, opening the way for plantation systems.[citation needed] When Brazilian entrepreneurs turned their attention to coffee in the 1930s, Argentina, which had long been the prime consumer,[39] took over as the largest producer, resurrecting the economy in Misiones Province, where the Jesuits had once had most of their plantations. For years, the status of largest producer shifted between Brazil and Argentina.[39]

Now, Brazil is the largest producer, with 53%, followed by Argentina, 37% and Paraguay, 10%.[7][40]

In the city of Campo Largo, state of Paraná, Brazil, there is a Mate Historic Park (Portuguese: Parque Histórico do Mate), funded by that state’s government, to educate people on the sustainable harvesting methods needed to maintain the integrity and vitality of the oldest wild forests of mate in the world. As of June 2014, however, the park is closed to public visitation.[41]

Nomenclature

The name given to the plant in Guaraní, language of the indigenous people who first cultivated and enjoyed mate, is ka’a, which has the same meaning as “herb”.[citation needed] Congonha, in Portuguese, is derived from the Tupi expression, meaning something like “what keeps us alive”, but a term rarely used nowadays. Mate is from the Quechua mati,[42] a word that means container for a drink, infusion of an herb, as well as gourd.[43] The word mate is used in both Portuguese and Spanish languages.

The pronunciation of yerba mate in Spanish is [ˈʝe̞rβ̞ä ˈmäte̞][42] The accent on the word is on the first syllable, not the second as might be implied by the variant spelling maté.[42] The word hierba is Spanish for “herb”; yerba is a variant spelling of it which was quite common in Argentina.[44] (Nowadays in Argentina yerba refers exclusively to the yerba mate plant.[44]) Yerba mate, therefore, originally translated literally as the “gourd herb”, i.e. the herb one drinks from a gourd.[citation needed]

The (Brazilian) Portuguese name for the plant is either erva-mate [ˈɛʁvɐ ˈmätʃi] (pronounced [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmäte], [ˈɛɾvə ˈmätɪ] or [ˈɛɻvɐ ˈmätʃɪ] in the regions of traditional consumption, [ˈæə̯ʀvə ˈmäˑtɕ] in coastal, urban Rio de Janeiro), the most used term, or rarely congonha [kõˈɡõȷ̃ɐ], from Old Tupi kõ’gõi, which means “what sustains the being”.[45] The drinks it is used to prepare are chimarrão (hot), tereré (cold) or chá mate (hot or cold). While the chá mate (tea) is made with the toasted leaves, the other drinks are made with green leaves, and are very popular in the south and center-west of the country. Most people colloquially address both the plant and the beverage simply by the word mate.[12]

Both the spellings “mate” and “maté” are used in English, but the latter spelling is never used in either Spanish or Portuguese; in Spanish, maté means “I killed” as opposed to “gourd” (the similarly pronounced Portuguese matei also meaning “I killed”).[46] There are no variation of spellings in Spanish.[42] The addition of the acute accent over the final “e” was likely added as a hypercorrection, indicating that the word and its pronunciation are distinct from the common English word “mate“.[47][48][49][50][51][52]

According to both Spanish and Portuguese spelling rules, an acute accent in that position shifts the tonic syllable to the last one, whereas in both languages the word is pronounced with the first syllable as the tonic one. Additionally, in Portuguese it changes the pronunciation of a few vowels. (É being more open and never final unstressed /ɛ/, like ó /ɔ/ and á /a/, and ê being more closed /e/, like ô /o/ and â /ɐ/ – the usual pronunciation of the mate vowel is [i ~ ɪ ~ e], never [ɛ]; the standard in all regions where the Portuguese language is official is for unstressed vowels, particularly final ones, to be reduced, in the case of e through [i] in Brazil, here strongly palatalizing, and most of Africa, and [ɯ], or occasionally non-palatalizing [i], in Portugal, Cape Verde and Macau, among a few others.)

Use as a health food

 Mate softdrinks

Mate is consumed as a health food. Packages of yerba mate are available in health food stores and are frequently stocked in the large supermarkets of Europe, Australia and the United States. By 2013, Asian interest in the drink had seen significant growth and led to significant export trade.[53]

See also

Fabulous Renditions: Henrik Chaim Goldschmidt plays “Gabriel’s Oboe”


Henrik Chaim Goldschmidt plays “Gabriel’s Oboe”