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Cicero

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Cicero
(Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Cicero - Musei Capitolini.JPG

A first century AD bust of Cicero in the Capitoline Museums, Rome
 
Consul of the Roman Republic
In office
63 BC – 63 BC
Serving with Gaius Antonius Hybrida
Preceded by Lucius Julius Caesar and Gaius Marcius Figulus
Succeeded by Decimus Junius Silanus and Lucius Licinius Murena
Personal details
Born 3 January 106 BC
Arpinum, Roman Republic
(modern-day Arpino, Lazio, Italy)
Died 7 December 43 BC (aged 63)
Formia, Roman Republic
Nationality Roman
Political party Optimate
Occupation Politician, lawyer, orator, philosopher and poet
Cicero
Subject Politics, law, philosophy, rhetoric
Literary movement Golden Age Latin
Notable works Orations: In Verrem, In Catilinam I-IV, Philippicae
Philosophy: De Oratore, De Re Publica, De Legibus, De Finibus, De Natura Deorum, De Officiis

Marcus Tullius Cicero[n 1] (/ˈsɪsɨr/; Classical Latin: [ˈmaːr.kʊs ˈtʊl.li.ʊs ˈkɪ.kɛ.roː]; Greek: Κικέρων, Kikerōn; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists.[2][3]

His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style.[4] According to Michael Grant, “the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language”.[5] Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia)[6] distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher.

Petrarch‘s rediscovery of Cicero’s letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, humanism, and classical Roman culture.[7] According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, “Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity.”[8] The peak of Cicero’s authority and prestige came during the 18th-century Enlightenment,[9] and his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, David Hume, and Montesquieu was substantial.[10] His works rank among the most influential in European culture, and today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history, especially the last days of the Roman Republic.[11]

Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. It was during his consulship that the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, and Cicero suppressed the revolt by executing five conspirators without due process. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar’s death Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were then, as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed in the Roman Forum.

Early life

Cicero was born in 106 BC in Arpinum, a hill town 100 kilometers (62 mi) southeast of Rome. His father was a well-to-do member of the equestrian order and possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he could not enter public life and studied extensively to compensate. Although little is known about Cicero’s mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Cicero’s brother Quintus wrote in a letter that she was a thrifty housewife.[12]

Cicero’s cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was originally given to one of Cicero’s ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more likely that Cicero’s ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas.[13] Romans often chose down-to-earth personal surnames: the famous family names of Fabius, Lentulus, and Piso come from the Latin names of beans, lentils, and peas. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this deprecatory name when he entered politics, but refused, saying that he would make Cicero more glorious than Scaurus (“Swollen-ankled”) and Catulus (“Puppy”).[14]

 The Young Cicero Reading by Vincenzo Foppa (fresco, 1464), now at the Wallace Collection

During this period in Roman history, to be considered “cultured” meant being able to speak both Latin and Greek. Cicero was therefore educated in the teachings of the ancient Greek philosophers, poets and historians. The most prominent teachers of oratory of that time were themselves Greek.[15][full citation needed] Cicero used his knowledge of Greek to translate many of the theoretical concepts of Greek philosophy into Latin, thus translating Greek philosophical works for a larger audience. It was precisely his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite.[16]

According to Plutarch, Cicero was an extremely talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome,[17] affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola.[18] Cicero’s fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus (who became a famous lawyer, one of the few whom Cicero considered superior to himself in legal matters), and Titus Pomponius. The latter two became Cicero’s friends for life, and Pomponius (who later received the nickname “Atticus”) would become Cicero’s longtime chief emotional support and adviser.[citation needed]

Cicero wanted to pursue a public career in politics along the steps of the Cursus honorum. In 90 BC–88 BC, he served both Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo and Lucius Cornelius Sulla as they campaigned in the Social War, though he had no taste for military life, being an intellectual first and foremost. Cicero started his career as a lawyer around 83–81 BC. His first major case, of which a written record is still extant, was his 80 BC defense of Sextus Roscius on the charge of patricide.[19] Taking this case was a courageous move for Cicero; patricide was considered an appalling crime, and the people whom Cicero accused of the murder, the most notorious being Chrysogonus, were favorites of Sulla. At this time it would have been easy for Sulla to have the unknown Cicero murdered. Cicero’s defense was an indirect challenge to the dictator Sulla, and on the strength of his case, Roscius was acquitted.[citation needed]

Cicero’s case was divided into three parts. The first part detailed exactly the charge brought by Ericius. Cicero explained how a rustic son of a farmer, who lives off the pleasures of his own land, would not have gained anything from committing patricide because he would have eventually inherited his father’s land anyway. The second part concerned the boldness and greed of two of the accusers, Magnus and Capito. Cicero told the jury that they were the more likely perpetrators of murder because the two were greedy, both for conspiring together against a fellow kinsman and Magnus, for his boldness and for being unashamed to appear in court to support the false charges. The third part explained that Chrysogonus had immense political power, and the accusation was successfully made due to that power. Even though Chrysogonus may not have been what Cicero said he was, through rhetoric, Cicero successfully made him appear to be a foreign freed man who was devious enough to take advantage of the aftermath of the civil war, and to prosper. Cicero surmised that it showed what kind of a person he was and that something like murder was not beneath him.[20]

In 79 BC, Cicero left for Greece, Asia Minor and Rhodes, perhaps because of the potential wrath of Sulla.[21] Charting a middle path between the competing Attic and Asiatic styles, he would ultimately become considered second only to Demosthenes among history’s orators.[22]

Cicero’s interest in philosophy figured heavily in his later career and led to him introducing Greek philosophy to Roman culture,[23][clarification needed] creating a philosophical vocabulary in Latin. In 87 BC, Philo of Larissa, the head of the Academy that was founded by Plato in Athens about 300 years earlier, arrived in Rome. Cicero, “inspired by an extraordinary zeal for philosophy”,[24] sat enthusiastically at his feet and absorbed Plato’s philosophy. Cicero said of Plato’s Dialogues, that if Zeus were to speak, he would use their language.[25]

Family

 Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cicero married Terentia probably at the age of 27, in 79 BC. According to the upper class mores of the day it was a marriage of convenience, but endured harmoniously for some 30 years. Terentia’s family was wealthy, probably the plebeian noble house of Terenti Varrones, thus meeting the needs of Cicero’s political ambitions in both economic and social terms. She had a half-sister (or perhaps first cousin) named Fabia, who as a child had become a Vestal Virgin, a very great honour. Terentia was a strong willed woman and (citing Plutarch) “she took more interest in her husband’s political career than she allowed him to take in household affairs.”[26]

In the 50s BC, Cicero’s letters to Terentia became shorter and colder. He complained to his friends that Terentia had betrayed him but did not specify in which sense. Perhaps the marriage simply could not outlast the strain of the political upheaval in Rome, Cicero’s involvement in it, and various other disputes between the two. The divorce appears to have taken place in 51 BC or shortly before.[27] In 46 or 45 BC,[28] Cicero married a young girl, Publilia, who had been his ward. It is thought that Cicero needed her money, particularly after having to repay the dowry of Terentia, who came from a wealthy family.[29] This marriage did not last long.

