Category Archives: Educational

make music part of your life series: Krystian Zimerman plays Valses Nobles et Sentimentales (Maurice Ravel)


Krystian Zimerman plays Valses Nobles et Sentimentales (Maurice Ravel) – Complete

 

Historic Musical Bits: , Mendelssohn:, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Berliner Philharmoniker conductor: Ferenc Fricsay) Rita Streich & Diana Eustrati (1950)


Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Ferenc Fricsay) Rita Streich & Diana Eustrati

 

Is Islam a religion of war or peace? Both – and Muslims must decide, priest says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

Rome, Italy, May 21, 2015 / 12:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).-

Following last week’s online release of an audio message from the caliph of the Islamic State, one expert says the group’s understanding of Islam calls on all Muslims to re-evaluate Islamic history.

“The only solution is a radical reform to the internal reading of Islamic history,” Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, an Egyptian-born Jesuit and acting rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, wrote May 15 at AsiaNews.

A day prior, the Islamic State had released a recording of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying, “There is no excuse for any Muslim not to migrate to the Islamic State … joining (its fight) is a duty on every Muslim. We are calling on you either to join or carry weapons (to fight) wherever you are.”

The recording also says that “Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No-one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels.”

Fr. Samir said al-Baghdadi’s message is “very shrewd because it corresponds to the expectations of

via Is Islam a religion of war or peace? Both – and Muslims must decide, priest says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

Saint of the Day for Friday, May 22nd, 2015: St. Rita


Saint of the Day for Friday, May 22nd, 2015

today’s holiday/commemoration: Fiesta of Santa Rita


 

Fiesta of Santa Rita

Villagers in Apastepeque, San Vicente Department, El Salvador, celebrate Santa Rita‘s feast day with a dance-drama called the Dance of the Tunco de Monte, or Wild Pig, an Indian dance going back to pre-Christian times. One person dresses in pig skins and pretends to be a pig, while other dancers portray various other stock characters. They enact the chasing and, finally, killing of the pig. At the concluding “feast,” the hunter who has caught the pig alternates between praying to Santa Rita for the welfare of the village and cracking jokes. More… Discuss

quotation: What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.


 

Quotation of the Day: Jane Austen

What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss

 

today’s birthday: Laurence Olivier (1907) (the best ever Hamlet!)


 

Laurence Olivier (1907)

One of the most revered actors of the 20th century, Olivier took on more than 120 stage roles and appeared in nearly 60 films over the course of an award-winning career spanning more than six decades. A versatile performer, he earned accolades for his portrayals of Shakespearean characters, like Henry V and Hamlet, as well as for his performances in modern dramas. He won four Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globes, and five Emmys, and was the first actor to receive what honor? More… Discuss 


Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet

This day in the yesteryear: Great Chilean Earthquake: Strongest Ever Recorded (1960)


Great Chilean Earthquake: Strongest Ever Recorded (1960)

Measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, the Great Chilean Earthquake was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. The tsunami it produced sent waves of up to 82 ft (25 m) racing across the Pacific Ocean to Chile, Argentina, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, and the Aleutian Islands. It is estimated that between 2,000 and 6,000 people lost their lives in the earthquake and ensuing tsunami. The tsunami reached Japan how many hours after the initial earthquake? More… Discuss

The Michelin Guide


 

The Michelin Guide

The Michelin Guide (Le Guide Michelin) is a series of guide books to over a dozen countries published annually by the Michelin company. André Michelin published the first edition of the guide in 1900 to help drivers maintain their cars, find decent lodging, and eat well while touring France. Today, the Michelin Red Guide is the oldest and best-known European hotel and restaurant guide. International food critics have accused the guide of what type of bias? More… Discuss

 

Haiku-History Lesson, poetic thought by George-B (The Smudge and Other Poems Page)


Haiku – History Lesson, poetic thought by George-B
(The Smudge and Other Poems Page)

Mustard in a jar

Hills covered with wild mustard

All evolves with time…

Impressions from the trail: April - Spring - 2014- A Good Year

Impressions from the trail: April – Spring – 2014- A Good Year

historic musical bits: Johannes Brahms – Symphony No.1 – Wiener Philharmoniker – Bernstein – 1981


Johannes Brahms – Symphony No.1 – Wiener Philharmoniker – Bernstein – 1981

great compositions/performances: Evgeny Kissin – Schumann-Liszt – Widmung (Liebeslied)



Evgeny Kissin – Schumann-Liszt – Widmung (Liebeslied)

Make Music part of your life: Véronique Gens: The complete “Shéhérazade” (Ravel)


 

Véronique Gens: The complete “Shéhérazade” (Ravel)

Published on Apr 1, 2014

Shéhérazade (1903):
I. Asie 00:00
II. La flûte enchantée 09:19
III. L’indifférent 12:13

Ravel, Maurice (1875-1937) -composer
Véronique Gen -soprano
John Axelrod -conductor
Loire National Orchestra

Score: http://imslp.us/php/linkhandler.php?p…

Playlist “The art of French song: Faure, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, Satie…”: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

Ravel was drawn to the sensual allure of the Orient as early as 1898, when he composed the “Ouverture de Shéhérazade,” a work which quotes a Persian melody while drawing on the spiritual ancestry of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Sheherazade” of 1888. He returned to its title in 1903 for this cycle of three songs for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, based on the exotic texts of the French poet Tristan Klingsor. With “Shéhérazade,” his first major statement for orchestra, Ravel demonstrates his mastery of muted and climactic orchestral details, while eliciting equal measures of ecstasy and restraint for the human voice.
Like the story in Rimsky-Korsakov’s famous suite, “Shéhérazade” conjures up Eastern tales of indulgence, perversity, death and danger. The first poem, “Asie” opens with a hushed string tremolo, followed by a meandering oboe melody, establishing a seductive atmosphere of Oriental fantasy. The opening four lines are declaimed syllabically and recitative-like (“Asia, Asia, Asia/marvelous old land of nursery tales/where fantasy sleeps like an empress/in her forest filled with mystery”). Pentatonic scale figures, grace notes and fluttering strings further impart the poem’s chilling decadence, leading to an accelerating climax on the words “I would like to see those who die for love as well as those who die for hatred.” The piece falls silent and shimmers to a close, as the recitative of the opening concludes the tale over a faintly rolling timpani.
“La Flute enchantée” and “L’indifferent,” are considerably shorter than “Asie,” and each song concludes with a brief yet subtly modified reference to the opening theme. “La Flute enchantée” is a timeless portrait of a girl listening to the sounds of a flute, while “L’indifferent” — sometimes regarded as the most beautiful of all of Ravel’s songs — concerns the attraction of the unattainable. If all three of the Tristan Klingsor settings in the cycle are expressions of longing, this final one finds a particularly personal tone, through false modality, and a final pandiatonically extended triad with a major ninth. After “Shéhérazade,” Ravel wrote no song with an erotic theme until he completed “Chansons madécasses” in 1926.

Source: http://www.allmusic.com/composition/s…

Buy the CD here: http://www.amazon.com/Berlioz-Hermini…

great compositions/performances: Arabesque No. 1 from Deux Arabesques , Aldo Chiccolini


 


Debussy – Arabesque No. 1 (Ciccolini)

 

Historic musical bits: Richard Strauss: Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24, (Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della Rai Conductor Sergiu Celibidache (1970)



Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24) : Richard Strauss


 

pod-0520Amelia Earhart Flies Across the Atlantic Ocean On May 20, 1932.

Amelia Earhart lands near Londonderry, Ireland, to become the first woman fly solo across the Atlantic. In this June 21, 1932 photo, President Herbert Hoover is shown presenting the gold medal of the National Geographic Society to Earhart in Washington DC. , in recognition of her solo flight. Photo: Library of Congress – See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.CaXwBnLB.dpuf

 

This Pressed: Podcast: Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool – ProPublica Podcast


ProPublica Podcast

Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool

by Nicole Collins Bronzan

ProPublica, May 18, 2015, 11:01 a.m.