Although his marriage to Terentia was one of convenience, it is commonly known that Cicero held great love for his daughter Tullia.[30] When she suddenly became ill in February 45 BC and died after having seemingly recovered from giving birth to a son in January, Cicero was stunned. “I have lost the one thing that bound me to life” he wrote to Atticus.[31] Atticus told him to come for a visit during the first weeks of his bereavement, so that he could comfort him when his pain was at its greatest. In Atticus’s large library, Cicero read everything that the Greek philosophers had written about overcoming grief, “but my sorrow defeats all consolation.”[32] Caesar and Brutus as well as Servius Sulpicius Rufus sent him letters of condolence.[33][34]

Cicero hoped that his son Marcus would become a philosopher like him, but Marcus himself wished for a military career. He joined the army of Pompey in 49 BC and after Pompey’s defeat at Pharsalus 48 BC, he was pardoned by Caesar. Cicero sent him to Athens to study as a disciple of the peripatetic philosopher Kratippos in 48 BC, but he used this absence from “his father’s vigilant eye” to “eat, drink and be merry.”[35] After Cicero’s murder he joined the army of the Liberatores but was later pardoned by Augustus. Augustus’ bad conscience for not having objected to Cicero’s being put on the proscription list during the Second Triumvirate led him to aid considerably Marcus Minor’s career. He became an augur, and was nominated consul in 30 BC together with Augustus. As such, he was responsible for revoking the honors of Mark Antony, who was responsible for the proscription, and could in this way take revenge. Later he was appointed proconsul of Syria and the province of Asia.[36]

Public career

Early political career

His first office was as one of the twenty annual quaestors, a training post for serious public administration in a diversity of areas, but with a traditional emphasis on administration and rigorous accounting of public monies under the guidance of a senior magistrate or provincial commander. Cicero served as quaestor in western Sicily in 75 BC and demonstrated honesty and integrity in his dealings with the inhabitants. As a result, the grateful Sicilians asked Cicero to prosecute Gaius Verres, a governor of Sicily, who had badly plundered the province. His prosecution of Gaius Verres was a great forensic success[37] for Cicero. Governor Gaius Verres hired the prominent lawyer of a noble family Quintus Hortensius Hortalus. After a lengthy period in Sicily collecting testimonials and evidence and persuading witnesses to come forward, Cicero returned to Rome and won the case in a series of dramatic court battles. His unique style of oratory set him apart from the flamboyant Hortalus. Upon the conclusion of this case, Cicero came to be considered the greatest orator in Rome. The view that Cicero may have taken the case for reasons of his own is viable. Hortalus was, at this point, known as the best lawyer in Rome; to beat him would guarantee much success and the prestige that Cicero needed to start his career. Cicero’s oratorical skill is shown in his character assassination of Verres and various other techniques of persuasion used on the jury. One such example is found in the speech Against Verres I, where he states “with you on this bench, gentlemen, with Marcus Acilius Glabrio as your president, I do not understand what Verres can hope to achieve”.[38] Oratory was considered a great art in ancient Rome and an important tool for disseminating knowledge and promoting oneself in elections, in part because there were no regular newspapers or mass media. Cicero was neither a patrician nor a plebeian noble; his rise to political office despite his relatively humble origins has traditionally been attributed to his brilliance as an orator.[39]

Cicero grew up in a time of civil unrest and war. Sulla‘s victory in the first of a series of civil wars led to a new constitutional framework that undermined libertas (liberty), the fundamental value of the Roman Republic. Nonetheless, Sulla’s reforms strengthened the position of the equestrian class, contributing to that class’s growing political power. Cicero was both an Italian eques and a novus homo, but more importantly he was a Roman constitutionalist. His social class and loyalty to the Republic ensured that he would “command the support and confidence of the people as well as the Italian middle classes”. The optimates faction never truly accepted Cicero; and this undermined his efforts to reform the Republic while preserving the constitution. Nevertheless, he successfully ascended the cursus honorum, holding each magistracy at or near the youngest possible age: quaestor in 75 BC (age 31), aedile in 69 BC (age 37), and praetor in 66 BC (age 40), when he served as president of the “Reclamation” (or extortion) Court. He was then elected consul at age 43.

Consul

 Cicero Denounces Catiline, fresco by Cesare Maccari, 1882–88

Cicero was elected consul for the year 63 BC. His co-consul for the year, Gaius Antonius Hybrida, played a minor role. During his year in office, he thwarted a conspiracy centered on assassinating him and overthrowing the Roman Republic with the help of foreign armed forces, led by Lucius Sergius Catilina. Cicero procured a senatus consultum ultimum (a declaration of martial law) and drove Catiline from the city with four vehement speeches (the Catiline Orations), which to this day remain outstanding examples of his rhetorical style. The Orations listed Catiline and his followers’ debaucheries, and denounced Catiline’s senatorial sympathizers as roguish and dissolute debtors clinging to Catiline as a final and desperate hope. Cicero demanded that Catiline and his followers leave the city. At the conclusion of his first speech, Catiline hurriedly left the Senate, (which was being held in the Temple of Jupiter Stator). In his following speeches, Cicero did not directly address Catiline. He delivered the second and third orations before the people, and the last one again before the Senate. By these speeches, Cicero wanted to prepare the Senate for the worst possible case; he also delivered more evidence against Catiline.[40]

Catiline fled and left behind his followers to start the revolution from within while Catiline assaulted the city with an army of “moral bankrupts and honest fanatics”. Catiline had attempted to involve the Allobroges, a tribe of Transalpine Gaul, in their plot, but Cicero, working with the Gauls, was able to seize letters which incriminated the five conspirators and forced them to confess their crimes in front of the Senate.[41]

The Senate then deliberated upon the conspirators’ punishment. As it was the dominant advisory body to the various legislative assemblies rather than a judicial body, there were limits to its power; however, martial law was in effect, and it was feared that simple house arrest or exile – the standard options – would not remove the threat to the state. At first Decimus Silanus spoke for the “extreme penalty”; many were then swayed by Julius Caesar, who decried the precedent it would set and argued in favor of life imprisonment in various Italian towns. Cato the Younger then rose in defence of the death penalty and all the Senate finally agreed on the matter. Cicero had the conspirators taken to the Tullianum, the notorious Roman prison, where they were strangled. Cicero himself accompanied the former consul Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, one of the conspirators, to the Tullianum. Cicero received the honorific “Pater Patriae” for his efforts to suppress the conspiracy, but lived thereafter in fear of trial or exile for having put Roman citizens to death without trial.

After the conspirators were put to death, Cicero was proud of his accomplishment. Some of his political enemies argued that though the act gained Cicero popularity, he exaggerated the extent of his success. He overestimated his popularity again several years later after being exiled from Italy and then allowed back from exile. At this time, he claimed that the Republic would be restored along with him. [42]

Exile and return

In 60 BC Julius Caesar invited Cicero to be the fourth member of his existing partnership with Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus, an assembly that would eventually be called the First Triumvirate. Cicero refused the invitation because he suspected it would undermine the Republic.[43]

In 58 BC, Publius Clodius Pulcher, the tribune of the plebs, introduced a law (the Leges Clodiae) threatening exile to anyone who executed a Roman citizen without a trial. Cicero, having executed members of the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy four years previously without formal trial, and having had a public falling out with Clodius, was clearly the intended target of the law. Cicero argued that the senatus consultum ultimum indemnified him from punishment, and he attempted to gain the support of the senators and consuls, especially of Pompey. When help was not forthcoming, he went into exile. He arrived at Thessalonica, Greece, on May 23, 58 BC.[44][45][46] Cicero’s exile caused him to fall into depression. He wrote to Atticus: “Your pleas have prevented me from committing suicide. But what is there to live for? Don’t blame me for complaining. My afflictions surpass any you ever heard of earlier”.[47] After the intervention of recently elected tribune Titus Annius Milo, the senate voted in favor of recalling Cicero from exile. Clodius cast the single vote against the decree. Cicero returned to Italy on August 5, 57 BC, landing at Brundisium.[48] He was greeted by a cheering crowd, and, to his delight, his beloved daughter Tullia.[49]

Cicero tried to re-enter politics, but his attack on a bill of Caesar’s proved unsuccessful. The conference at Luca in 56 BC forced Cicero to recant and support the triumvirate. After this, a cowed Cicero concentrated on his literary works. It is uncertain whether he was directly involved in politics for the following few years.[50] He reluctantly accepted a promagistracy in Cilicia for 51 BC, because there were no other eligible governors because of a legislative requirement of an interval of five years between a consulship or praetorship and a provincial command.[citation needed] He served as proconsul of Cilicia from May 51 to November 50 BC. Accompanied by his brother Quintus as a legate, he was mostly spared from warfare due to internal conflict among the Parthians, yet for storming a mountain fortress he acquired the title of imperator.

Julius Caesar’s civil war

The struggle between Pompey and Julius Caesar grew more intense in 50 BC. Cicero favoured Pompey, seeing him as a defender of the senate and Republican tradition, but at that time avoided openly alienating Caesar. When Caesar invaded Italy in 49 BC, Cicero fled Rome. Caesar, seeking the legitimacy an endorsement by a senior senator would provide, courted Cicero’s favour, but even so Cicero slipped out of Italy and traveled to Dyrrachium (Epidamnos), Illyria, where Pompey’s staff was situated.[51] Cicero traveled with the Pompeian forces to Pharsalus in 48 BC,[52] though he was quickly losing faith in the competence and righteousness of the Pompeian side. Eventually, he provoked the hostility of his fellow senator Cato, who told him that he would have been of more use to the cause of the optimates if he had stayed in Rome. After Caesar’s victory at Pharsalus, Cicero returned to Rome only very cautiously. Caesar pardoned him and Cicero tried to adjust to the situation and maintain his political work, hoping that Caesar might revive the Republic and its institutions.

In a letter to Varro on c. April 20, 46 BC, Cicero outlined his strategy under Caesar’s dictatorship. Cicero, however, was taken completely by surprise when the Liberatores assassinated Caesar on the ides of March, 44 BC. Cicero was not included in the conspiracy, even though the conspirators were sure of his sympathy. Marcus Junius Brutus called out Cicero’s name, asking him to restore the republic when he lifted the bloodstained dagger after the assassination.[53] A letter Cicero wrote in February 43 BC to Trebonius, one of the conspirators, began, “How I could wish that you had invited me to that most glorious banquet on the Ides of March“![54] Cicero became a popular leader during the period of instability following the assassination. He had no respect for Mark Antony, who was scheming to take revenge upon Caesar’s murderers. In exchange for amnesty for the assassins, he arranged for the Senate to agree not to declare Caesar to have been a tyrant, which allowed the Caesarians to have lawful support and kept Caesar’s reforms and policies intact.[55]

Opposition to Mark Antony and death

 Cicero’s death (France, 15th century)

Cicero and Antony now became the two leading men in Rome—Cicero as spokesman for the Senate; Antony as consul, leader of the Caesarian faction, and unofficial executor of Caesar’s public will. Relations between the two, never friendly, worsened after Cicero claimed that Antony was taking liberties in interpreting Caesar’s wishes and intentions. Octavian was Caesar’s adopted son and heir; after he returned to Italy, Cicero began to play him against Antony. He praised Octavian, declaring he would not make the same mistakes as his father. He attacked Antony in a series of speeches he called the Philippics, after Demosthenes‘s denunciations of Philip II of Macedon. At the time Cicero’s popularity as a public figure was unrivalled.[56]

Cicero supported Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus as governor of Cisalpine Gaul (Gallia Cisalpina) and urged the Senate to name Antony an enemy of the state. The speech of Lucius Piso, Caesar’s father-in-law, delayed proceedings against Antony. Antony was later declared an enemy of the state when he refused to lift the siege of Mutina, which was in the hands of Decimus Brutus. Cicero’s plan to drive out Antony failed. Antony and Octavian reconciled and allied with Lepidus to form the Second Triumvirate after the successive battles of Forum Gallorum and Mutina. The Triumvirate began proscribing their enemies and potential rivals immediately after legislating the alliance into official existence for a term of five years with consular imperium. Cicero and all of his contacts and supporters were numbered among the enemies of the state, and reportedly, Octavian argued for two days against Cicero being added to the list.[57]

Cicero was one of the most viciously and doggedly hunted among the proscribed. He was viewed with sympathy by a large segment of the public and many people refused to report that they had seen him. He was caught December 7, 43 BC leaving his villa in Formiae in a litter going to the seaside where he hoped to embark on a ship destined for Macedonia.[58] When his killers – Herennius (a centurion) and Popilius (a tribune) – arrived, Cicero’s own slaves said they had not seen him, but he was given away by Philologus, a freed slave of his brother Quintus Cicero.[58]

 Cicero about age 60, from a marble bust

Cicero’s last words are said to have been, “There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly.” He bowed to his captors, leaning his head out of the litter in a gladiatorial gesture to ease the task. By baring his neck and throat to the soldiers, he was indicating that he wouldn’t resist. According to Plutarch, Herennius first slew him, then cut off his head. On Antony’s instructions his hands, which had penned the Philippics against Antony, were cut off as well; these were nailed along with his head on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum according to the tradition of Marius and Sulla, both of whom had displayed the heads of their enemies in the Forum. Cicero was the only victim of the proscriptions to be displayed in that manner. According to Cassius Dio (in a story often mistakenly attributed to Plutarch),[59] Antony’s wife Fulvia took Cicero’s head, pulled out his tongue, and jabbed it repeatedly with her hairpin in final revenge against Cicero’s power of speech.[60]

Cicero’s son, Marcus Tullius Cicero Minor, during his year as a consul in 30 BC, avenged his father’s death, to a certain extent, when he announced to the Senate Mark Antony’s naval defeat at Actium in 31 BC by Octavian and his capable commander-in-chief, Agrippa.

Octavian (or Augustus, as he was later called) is reported to have praised Cicero as a patriot and a scholar of meaning in later times, within the circle of his family.[61] However, it was the acquiescence of Augustus that had allowed Cicero to be killed, as Cicero was proscribed by the new triumvirate.

Cicero’s career as a statesman was marked by inconsistencies and a tendency to shift his position in response to changes in the political climate. His indecision may be attributed to his sensitive and impressionable personality; he was prone to overreaction in the face of political and private change. “Would that he had been able to endure prosperity with greater self-control, and adversity with more fortitude!” wrote C. Asinius Pollio, a contemporary Roman statesman and historian.[62][63]

Legacy

 Henry VIII’s childhood copy of De Officiis, bearing the inscription in his hand, “Thys boke is myne”.