David Sleight/ProPublica

As a reporter who covered the National Security Agency before before the Edward Snowden documents brought it to the mainstream, Patrick Radden Keefe of The New Yorker says it would be easy to feel jealous of the journalists breaking those stories now. “But I’ve sort of moved on,” Keefe says, “and I watch those stories with great interest.”

This week he joins ProPublica’s Assistant Managing Editor Eric Umansky and Senior Reporter Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica for a podcast on what he’s been up to since his book “Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping.”

Highlights include discussion of:

  • How technology has in some ways degraded American spying efforts. “I think there’s been a kind of notion of the technical silver bullet that has greatly endangered privacy, but also undermined national security,” Keefe says. (1:54)
  • The way he chooses his subjects — sometimes on the news, but often not. (16:51)
  • The tension between daily, incremental reporting and magazine-style coverage. “When I have a piece come out, there will always be some snarky daily reporter who will say, sort of, ‘Nothing new here, folks!’ ” (18:36)
  • His recent New Yorker story on the long conflict in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles, told through the story of Jean McConville, a former member of a secret Irish Republican Army unit who was abducted in front of her children in 1972. She was never seen again. (10:43)

Hear their conversation on SoundCloud and Stitcher, and read Keefe’s story “Where the Bodies Are Buried,” from the March 16 issue of The New Yorker.

via Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool – ProPublica. (Podcast)

HAIKU-Rattlesnake, poetic thought by George-B (The Smudge and other poems page)


HAIKU – Rattlesnake, poetic thought by George-B

Rattlesnake crosses
trails heading for valleys’ shade
witness smudge behind.

to-rattlesnake-ridge.jpg

My first hike there! (found it on Yahoo search: isn’t that something?)

 More:

to-rattlesnake-ridge

Watch “EU asylum plan presents a threat to our civilisat…” on YouTube


EU asylum plan presents a threat to our civilisation – Nigel Farage

“Ebullient, Cleansing, Awakening… Refreshing, Graceful, Water …The Well Spring of Life”


“Ebullient, Cleansing, Awakening…
Refreshing, Graceful, Water …
The Well Spring of Life”

For Arab Christianity, new women saints give encouraging example :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Tapestry of Sister Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas at St. Peter’s Basilica May 16. Credit: Daniel Ibanez / CNA.

By Ann Schneible

Vatican City, May 17, 2015 / 06:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic Church’s celebration of the canonization of two new women saints from Palestine on Sunday helps recognize both women’s important role in Arab culture and Arabs’ important role in Christianity.

“These two humble and simple women, consecrated women, give us also encouragement to pray for peace,” said Father Rifat Bader, general director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Amman, Jordan.

He was in Rome for the May 17 canonizations of Saints Mariam Baouardy and Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas.

Saint Marie Alphonsine herself called for prayer of the Rosary “for peace and tranquility in our region,” Fr. Bader told CNA ahead of the event.

Pope Francis presided over the canonizations and Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, before a congregation of tens of thousands of people.

The canonization of these two women saints, Fr. Bader said, is “a good example for all the citizens,” Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. The canonizations show “that the woman can do positive and good things in her society.”

“It’s very important issue to talk about the mission, or the role, of women in our Arab countries,” Fr. Bader said, explaining that the role of a woman within society and within her own family is not always recognized for its importance.

“Now, when we talk about these two examples, of saints, women, from the Holy Land, it gives encouragement for the woman to go ahead and to go forward.”

One of the new Palestinian saints, Sister Mariam Baouardy (1846-1878) was a mystic and stigmatic also known as Mary Jesus Crucified. She was a Palestinian and foundress of the Discalced Carmelites of Bethlehem. She and her family were members of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. She spent time in France and India before helping to found the Carmelite congregation in Bethlehem in 1875.

The other new Palestinian saint, Sister Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (1843-1927), was a co-founder of the Congregation of the Rosary Sisters. Born in Palestine, she spent much of her life in Bethlehem and its area, where she helped the poor and established schools and orphanages.

Father Bader explained the joint identity of being Arab and Christian simultaneously.

“We have the possibility to be saints, even if we are Arabs,” he said. “It’s not something impossible.”

The region is not unknown for its saints. “The Virgin Mary herself was living in the Holy Land,” Fr. Bader observed. Also from the region were all the companions of Jesus Christ, including Saint Peter who was buried at the very basilica where the canonizations took place.

“Now we have these new saints of the modern time,” he said. “That’s why we are happy: that modernity cannot forbid a person to be a saint.”

The Palestinian women were canonized alongside two others: Saint Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve (1811-1854) and Saint Maria Cristina Brando (1856-1906), from France and Italy, respectively.

Tags: Women, Church in Middle East, Canonizations

via For Arab Christianity, new women saints give encouraging example :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Borodin: Symphony No.2 in B minor – Gergiev / Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra


Borodin: Symphony No.2 in B minor – Gergiev / Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra

Eric Kleiber – Dvořák: The Wild Dove (Holoubek), Op 110, Wedding Dance


Eric Kleiber – Dvořák: The Wild Dove (Holoubek), Op 110, Wedding Dance

today’s holiday: Haiti Flag and University Day


Haiti Flag and University Day

National unity is a primary theme of Flag and University Day in Haiti, an independence celebration and an occasion to recognize the country’s educational system. Flag Day became an annual celebration shortly after Catherine Flon sewed the first red and blue flag in 1803, a year before Haiti won its independence from France. The government incorporated University Day as part of the celebration in 1919. Haitians wave flags throughout the day’s parades and fairs, which take place throughout Haiti as well as in New York and Miami, two cities with large Haitian communities. More… Discuss

quotation:…judgement shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision. Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)


The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgement shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) Discuss

today’s birthday: Omar Khayyám (1048)


Omar Khayyám (1048)

Khayyám was a Persian poet, mathematician, and astronomer. The details of his life are mostly conjectural, but he is known to have been a celebrated mathematician of his time. Yet, he is now best known for his Rubaiyat, a collection of epigrammatic verse quatrains whose hedonism often masks serious metaphysical reflections. It was little known in Europe until Edward FitzGerald’s loose English translations were published in 1859. What does the name Khayyám indicate about his lineage? More… Discuss

J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor “Agnus Dei” – Andreas Scholl


J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor “Agnus Dei” – Andreas Scholl

word: disperse


disperse

Definition: (verb) To drive off or scatter in different directions.
Synonyms: dissipate, spread, dispel
Usage: When it seemed that a riot was about to start, the police arrived to disperse the crowd. Discuss.

Hash tag: #TurnbulCynHikingTrail


Hash tag: #TurnbulCynHikingTrail

One of the best hiking trails in Los Angeles, Turnbul Canyon is now practically beyond access due to extensive parking restriction on Beverly Blvd. Both Greenleaf St. and Turnbull Cyn, (off Beverly) are now, together with the side streets restricted for Parking (without a Permit) These streets are Public roads, so the area is not a residential zoning. In addition, there are no bike lines, and no oppotyyunity to use the Stste funded Recreation area, to maintain health, and fitness, for a population that spends life behind the wheel of a car, everyday.