Cicero has been traditionally considered the master of Latin prose, with Quintilian declaring that Cicero was “not the name of a man, but of eloquence itself.”[64] The English words Ciceronian (meaning “eloquent”) and cicerone (meaning “local guide”) derive from his name.[65][66] He is credited with transforming Latin from a modest utilitarian language into a versatile literary medium capable of expressing abstract and complicated thoughts with clarity.[67] Julius Caesar praised Cicero’s achievement by saying “it is more important to have greatly extended the frontiers of the Roman spirit (ingenium) than the frontiers of the Roman empire”[68] According to John William Mackail, “Cicero’s unique and imperishable glory is that he created the language of the civilized world, and used that language to create a style which nineteen centuries have not replaced, and in some respects have hardly altered.”[69] Cicero was also an energetic writer with an interest in a wide variety of subjects, in keeping with the Hellenistic philosophical and rhetorical traditions in which he was trained. The quality and ready accessibility of Ciceronian texts favored very wide distribution and inclusion in teaching curricula, as suggested by an amusing graffito at Pompeii, admonishing: “You will like Cicero, or you will be whipped”.[70] Cicero was greatly admired by influential Church Fathers such as Augustine of Hippo, who credited Cicero’s lost Hortensius for his eventual conversion to Christianity[71] and St. Jerome, who had a feverish vision in which he was accused of being “follower of Cicero and not of Christ” before the judgment seat.[72] This influence further increased after the Early Middle Ages in Europe, which more of his writings survived than any other Latin author. Medieval philosophers were influenced by Cicero’s writings on natural law and innate rights. Petrarch‘s rediscovery of Cicero’s letters provided impetus for searches for ancient Greek and Latin writings scattered throughout European monasteries, and the subsequent rediscovery of Classical Antiquity led to the Renaissance. Subsequently, Cicero came to be synonymous with classical Latin to such an extent that a number of humanist scholars began to assert that no Latin word or phrase was to be used unless it could be found in Cicero’s works, a stance criticized by Erasmus.[73] His voluminous correspondence, much of it addressed to his friend Atticus, has been especially influential, introducing the art of refined letter writing to European culture. Cornelius Nepos, the 1st century BC biographer of Atticus, remarked that Cicero’s letters contained such a wealth of detail “concerning the inclinations of leading men, the faults of the generals, and the revolutions in the government” that their reader had little need for a history of the period.[74] Among Cicero’s admirers were Desiderius Erasmus, Martin Luther, and John Locke.[75] Following the invention of the printing press, De Officiis was the second book to be printed, after the Gutenberg Bible. Scholars note Cicero’s influence on the rebirth of religious toleration in the 17th century.[76]

While Cicero the humanist deeply influenced the culture of the Renaissance, Cicero the republican inspired the Founding Fathers of the United States and the revolutionaries of the French Revolution.[77] John Adams said of him “As all the ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher united than Cicero, his authority should have great weight.”[78] Jefferson names Cicero as one of a handful of major figures who contributed to a tradition “of public right” that informed his draft of the Declaration of Independence and shaped American understandings of “the common sense” basis for the right of revolution.[79] Camille Desmoulins said of the French republicans in 1789 that they were “mostly young people who, nourished by the reading of Cicero at school, had become passionate enthusiasts for liberty”.[80]

Jim Powell starts his book on the history of liberty with the sentence: “Marcus Tullius Cicero expressed principles that became the bedrock of liberty in the modern world.”[81]

Likewise, no other ancient personality has inspired as much venomous dislike as Cicero, especially in more modern times.[82] His commitment to the values of the Republic accommodated a hatred of the poor and persistent opposition to the advocates and mechanisms of popular representation.[83] Friedrich Engels referred to him as “the most contemptible scoundrel in history” for upholding republican “democracy” while at the same time denouncing land and class reforms.[84] Cicero has faced criticism for exaggerating the democratic qualities of republican Rome, and for defending the Roman oligarchy against the popular reforms of Caesar. Michael Parenti admits Cicero’s abilities as an orator, but finds him a vain, pompous and hypocritical personality who, when it suited him, could show public support for popular causes that he privately despised. Parenti presents Cicero’s prosecution of the Catiline conspiracy as legally flawed at least, and possibly unlawful.[85]

Cicero also had an influence on modern astronomy. Nicolaus Copernicus, searching for ancient views on earth motion, said that he “first … found in Cicero that Hicetas supposed the earth to move.”[86]

Works

Cicero was declared a righteous pagan by the Early Church, and therefore many of his works were deemed worthy of preservation. The Bogomils considered him to be a rare exception of a pagan saint.[87] Subsequent Roman and medieval Christian writers quoted liberally from his works De Re Publica (On the Commonwealth) and De Legibus (On the Laws), and much of his work has been recreated from these surviving fragments. Cicero also articulated an early, abstract conceptualization of rights, based on ancient law and custom. Of Cicero’s books, six on rhetoric have survived, as well as parts of eight on philosophy. Of his speeches, 88 were recorded, but only 58 survive.

Speeches

Treatises

Letters

Cicero’s letters to and from various public and private figures are considered some of the most reliable sources of information for the people and events surrounding the fall of the Roman Republic. While 37 books of his letters have survived into modern times, 35 more books were known to antiquity that have since been lost. These included letters to Caesar, to Pompey, to Octavian, and to his son Marcus.[91]

Notable fictional portrayals

Ben Jonson dramatised the conspiracy of Catiline in his play Catiline His Conspiracy, featuring Cicero as a character. Cicero also appears as a minor character in William Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar.

Cicero was portrayed on the motion picture screen by British actor Alan Napier in the 1953 film Julius Caesar, based on Shakespeare’s play. He has also been played by such noted actors as Michael Hordern (in Cleopatra), and André Morell (in the 1970 Julius Caesar). Most recently, Cicero was portrayed by David Bamber in the HBO series Rome (2005–2007) and appeared in both seasons.

In the historical novel series Masters of Rome, Colleen McCullough presents an unflattering depiction of Cicero’s career, showing him struggling with an inferiority complex and vanity, morally flexible and fatally indiscreet, while his rival Julius Caesar is shown in a more approving light.[citation needed] Cicero is portrayed as a hero in the novel A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell (1965). Robert Harris‘ novels Imperium, Lustrum (published under the name Conspirata in the United States) and “Dictator” is the three-part novel series based upon the life of Cicero. In these novels Cicero’s character is depicted in a more balanced way than in those of McCullough, with his positive traits equaling or outweighing his weaknesses (while conversely Caesar is depicted as more sinister than in McCullough).[citation needed] Cicero is a major recurring character in the Roma Sub Rosa series of mystery novels by Steven Saylor. He also appears several times as a peripheral character in John Maddox RobertsSPQR series. The protagonist, Decius Metellus, admires Cicero for his erudition, but is disappointed by his lack of real opposition to Caesar, as well as puzzled by his relentless fawning on the Optimates, who secretly despise Cicero as a parvenu.[citation needed]

See also

Historic Musical Bits: Michelangeli Debussy Preludes Book 1


Michelangeli Debussy Preludes
Book 1

 

Pallium


Pallium

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
For other uses, see Pallium (disambiguation).

 
Pope Innocent III depicted wearing the pallium in a fresco at the Sacro Speco Cloister

The pallium (derived from the Roman pallium or palla, a woolen cloak; pl.: pallia or palliums) is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the pope, but for many centuries bestowed by him on metropolitans and primates as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them by the Holy See. In that context it has remained connected to the papacy.[1]

The pallium, in its present Western form, is a narrow band, “three fingers broad”, woven of white lamb’s wool from sheep raised by Trappist monks, with a loop in the centre resting on the shoulders over the chasuble and two dependent lappets, before and behind; so that when seen from front or back the ornament resembles the letter Y. It is decorated with six black crosses, one on each tail and four on the loop, is doubled on the left shoulder and sometimes is garnished, back and front, with three jeweled gold pins. The two latter characteristics seem to be survivals of the time when the Roman pallium was a simple scarf doubled and pinned on the left shoulder.

In origin, the pallium and the omophor are the same vestment. The omophor is a wide band of cloth, much larger than the modern pallium, worn by all Eastern Orthodox bishops and Eastern Catholic bishops of the Byzantine Rite. The theory that explains its origin in connection with the figure of the Good Shepherd carrying the lamb on his shoulders, so common in early Christian art, may be an explanation a posteriori. The ceremonial connected with the preparation of the pallium and its bestowal upon the pope at his coronation, however, suggests some such symbolism. The lambs whose wool is destined for the making of the pallia are solemnly presented at the altar by the nuns of the convent of Saint Agnes. The Benedictine nuns of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere later weave the lambs’ wool into pallia.

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


 

Architecture of cathedrals and great churches

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Jump to: navigation, search

 

Salisbury Cathedral from the east. 1220–1380. An essay in Early English Gothic with the tallest spire in England.