Instead of creating a real parking facility at Turnbull, For those of us who choose to workout, the city of Whittier decided that not using these parks and recreation facilities is more important!

credo in unum deum – closing mass of the synod of bishops – 28.10.2012


credo in unum deum – closing mass of the synod of bishops – 28.10.2012 

 

MIssa for Sunday, May 17, 2015: Beethoven – Missa Solemnis – Philharmonia / Karajan


Beethoven – Missa Solemnis – Philharmonia / Karajan

great compositions/performances: Claudio Abbado “Overture “The Fair Melusina” Mendelssohn


Claudio Abbado “Overture “The Fair Melusina” Mendelssohn

historic musical Bits: Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor, Op. 18


Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor, Op. 18 – HD

ROBERT SCHUMANN – Ouverture, Scherzo und Finale, Op.52


ROBERT SCHUMANN – Ouverture, Scherzo und Finale, Op.52

great compositions/performances: “Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op.24″ by Wilhelm Kempff


Johannes Brahms Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op 24 W Kempff

just a thought: Just the fact that one is not part of the problem doesn’t make one part of the solution


just a thought: Just the fact that one is not part of the problem doesn’t make one part of the solution

From CNA: A modern-day St Francis? Archbishop works to rebuild Syrian Church amid destruction


.- A four-year civil war in Syria has left a mounting death toll and displaced millions of persons, but one bishop is staying to rebuild the Church in Aleppo, in the northwest corner of the country.

“The Church is living,” Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo told CNA earlier this month. “Here, I am building, I am restoring, I am maintaining a lively Church in which every stone is a human being and who can be a witness, a testimony to the world.”

“I wondered if I am not copying St. Francis when he was working to rebuild the Church. It was crazy, nobody thought that he would succeed,” the archbishop noted. “And he succeeded because the Lord was with him.”

The four-year Syrian conflict being fought among the Assad regime and various rebel factions has devastated the country. More than 3.9 million refugees have fled to surrounding countries, and around 8 million Syrians are believed to have been internally displaced. The war’s death toll is currently around 220,000.

Outside countries and entities have taken advantage of the civil war, profiting from it through the arms trade or waiting for Syria to collapse so to move in and take power in the vacuum. Pope Francis has spoken out against the arms trade here and has been criticized for it, Archbishop Jeanbart noted.

Aleppo endured a terrible two-month siege by rebel forces last year. Its infrastructure has been devastated, and its residents endure great poverty.

Those who chose to stay face a myriad of challenges. Houses, businesses, schools, and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed in the war, leaving fathers without work, families without shelter, the sick without medical care, and children without education.

Thus it is an uphill battle to convince residents to stay and not re-settle elsewhere, Archbishop Jeanbart admitted. Syrians see the U.S. on television and think it a “paradise,” and want to move there. He has to convince them of the unseen difficulties that such a move might bring.

Words are not enough to convince people, however. The Church must act to help Christians who stay so once peace comes – and it will, the archbishop maintains – a stable Christian community is in place and Christians can have a seat at the peace negotiations.

“We want that we may have our rights,” he said. “We want that everybody may feel comfortable in the country.”

“What we want to do, and what I am looking for,” Archbishop Jeanbart said, “is to go to another position, a position looking positively to the future, trying to give them hope that the future of their country may be good, and will be better if they work and if they prepare themselves.”

The Church in Aleppo is working to meet the local needs. It provides thousands of baskets of food to needy families, 1,000 scholarships for students to attend Catholic schools, stipends to almost 500 fathers who have lost their business in the war, heating to houses in the wintertime, rebuilding homes damaged in the war and medical care for the needy since many government hospitals were destroyed in the fighting.

It’s a daunting task for an archbishop in his seventies. He admitted to initially wondering how he could do it.

“But when I began working on it, I felt that I was 50. Like if the Lord is pushing me to go ahead and helping me to realize this mission,” he said.

“I invest myself entirely. I have decided the consecrate the rest of my life to do that.”

Archbishop Jeanbart has been assisted in his efforts to serve the people of Aleppo by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. The charity has ensured  a six month supply of medical goods for the city, and paid for repairs and fuel costs at the city’s schools, in addition to the rest of its work throughout Syria.

Archbishop Jeanbart maintained that another reason Christians need to stay in Syria is to be a light to people of other religions, especially Muslims. If the Christians leave, no one will be left to preach the Gospel in Syria.

“Perhaps the time has come to tell these people ‘Come, Christ is waiting for you.’ And many Muslims now, I must say, are wondering where should be their place? Are they in the right place? Are they perhaps supposed to rethink and review their choices? It will be wonderful if I told them we may have the freedom and the freedom of faith which would allow anyone to make his own choice freely.”

Critics of the Church in Syria have accused it of not immediately supporting the rebels in the name of freedom and democracy, the archbishop noted, and this is a false mischaracterization.

Christians are wary of regime change because they have seen what has happened in surrounding countries where fundamentalists took power in the Arab Spring and religious pluralism suffered as a result: there is “a feeling among Christians that they are afraid that the government may change and with the change of the government, they may lose their freedom … they are afraid to lose their freedom to express and to live their Christian life.”

He cited the success of the Islamic State, which in the power vacuum caused by the Syrian civil war has established a caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq where “many Christians were killed because they were Christian.”

Christians in Syria are, in fact, supportive of freedom and democracy, he said.

“They want to have a democratic regime where they may have all their freedom and where they may live tranquil but at the same time happy in the country,” he said.

“In any settlement,” he maintained, “the Christian must have the rights to be Christian in this country. And they should not become Muslims because the regime will be Muslim.”

“We want to have our rights and to live as free Christians in our country,” he said.

Tags: Syrian Civil War, Aid to the Church in Need, Aleppo, Melkite Archdiocese of Aleppo, Archbishop Jeanbart

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Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 17th, 2015: St. Paschal Baylon


 

Image of St. Paschal Baylon

St. Paschal Baylon

Franciscan lay brother and mystic. Born to a peasant family at Torre Hermosa, in Aragon, on Whitsunday, he was christened Pascua in honor of the feast. According to accounts of his early life, … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

quotation: There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare. Sun Tzu (544 BC-496 BC)


There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.

Sun Tzu (544 BC-496 BC) Discuss

today’s Birthday: Maureen O’Sullivan (1911)


Maureen O’Sullivan (1911)

Maureen O’Sullivan’s acting career began when she met motion picture director Frank Borzage, who suggested that she take a screen test and then cast her in the film Song o’ My Heart. She went on to appear in a number of movies for several studios before being chosen to play Tarzan’s love interest, Jane Parker, in Tarzan the Ape Man and five other Tarzan features. In what other film did she play a character named Jane? More… Discuss

Mount Damavand


Mount Damavand

Mount Damavand is the highest peak in the Middle East with an elevation of 5,610 m (18, 405 ft). It is located in Iran in the middle of the Alborz mountain range, near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. In Zoroastrian texts and mythology, the three-headed dragon Aži Dahaka is chained within this dormant volcano, there to remain until the end of the world. In Persian mythology, the mountain is where Zahhak the Dragon King is slain by what hero? More… Discuss

Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream


Read the article “Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept.” here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417679/malice-toward-nun-nina-shea

Sister Diana wants to tell Americans about ISIS persecution of Christians in Iraq, but the State Department won’t let her in. Why is the United States barring a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun — an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS — from coming to Washington to testify about this catastrophe? Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group’s only Christian from Iraq. Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected.

via Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream.

Iraqi Christians have lost everything – except their faith, nun tells Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


By Matt Hadro

Photo:  Sister Diana Momeka, OP appeared before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington D.C. on May 13, 2015. Credit: Matt Hadro/CNA.

Washington D.C., May 13, 2015 / 03:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Having lost their homes, their heritage and their sense of dignity, Iraqi Christians victimized by the Islamic State feel abandoned by earthly powers, but their faith in God has only grown, an Iraqi nun told members of Congress May 13.

The faith of homeless Iraqi Christians is “increasing more and more,” Sister Diana Momeka, O.P., told the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Many of the displaced lived in devastating conditions – families taking shelter in containers, parents without jobs and children without an education.

But Sister Diana insisted the spirit of the people has not been broken by the adversity.

“It’s making us stronger,” she said.