 

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

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

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

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

Function

 

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

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

Cathedral

Main article: Cathedral

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

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

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

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

There were a number of reasons for this:

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

Basilica

Main article: Basilica

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

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

Abbey

Main article: Abbey

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

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

Origins and development of the church building

Main article: Church architecture

 

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

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

From house church to church

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

Atrium

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

Basilica

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

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

Bema

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

Mausoleum

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

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

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

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

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

Latin Cross and Greek Cross[edit]

 

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

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

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

Architecture

 

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

Architectural forms common to many cathedrals and great churches

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

Axis

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

Nave

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

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

Transept

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

Vertical emphasis

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

Façade

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

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

East end

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

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

 

Historic Musical Bits: Mischa Maisky & Martha Argerich – Debussy: Cello Sonata , great compositions/performances


Mischa Maisky & Martha Argerich – Debussy: Cello Sonata

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cello Sonata is a late work by the French composer Claude Debussy. It was the first of a planned series of ‘Six sonates pour divers instruments’, however Debussy only completed two others, the sonata for violin and the sonata for flute, viola and harp. The sonata for cello and piano was written in 1915, and is notable for its brevity, most performances not exceeding 11 minutes. It is a staple of the modern cello repertoire and is commonly regarded as one of the finest masterpieces written for the instrument.[1]

It is divided into three short movements:

  • I. Prologue: Lent, sostenuto e molto risoluto
  • II. Sérénade: Modérément animé
  • III. Finale: Animé, léger et nerveux

The two final movements are joined by an attacca. Instead of sonata form, Debussy structures the piece in the style of the eighteenth-century monothematic sonata, and was particularly influenced by the music of François Couperin.

The piece makes use of modes and whole-tone and pentatonic scales, as is typical of Debussy’s style. It also utilises many types of extended cello technique, including left-hand pizzicato, spiccato and flautando bowing, false harmonics and portamenti. Not surprisingly, the piece is considered technically demanding.

Whether descriptive comments related to characters of the Commedia dell’arte were actually given by Debussy to cellist Louis Rosoor remains unclear

 

today’s birthday: Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist


Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
This article is about the American author. For other people, see Richard Ford (disambiguation).
Richard Ford
Richard Ford at Göteborg Book Fair 2013 01.jpg

American writer Richard Ford at the Göteborg Book Fair 2013
Born February 16, 1944 (age 70)
Jackson, Mississippi
Occupation novelist, short story writer
Nationality United States
Period 1976–present
Genre Literary fiction
Literary movement Dirty realism

Richard Ford (born February 16, 1944) is an American novelist and short story writer. His best-known works are the novel The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land, and the short story collection Rock Springs, which contains several widely anthologized stories.      read more

 

Happy Birthday Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik KV 525 Karl Bohm, Wiener Philharmoniker , great compositions/performances


Mozart, Eine kleine Nachtmusik KV 525 Karl Bohm, Wiener Philharmoniker

 


Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat, Opus 20

from Wikipedia: The Unanswered Question


The Unanswered Question

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
This article is about the Charles Ives composition. For Eliot Feld’s 1988 dance, see The Unanswered Question (ballet).

The Unanswered Question is a musical work by American composer Charles Ives. Originally paired with Central Park in the Dark as Two Contemplations in 1908,[a] The Unanswered Question was revived by Ives in 1930–1935. As with many of Ives’ works, it was largely unknown until much later in his life, and was not performed until 1946.

Against a background of slow, quiet strings representing “The Silence of the Druids“, a solo trumpet poses “The Perennial Question of Existence”, to which a woodwind quartet of “Fighting Answerers” tries vainly to provide an answer, growing more frustrated and dissonant until they give up. The three groups of instruments perform in independent tempos and are placed separately on the stage—the strings offstage.

Composition

The Unanswered Question is scored for three groups: a string ensemble, a solo trumpet, and a woodwind quartet.[2] The groups’ play in independent tempos[3] and are placed in such a way that they might not be able to see each other;[4] the strings play offstage.[5]

Ives provided a short text by which to interpret the work, giving it a narrative as in program music.[6] Throughout the piece the strings sustain slow tonal triads that, according to Ives, represent “The Silence of the Druids—who Know, See and Hear Nothing”. Against this background, the trumpet poses a nontonal phrase[7] seven times[8]—”The Perennial Question of Existence”—to which the woodwinds “answer” the first six times in an increasingly erratic way. Ives wrote that the woodwinds’ answers represented “Fighting Answerers” who, after a time, “realize a futility and begin to mock ‘The Question'” before finally disappearing, leaving “The Question” to be asked once more before “The Silences” are left to their “Undisturbed Solitude”.[7]

The strings twice repeat a pianissimo thirteen-bar progression, so slowly it has a static feel. It uses voice leading, passing tones, and ornamental notes in a manner reminiscent of a hymn or chorale. After the repetition, the strings’ part varies in subtle ways that are difficult for the listener to detect. In contrast to this ever-changing but seemingly regular “Silence”, the trumpet repeats the same “Question”,[9] the first six times each louder than the last;[8] it is the woodwinds’ atonal answers that change in obvious ways,[9] growing increasingly agitated and dissonant.[5] After the woodwinds finally give up, the trumpet poses the question quietly one last time.[8]

Great compositions/Performances: Bach: Cantata, BWV 147, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring: make music part of your life


Great compositions/Performances: Bach: Cantata, BWV 147, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Giuseppe Sammartini Oboe Concerto in E flat major: make music part of your life series


Giuseppe Sammartini Oboe Concerto in E flat major

What is: Ciociara? Is to Ciocharia what Malagueña is for Malaga


Ciociaria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fresco representing the Campagne and Maritime Province, in Vatican Museums

Ciociara (woman from Ciociaria) by Enrique Simonet.

Ciociaria (Italian pronunciation: [tʃotʃaˈɾiːa]) is the name of a traditional region of Central Italy without a defined border nor historical identity.[1] The name was adopted by a fascist movement of Frosinone as an ethnical denomination for the province of Frosinone, when it was created in 1927.[2] In the Middle Ages, this region was referred to as Campagna. The local dialect, now known as ciociaro, was earlier referred to as campanino. In more recent times, the term Campagna Romana, or Roman Campagna, a favorite subject of countless painters from all over Europe, has referred to the adjoining region to the north of Ciociaria, but part of the Province of Rome.

The name appears to be derived from the ciocia (plural cioce), the traditional footwear still worn by a few sheep and cattle herders in the Central Apennines.

Liszt Concerto #2 file1 Valentina Lisitsa (audio): great compositions/performances


FROM:

Liszt Concerto #2 file1 Valentina Lisitsa (audio)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Franz Liszt wrote drafts for his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in A major, S.125, during his virtuoso period, in 1839 to 1840. He then put away the manuscript for a decade. When he returned to the concerto, he revised and scrutinized it repeatedly. The fourth and final period of revision ended in 1861. Liszt dedicated the work to his student Hans von Bronsart, who gave the first performance, with Liszt conducting, in Weimar on January 7, 1857.

Form

This concerto is one single, long movement, divided into six sections that are connected by transformations of several themes:

  • Adagio sostenuto assai

    The key musical idea of this concerto comes at the beginning. Quietly yet confidently, half a dozen woodwinds, no more than five at a time, play a sequence of two chords—an A major chord with a C sharp on top, then a dominant seventh on F natural. The first chord sounds very ordinary. The second opens possibilities unhinted by what preceded it. One note connects the two chords—an A. This sequence sounds colorful and strange yet inevitable and easily grasped.

  • Allegro agitato assai

    This is technically the scherzo of the piece. It starts in B-flat minor and ends in C-sharp minor.

  • Allegro moderato

    This section contains a great deal of lyricism and proceeds at an unhurried pace. Among its charms is a metamorphosis of the opening theme, played by solo cello while accompanied by the piano, showing the influence of Italian bel canto on Liszt’s work.