“We were displaced, yet we feel that the hand of God is still with us…In the midst of this darkness, this suffering, we see that God is holding us,” she explained, adding that it is a “gift of the Holy Spirit” to be able to stay and have faith through hardship.

Sister Diana was part of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, originally from Mosul in Northern Iraq. Islamist militants bombed their convent in 2009, and after the prioress sought protection from the local government and found none, Sister Diana and the community moved to Qaraqosh.

The ISIS onslaught caught up to them last summer. As the Islamic State swept through parts of Iraq and Syria, establishing a strict caliphate, more than 120,000 Iraqis were displaced on the Nineveh Plain, faced with the decision to convert to Islam, stay and pay a jizya tax to ISIS, or leave immediately.

The religious community moved again, this time to Kurdistan. “We were driven out of our homes in a couple of hours,” the nun described, “without any warning.”

Almost no Christians are left in Mosul, Sister Diana said, except for about 100 Christian hostages of ISIS.

Slated to testify before a congressional committee as part of an Iraqi delegation, Sister Diana’s application for a visa was initially denied by the local U.S. Consulate because of her status as an internally-displaced person.

Amid mounting pressure, she was later able to enter the United States and testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee May 13 regarding “ISIS’s war on religious minorities.”

“I am but one, small person – a victim myself of ISIS and all of its brutality,” Sister Diana stated in written testimony before the committee.

“Coming here has been difficult for me – as a religious sister I am not comfortable with the media and so much attention,” she admitted. “But I am here and I am here to ask you, to implore you for the sake of our common humanity to help us.”

The Christians in Northern Iraq lost “most everything” when ISIS destroyed and desecrated churches, shrines, and other sacred sites, she said.

“We lost everything that today, every Christian that’s living in the region of Kurdistan, we feel we don’t have dignity anymore. When you lose your home, you lose everything you have. You lose your heritage, your culture.”

When monasteries that have existed for centuries have been destroyed, it is a sign that “your history is gone, you are nothing anymore,” the Iraqi nun explained.

Children are growing up without proper education and whole families’ lives have “changed tremendously,” she said. “We’re abandoned, that’s how we feel.”

The local and regional authorities have been of little help to the displaced, Sister Diana said in her testimony, calling their reaction to the crisis “at best modest and slow.” The Kurdish government allowed Christian refugees to enter its borders but did not offer any more significant aid.

The Church in Kurdistan has been a big help to Christians, though, providing food, shelter, and other support, she noted.

Ultimately, the displaced want to return home and not to be re-settled elsewhere, witnesses at the hearing insisted.

“There are many who say ‘Why don’t the Christians just leave Iraq and move to another country and be done with it?’“ Sister Diana stated in her testimony. “Why should we leave our country? What have we done?”

“The Christians of Iraq are the first people of the land,” she said. “While our ancestors experienced all kinds of persecution, they stayed in their land, building a culture that has served humanity for the ages.”

“We want nothing more than to go back to our lives; we want nothing more than to go home.”

Tags: Refugees, Faith, ISIS, Iraqi Christians

via Iraqi Christians have lost everything – except their faith, nun tells Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

Bird on a wire-Perla Batalla_ Special_Features “I’m Your Man”


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6sujip0vq_jTW69yQkKS2w">http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6sujip0vq_jTW69yQkKS2w</a>

Leonard Cohen‘s Bird on The Wire:

The most beautiful interpretation of “Like The Bird On The Wire”, ever. Perla flies like a dove above all, off a wire up in the skies, and dive on the winds of the accordion, so divinely played. Perla Batalla is the priestess of freedom and joy of life everlasting in this magnificent scene: Sweet like nectar, and the salt of the Earth. If Leonard is the man, Perla is the woman, the lover, enchanter, charmer, the voice.

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

Like a worm on a hook
Like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee

If I, if I have been unkind
I hope that you can just let it go by
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you

Oh, like a baby, stillborn
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me

But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, “You must not ask for so much”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more?”

Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

Songwriters
COHEN, LEONARD

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

RIP B. B. King – Rock Me, Baby (50+ videos Mix – B. B. King – Rock Me, Baby)


 

 

 

 

B. B. King – Rock Me, Baby

 

 

This college student told Jeb Bush that his brother “created ISIS.” Now she’s speaking out — msnbc (@msnbc) May 15, 2015


historic Musical Bits: Liszt: Années de pèlerinage, S.163 – 4. Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este – Claudio Arrau


Liszt: Années de pèlerinage, S.163 – 4. Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este – Claudio Arrau

Published on Jan 12, 2013

Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este (The Fountains of the Villa d’Este) – Over the music, Liszt placed the inscription, “”Sed aqua quam ego dabo ei, fiet in eo fons aquae salientis in vitam aeternam” (“But the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life,” from the Gospel of John).

 

Historic Musical Bits: Isaac Stern – Edouard Lalo – Symphonie Espagnole, Op.21


Édouard Lalo

Édouard Lalo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaac Stern – Edouard Lalo – Symphonie Espagnole, Op.21

Published on Oct 24, 2012

Eugene Ormandy conducting Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Scherzando
III. Intermezzo
IV. Andante
V. Rondo

*****************************************************************************

The Symphonie espagnole in D minor, Op. 21, is a work for violin and orchestra by Édouard Lalo.

History

The work was written in 1874 for violinist Pablo de Sarasate, and premiered in Paris in February 1875.

Although called a “Spanish Symphony” (see also Sinfonia concertante), it is considered a violin concerto by musicians today. The piece has Spanish motifs throughout, and launched a period when Spanish-themed music came into vogue. (Georges Bizet‘s opera Carmen premiered a month after the Symphonie espagnole.)

The Symphonie espagnole is one of Lalo’s two most often played works, the other being his Cello Concerto. His “official” Violin Concerto in F, and his Symphony in G minor, written thirteen years later, are neither performed nor recorded as often.[citation needed]

Structure

  1. Allegro non troppo
  2. Scherzando: Allegro molto
  3. Intermezzo: Allegro non troppo
  4. Andante
  5. Rondo: Allegro

A typical performance runs just over one-half hour. One of the shorter recordings, conductor Eugene Ormandy’s 1967 recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra, featuring violinist Isaac Stern, runs 32 minutes and 43 seconds.[1]

Influence on Tchaikovsky

The Symphonie espagnole had some influence on the genesis of Tchaikovsky‘s Violin Concerto in D major. In March 1878, Tchaikovsky was staying at Nadezhda von Meck‘s estate at Clarens, Switzerland, while recovering from the breakdown of his disastrous marriage and his subsequent suicide attempt. His favourite pupil (and possibly his lover), the violinist Iosif Kotek, shortly arrived from Berlin with a lot of new music for violin. These included the Symphonie espagnole, which he and Tchaikovsky played through to great delight. This gave Tchaikovsky the idea of writing a violin concerto, and he immediately set aside his current work on a piano sonata and started on the concerto on 17 March.[2] With Kotek’s technical help, the concerto was finished by 11 April.

References

 

 

 

Saint of the Day for Friday, May 15th, 2015: St. Dymphna


Image of St. Dymphna

St. Dymphna

Dymphna was fourteen when her mother died. Damon is said to have been afflicted with a mental illness, brought on by his grief. He sent messengers throughout his town and other lands to find some … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

today’s holiday: Aoi Matsuri


Aoi Matsuri

One of the three major festivals of Kyoto, Japan, the Aoi Matsuri, or Hollyhock Festival, is believed to date from the sixth century. The festival’s name derives from the hollyhock leaves adorning the headdresses of the participants; legend says hollyhocks help prevent storms and earthquakes. Today, the festival, which was revived in 1884, consists of a re-creation of the original imperial procession. Some 500 people in ancient costume parade with horses and large lacquered oxcarts carrying the “imperial messengers” from the Kyoto Imperial Palace to the shrines. More… Discuss