  • Allegro deciso

  • Marziale un poco meno allegro

    Yet another transformation of the gentle opening theme, this movement has also nearly always been attacked as vulgar and a betrayal of both the initial character of this theme and the concerto on the whole. American musicologist Robert Winter disagreed. He called the march “a masterstroke that demonstrates the full emotional range of thematic transformation.”[1] The march contains the force and weight needed to reestablish the home key of A major, from which the music has been moving quite far since the concerto opened.

  • Allegro animato

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


Fantasy for Cello & Orchestra by Jules Massenet

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

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Jules Massenet

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

Biography

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

make music part of your life series: Gabriel’s Oboe (from The Mission) Ennio Morricone 2002 Arena Concert


[youtube.com/watch?v=zL7CDcVQjbM]

Gabriel’s Oboe (from The Mission) Ennio Morricone 2002 Arena Concert

The Mission (1986 film)

 
The Mission
The mission.jpg

Original movie poster
Directed by Roland Joffé
Produced by Fernando Ghia
David Puttnam
Written by Robert Bolt
Starring Robert De Niro
Jeremy Irons
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Chris Menges
Edited by Jim Clark
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s)
  • 16 May 1986

(Cannes)

  • 31 October 1986

(United States)

Running time 126 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £16,498,000[1]
Box office $17,218,023 (United States)

 

English: Ennio Morricone at the Cannes film fe...

English: Ennio Morricone at the Cannes film festival Français : Ennio Morricone au festival de Cannes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Mission is a 1986 British drama film about the experiences of a Jesuit missionary in 18th century South America. The film was written by Robert Bolt and directed by Roland Joffé. The movie stars Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn, Cherie Lunghi and Liam Neeson. It won the Palme d’Or and the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. In April 2007, it was elected number one on the Church Times‘s Top 50 Religious Films list.[2] The music, scored by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, ranked 1st on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation‘s (ABC) Classic 100 Music in the Movies.

make music part of your life series: Joachin Rodrigo concert Andaluz for four guitar and


[youtube.com/watch?v=6iaz7Qntu44]

Rodrigo concert Andaluz for four guitar and orchestra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Concierto Andaluz (Spanish: Andalusian concerto) is a 1967 work by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo for four guitars and orchestra. The piece has three movements, each having a blend of impressionistic Spanish guitar music with that of baroque influence. It was commissioned by Spanish guitarist Celedonio Romero and first performed by Los Romeros and the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Victor Alessandro in San Antonio, Texas, USA on 18 November, 1967.

Movements

  1. Tiempo de Bolero
  2. Adagio
  3. Allegretto

make music part of your life series: Ludwig van Beethoven – Fidelio Overture, Op. 72b


[youtube.com/watch?v=5apveLQugwk]

make music part of your life series: Ludwig van BeethovenFidelio Overture, Op. 72b

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fidelio (Leonore, oder Der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe: Leonore, or The Triumph of Married Love)[1] (Op. 72) is a German opera with spoken dialogue in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is his only opera. The German libretto was prepared by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, which had been used for the 1798 opera Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal by Pierre Gaveaux, and the 1804 opera Leonora by Ferdinando Paer (a score of which was owned by Beethoven).

The opera tells how Leonore, disguised as a prison guard named “Fidelio”, rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison.

MAKE MUSIC PART OF YOUR LIFE SERIES: Antonín Dvořák – My Home Overture, Op. 62


[youtube.com/watch?v=G5B80g594po]

Antonín DvořákMy Home Overture, Op. 62

Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra, Theodore Kuchar

 

My Home (Czech: Domov můj, předehra ke hře F. F. Šamberka), Op. 62, B. 125a, is an overture in C major by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák.[1] The overture was composed from December 1881 to January 23, 1882 as one of nine numbers comprising the incidental music for the play Josef Kajetán Tyl by František Ferdinand Šamberk. Dvořák constructed the music in sonata form on two song themes associated with the play’s protagonist, Czech dramatist Josef Kajetán Tyl: “Kde domov můj?” by František Škroup, and the folk tune “Na tom našem dvoře”.[2] Škroup composed “Kde domov můj?” (Where is my home?) in 1834 to a text written by Tyl. The song quickly became popular and was later designated as the Czech national anthem. “Na tom našem dvoře” was a song sung in productions of Strakonický dudák (The Bagpiper of Strakonice), one of Tyl’s most popular plays.[3] The overture is largely performed separately as a concert work, usually lasting about ten minutes.[2] Many conductors have conducted this piece including Jan Kučera, Bohumil Gregor and Karel Ančerl.

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Wikipedia:Today’s featured article/April 21, 2014


Wikipedia:Today’s featured article/April 21, 2014

 
Hurricane Kiko

Hurricane Kiko was one of the strongest tropical cyclones to ever make landfall on the eastern coast of the Baja California Peninsula. The eleventh named storm of the 1989 Pacific hurricane season, Kiko formed out of a large mesoscale convective system on August 25. Slowly tracking northwestward, the storm rapidly intensified into a hurricane early the next day. Strengthening continued until early August 27, when Kiko reached its peak intensity with winds of 120 mph (195 km/h). The storm turned west at this time, and at around 0600 UTC, the storm made landfall near Punta Arena on the southern tip of Baja California. The hurricane rapidly weakened into a tropical storm later that day and further into a tropical depression by August 28, shortly after entering the Pacific Ocean. The depression persisted for another day while tracking southward, before being absorbed by nearby Tropical Storm Lorena. Though Kiko made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane, its impact was relatively minor. Press reports indicated that 20 homes were destroyed and numerous highways were flooded by torrential rains. (Full article…)

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Vincent D’indy Symphony on a French mountain air for piano and orchestra



Pnina Salzman and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra/ Mendi Rodan, conductor. See also her Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pnina-…

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
For the asteroid named after the composer, see 11530 d’Indy.

Vincent d’Indy, ca. 1895

Vincent d’Indy (French pronunciation: ​[vɛ̃ˈsɑ̃ dɛ̃ˈdi]) (27 March 1851 – 2 December 1931) was a French composer and teacher.

Life

Paul Marie Théodore Vincent d’Indy was born in Paris into an aristocratic family of royalist and Catholic persuasion. He had piano lessons from an early age from his paternal grandmother, who passed him on to Antoine François Marmontel and Louis Diémer.[1] From the age of 14 he studied harmony with Albert Lavignac. At age 19, during the Franco-Prussian War, he enlisted in the National Guard, but returned to musical life as soon as the hostilities were over. The first of his works he heard performed was a Symphonie italienne, at an orchestral rehearsal under Jules Pasdeloup; the work was admired by Georges Bizet and Jules Massenet, with whom he had already become acquainted.[1] On the advice of Henri Duparc, he became a devoted student of César Franck at the Conservatoire de Paris. As a follower of Franck, d’Indy came to admire what he considered the standards of German symphonism.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Pnina Salzman (Hebrew: פנינה זלצמן) (February 24, 1922, Tel AvivMandate Palestine – December 16, 2006, Tel Aviv, Israel) was an Israeli classical pianist and piano pedagogue.

Salzman showed an early aptitude for the piano, and gave her first recital at the age of eight. The French pianist and teacher, Alfred Cortot, heard her play in 1932 while she was a student at Shulamit Conservatory and invited her to Paris to study. She graduated at the Ecole Normale de Musique then became a pupil of Magda Tagliaferroat the Conservatoire de Paris, where she was to win the Premier Prix de Piano in 1938, aged 16.

It was through the violinist Bronislaw Huberman that she first developed a lifelong association with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which Huberman had founded.

In 1963 she became the first Israeli to be invited to play in the USSR and in 1994, the first Israeli pianist invited to play in China. Besides performing as a soloist, she was a member of the Israel Piano Quartet.

She was a Professor and the head of the piano department at Tel Aviv University and served on the jury of many piano competitions, including the Arthur Rubinstein,Vladimir Horowitz and Marguerite Long competitions. She taught piano to many students, including Dror ElimelechNimrod David PfefferElisha AbasIddo Bar-Shai andYossi Reshef.

Buy “Symphony on a French Mountain Air for Piano and Orchestra in G Major, Op. 25: II. Assez modéré, mais sans lenteur” on

Google PlayAmazonMP3iTuneseMusic

  • Artist
    Pnina Salzman

 

 

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Great compositions/Performances: Bach: Cantata, BWV 147, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring


[youtube.com/watch?v=3jGbQfIXh44&feature=c4-overview&list=UU6sujip0vq_jTW69yQkKS2w]

Great compositions/Performances: Bach: Cantata, BWV 147, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring is the most common English title of the 10th and last movement of the cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 (“Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life”), composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1716 and 1723. Written during his first year in Leipzig, Germany, this chorale movement is one of Bach’s most enduring works.

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,

Holy wisdom, love most bright;

Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring

Soar to uncreated light.

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,

With the fire of life impassioned,

Striving still to truth unknown,

Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,

Hark, what peaceful music rings;

Where the flock, in Thee confiding,

Drink of joy from deathless springs.

Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure;

Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure.

Thou dost ever lead Thine own

In the love of joys unknown.

Enjoy, It’s all good!

 

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Erik Satie : Je te veux


[youtube.com/watch?v=wbT9DeULzU4&list=PL5C9F7FC772D162F7] 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  

Je te veux” (French for I want you) is a song composed by Erik Satie to a text by Henry Pacory. A sentimental waltz, it was written for Paulette Darty, whose accompanist Satie had been for a period of time. The text consists of two verses and a repeated chorus.

The song was registered with SACEM on 20 November 1902, but Roland-Manuel argued it had actually been composed in 1897. Satie composed various versions of theJe te veux waltz: for piano and voice, for an orchestra of brass instruments and for full orchestra (including a Trio). The piano and voice version was first published in 1903.[1]

The melody was performed to the public in 1903 at La Scala. In 1925 the song was recorded with Yvonne George as singer. Je te veux was also recorded by Mathé Altéry,Régine CrespinGigliola NegriNicolaï Gedda and Davide Bassino, and later by sopranos Jessye NormanMarie Devellereau and Angela Gheorghiu. Other notable renditions include the ones by Japanese group ALI PROJECT[2] and Japanese chip musician SAITONE.

John Cage instructs the performer to do the piano and voice version as part of his “Sonnekus²”.[1]

 

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Sonata II in A minor by Francesco Venturini performed by La Cetra conducted by David Plantier.



Sonata II in A minor by Francesco Venturini performed by La Cetra conducted by David Plantier.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Villa Medici with the Medici lions; etching by Venturini 1691.

Giovanni Francesco Venturini (1650–1710) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period.

He was born in Rome. From the style of his engraving, it is probable that he was a pupil of Giovanni Battista Galestruzzi. He etched several plates from the works of Italian masters, among them the following :

Related articles

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GREAT PERFORMANCES: Schubert Symphony No 6 C major, D 589 Bavarian RSO Maazel



Franz Schubert Symphony No. 6 in C major, D. 589 
Lorin Maazel conducts Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Symphony No. 6 in C major, D. 589,[1] is a symphony by Franz Schubert composed between October 1817 and February 1818.[2] Its first public performance was in Vienna in 1828. It is nicknamed the “Little C major” to distinguish it from his later Ninth Symphony, in the same key, which is known as the “Great C major“.[3]

There are four movements:

  1. Adagio, 3/4 – Allegro, 2/2 7:23
  2. Andante, 2/4 in F major 12:27
  3. ScherzoPresto; Trio: Piu lento (Trio in E major), 3/4 17:12
  4. Allegro moderato, 2/4

 

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Fabulous Composers/Compositions: GEORG FRIEDRICH HÄNDEL- Berenice , Minuet


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner.jpg

Berenice (HWV 38) is an opera in three acts by George Frideric Handel to an Italian libretto, written in Italy in 1709 and originally entitled Berenice, regina d’Egitto (Berenice, Queen of Egypt), byAntonio Salvi.

It was first performed at the Covent Garden Theatre in London on 18 May 1737. It was not successful and only given four times.

It is based upon the life of Cleopatra Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy IX (the main character in Handel’s opera Tolomeo) and is set in around 81 BC.

 

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Claudio Arrau


Claudio Arrau

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 

Claudio Arrau in 1974, by Allan Warren

Claudio Arrau León (February 6, 1903 – June 9, 1991)[1] was a Chilean pianist known for his interpretations of a vast repertoire spanning from the baroque to 20th-century composers, especiallyBeethovenSchubertChopinSchumannLiszt and Brahms. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.

 

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Fabulous Performers: Roggiero Ricci plays Antonín Dvořák’s – Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53, B. 108



Ruggiero Ricci, violin. Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Walter Susskind (1977)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53 (B.108) is a concerto for violin and orchestra composed by Antonín Dvořák in 1879. The concerto was premiered in 1883 by František Ondříček in Prague. He also gave the premieres in Vienna and London. Today it remains an important work in the violin repertoire.

The concerto’s structure is the classical three movements of fast-slow-fast.

  1. Allegro ma non troppo
  2. Adagio ma non troppo
  3. Finale: Allegro giocoso ma non troppo

Antonín Dvořák was inspired to write his concerto after having met Joseph Joachim in 1878 and composed the work with the intention of dedicating it him. However, when he finished the concerto in 1879, Joachim became skeptical about it. Joachim was a strict classicist and objected to Dvořák’sinter alia, or his abrupt truncation of the first movement’s orchestral tutti. Joachim also didn’t like the fact that the recapitulation was cut short and that it led directly to the slow second movement. It is also assumed that he was upset with the persistent repetition found in the third movement. However, Joachim never said anything outright and instead claimed to be editing the solo part. He never actually performed the piece.

Notable recordings of the concerto include:

 

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES: Sofronitsky plays Borodin: Petite Suite



Part 1
Alexander Borodin: Petite Suite
I. In the Monastery
II. Intermezzo
III. Mazurka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Petite Suite is a suite of seven piano pieces, written by Alexander Borodin, and acknowledged as his major work for the piano.[1] It was published in 1885, although some of the pieces had been written as far back as the late 1870s.[2] After Borodin’s death, Alexander Glazunov orchestrated the work, and added his orchestration of another of Borodin’s pieces as an eighth number.

The suite was dedicated to the Belgian Countess Louise de Mercy-Argenteau, who had been instrumental in having Borodin’s First Symphonyperformed in Verviers and Liège. She had also arranged for French translations of some of his songs and excerpts from Prince Igor; and had initiated the sponsorship of Camille Saint-Saëns and Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray for Borodin’s membership of the French Society of Authors, Composers and Editors.[2]

Borodin’s original title for the work was Petit Poème d’amour d’une jeune fille (“Little poems on the love of a young girl”), but by publication time the name Petite Suite had been applied to it.[1]

The original suite consisted of the following 7 movements, with descriptions supplied by the composer:

  1. Au couvent, Andante religioso, C sharp minor (“The Church’s vows foster thoughts only of God”)
  2. Intermezzo, Tempo di minuetto, F major (“Dreaming of Society Life”)
  3. Mazurka I, Allegro, C major (“Thinking only of dancing”)
  4. Mazurka II, Allegretto, D flat major (“Thinking both of the dance and the dancer”)
  5. Rêverie, Andante, D flat major (“Thinking only of the dance”)
  6. Serenade, Allegretto, D flat major (“Dreaming of love”)
  7. Nocturne, Andantino, G flat major (“Lulled by the happiness of being in love”).[1][3]

After Borodin’s death in 1887, Alexander Glazunov orchestrated the suite, but incorporated into it another piano piece by Borodin, the Scherzo in A flat major, and slightly rearranged the order of the pieces.

  1. Au couvent
  2. Intermezzo
  3. Mazurka I
  4. Mazurka II
  5. Serenade
  6. Nocturne
  7. Rêverie
  8. Scherzo, Allegro vivace, A flat major

 

COPLAND SUITE APPALACHIAN SPRING (RAFFI ARMENIAN)



AARON COPLAND
SUITE APPALACHIAN SPRING
STRATTFORD ENSEMBLE
(ONTARIO,CANADA)
DIR-RAFFI ARMENIAN

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Appalachian Spring is a composition by Aaron Copland that premiered in 1944 and has achieved widespread and enduring popularity as an orchestral suite. The ballet, scored for a thirteen-member chamber orchestra, was created upon commission of choreographer and dancer Martha Graham with funds from the Coolidge Foundation; it premiered on Monday, October 30, 1944, at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, withMartha Graham (1894-1991) dancing the lead role. The set was designed by the Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988). Copland was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his achievement.[1][2]

O Appalachian Spring! I gained the ledge;
Steep, inaccessible smile that eastward bends
And northward reaches in that violet wedge
Of Adirondacks!

The orchestral suite is divided into eight sections. Copland describes each scene thus:

  1. Very slowly. Introduction of the characters, one by one, in a suffused light.
  2. Fast/Allegro. Sudden burst of unison strings in A major arpeggios starts the action. A sentiment both elated and religious gives the keynote to this scene.
  3. Moderate/Moderato. Duo for the Bride and her Intended – scene of tenderness and passion.
  4. Quite fast. The Revivalist and his flock. Folksy feeling – suggestions of square dances and country fiddlers.
  5. Still faster/Subito Allegro. Solo dance of the Bride – presentiment of motherhood. Extremes of joy and fear and wonder.
  6. Very slowly (as at first). Transition scene to music reminiscent of the introduction.
  7. Calm and flowing/Doppio Movimento. Scenes of daily activity for the Bride and her Farmer husband. There are five variations on a Shakertheme. The theme, sung by a solo clarinet, was taken from a collection of Shaker melodies compiled by Edward D. Andrews, and published under the title “The Gift to Be Simple.” The melody borrowed and used almost literally is called “Simple Gifts.”
  8. Moderate. Coda/Moderato – Coda. The Bride takes her place among her neighbors. At the end the couple are left “quiet and strong in their new house.” Muted strings intone a hushed prayerlike chorale passage. The close is reminiscent of the opening music.

 

Fabulous Compositions/Composers: Franz Schubert – 6 Moment Musicaux, D 780


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Six moments musicauxD 780 (Op. 94) is a collection of six short pieces for solo piano composed by Franz Schubert. The movements are as follows:

  1. Moderato in C major
  2. Andantino in A-flat major
  3. Allegro moderato in F minor
  4. Moderato in C-sharp minor
  5. Allegro vivace in F minor
  6. Allegretto in A-flat major

Along with the Impromptus, they are among the most frequently played of all Schubert’s piano music, and have been recorded many times. No. 3 in F minor has been arranged by Leopold Godowsky and others.

It has been said that Schubert was deeply influenced in writing these pieces by the Impromptus, Op. 7, of Jan Václav Voříšek (1822).[1][2]

They were published by Leidersorf in Vienna in 1828, under the title “Six Momens [sic] musicals [sic]”. The correct French forms are now usually used – moments(instead of momens), and musicaux (instead of musicals). The sixth number was published in 1824 in a Christmas album under the title Les plaintes d’un troubadour.[2]

 

Fantastic Composer/Compositions: Saint-Saens Clarinet Sonata op. 167 in E flat major



Clarinet: Richard Hosford 
Piano: Jan Brown
Be apart of my Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/Blop888

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

 

“Saint-Saens” redirects here. For the commune in Haute-Normandie, see Saint-Saëns, Seine-Maritime.

Camille Saint-Saëns

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns 

(French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁl kamij sɛ̃sɑ̃s];9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composerorganistconductor, and pianist of the Romantic era. He is known especially for The Carnival of the AnimalsDanse macabreSamson and Delilah (Opera), Piano Concerto No. 2Cello Concerto No. 1HavanaiseIntroduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).
Saint-Saëns was born in ParisFrance, on 9 October 1835. His father, a government clerk, died three months after his birth. He was raised by his mother, Clémence, with the assistance of her aunt, Charlotte Masson, who moved in. Masson introduced Saint-Saëns to the piano, and began giving him lessons on the instrument. At about this time, age two, Saint-Saëns was found to possess perfect pitch. His first composition, a little piece for the piano dated 22 March 1839, is now kept in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Saint-Saëns’s precocity was not limited to music. He learned to read and write by the age of three, and had some mastery of Latin by the age of seven.

 

Frantisek Ignac Tuma (1704-1774) Sinfonia in b flat major



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
František Ignác Antonín Tůma (Kostelec nad OrlicíBohemia,
October 2, 1704 – Vienna, January 30, 1774) was an important Czech composer of the Baroque era. Born in Kostelec nad Orlici, Bohemia, he lived the greater part of his life inVienna, first as director of music for Count Franz Ferdinand Kinsky, later filling a similar office for the widow of Emperor Karl VI. He was an important late-baroque composer, organist, gambist and theorbist.

Tůma’s music belongs stylistically to the late Baroque. His sacred works, which were known to Haydn and Mozart, were noted by his contemporaries for their solidity of texture and their sensitive treatment of the text as well as for their chromaticism. His instrumental music includes trio and quartet sonatas, sinfonias and partitas, mostly for strings and continuo; some of them were clearly intended for orchestral use.

Among his sacred works we find some 65 masses, 29 psalms and 5 settings of the Stabat Mat

 

Domenico Cimarosa overture “Cleopatra”


 
 

Domenico Cimarosa (17 December 1749, AversaProvince of Caserta – 11 January 1801, Venice) was an Italian operacomposer of the Neapolitan school. He wrote more than eighty operas during his lifetime, including his masterpiece, Il matrimonio segreto (1792).

Cimarosa was born in Aversa in Campania.  His parents were poor, but, anxious to give their son a good education, they sent him to a free school connected with one of the monasteries in Naples after moving to that city. The organist of the monastery, Padre Polcano, was struck by the boy’s intellect, and voluntarily instructed him in the elements of music and also in the ancient and modern literature of his country. Because of his influence, Cimarosa obtained a scholarship at the musical institute of Santa Maria di Loreto in Naples, where he remained for eleven years, chiefly studying with great masters of the old Italian school; Niccolò PiccinniAntonio Sacchini, and other musicians of repute are mentioned among his teachers.

 

Zimerman Beirnstein Beethoven piano concerto No. 3, in C major, Op. 15 (Live)



LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major,Op, 15 Performed by Krystian Zimerman and Wiener Philharmoniker Soloist & Conductor – Leonard Bernstein 

1. Allegro con brio
2. Largo
3.Rondo, Allegro scherzando

 
 

Title page, first edition

The Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37, was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1800 and was first performed on 5 April 1803, with the composer as soloist. It was published in 1804. During that same performance, theSecond Symphony and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives were also premiered.[1] The composition was dedicated to Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. The first primary theme is reminiscent of that of Mozart’s 24th Piano Concerto.

The concerto is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in E-flat, 2 trumpets in C, timpani,strings and piano soloist.