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Schumann Kinderszenen op. 15 Radu Lupu

Published on Oct 18, 2013

Robert Schumann Kinderszenen, op. 15
Radu Lupu , January 1993

Kinderszenen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

First edition title page

Kinderszenen (German pronunciation: [ˈkɪndɐˌst͡seːnən]; original spelling Kinderscenen, “Scenes from Childhood”), Opus 15, by Robert Schumann, is a set of thirteen pieces of music for piano written in 1838. In this work, Schumann provides us with his adult reminiscences of childhood. Schumann had originally written 30 movements for this work, but chose 13 for the final version.[1] Robert Polansky has discussed the unused movements.[2]

Nr. 7, Träumerei, is one of Schumann’s best known pieces; it was the title of a 1944 German biographical film on Robert Schumann.[3] Träumerei is also the opening and closing musical theme in the 1947 Hollywood film Song of Love, starring Katharine Hepburn as Clara Wieck Schumann.[4]

Schumann had originally labeled this work Leichte Stücke (Easy Pieces). Likewise, the section titles were only added after the completion of the music, and Schumann described the titles as “nothing more than delicate hints for execution and interpretation”.[5] Timothy Taylor has discussed Schumann’s choice of titles for this work in the context of the changing situation of music in 19th century culture and economics.[6]

In 1974, Eric Sams noted that there was no known complete manuscript of Kinderszenen.[7]

Parts/Movements

  1. Von fremden Ländern und Menschen (Of Foreign Lands and Peoples),  G major
  2. Curiose Geschichte (A Curious Story),  D major
  3. Hasche-Mann (Blind Man’s Buff), B minor
  4. Bittendes Kind (Pleading Child), D major
  5. Glückes genug (Quite Happy), D major
  6. Wichtige Bebebenheit (An Important Event), A major
  7. Träumerei (Dreaming), F major
  8. Am Camin (At the Fireside), F major
  9. Ritter vom Steckenpferd (Knight of the Hobby-Horse), C major
  10. Fast zu ernst (Almost too Serious), G-sharp minor
  11. Fürchtenmachen (Frightening), E minor
  12. Kind im Einschlummern (Child Falling Asleep), E minor
  13. Ffrom Der Dichter spricht (The Poet Speaks), G major

Description by Blair Johnston  (ALL MUSIC)

The 13 pieces that constitute Robert Schumann‘s Kinderszenen for piano (Scenes from Childhood), Op. 15 (1838) showcase their creator’s musical imagination at the peak of its poetic clarity. As a result, the Kinderszenen have long been staples of the repertoire as utterly charming yet substantial miniatures, the sort of compact keyboard essays in which Schumann‘s genius found full expression. Kinderszenen was one of the projects Schumann worked on during the spring of 1838 to get through a difficult period of separation from his fiancée, Clara Wieck, who was on tour as a pianist and whose father objected to the idea of her marriage to the composer. In March of that year, Schumann wrote to Clara, “I have been waiting for your letter and have in the meantime filled several books with pieces…. You once said to me that I often seemed like a child, and I suddenly got inspired and knocked off around 30 quaint little pieces…. I selected several and titled them Kinderszenen. You will enjoy them, though you will need to forget that you are a virtuoso when you play them.” The Kinderszenen are a touching tribute to the eternal, universal memories and feelings of childhood from a nostalgic adult perspective; unlike a number of Schumann‘s collections of piano character pieces (e.g. Album for the Young, Op. 68), the Kinderszenen are not intended to be played by children. Schumann claimed that the picturesque titles attached to the pieces were added as an afterthought in order to provide subtle suggestions to the player, a model Debussy followed decades later in his Preludes. Almost all of the Kinderszenen are miniature ternary (ABA) forms. Scene No. 1, “Von fremden Ländern und Menschen” (Of Foreign Lands and People), opens with a lovely melody whose basic motivic substance, by appearing in several vague guises throughout many of the other pieces, serves as a general unifying element. The seventh Scene, “Träumerei” (Reverie), is easily the most famous piece in the set; its charming melody and quieting power have recommended it to generations of concert pianists who wish to calm audiences after a long series of rousing encores. The Kinderszenen contain many delicate musical touches; Scene No. 4, “Bittendes Kind” (Pleading Child), for example, is harmonically resolved only when an unseen force (a parent?) gives in and grant the child’s wish at the beginning of No. 5, “Glückes genug” (Quite Happy). In the final piece, “Der Dichter spricht” (The Poet Speaks), Schumann removes himself just a bit from the indulgent reverie to formulate a narrator’s omniscient view of the child. Quietly, gently, the many moods and feelings that Schumann touched upon over the course of this remarkable 20-minute work are lovingly recalled, and the composition concludes, contentedly, in the same key of G major in which it began.

Great compositions/performances: ALEXANDER BORODIN – String Quartet No 2 in D major


ALEXANDER BORODIN – String Quartet No 2 in D major

Great compositions/performances: Antonin Dvorak , String Quintet No. 3, In E Flat Major, Op 97, by Dvorak Quartet, with Josef Kodousesk, viola


Henry David Thoreau — ‘A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. … ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

Antonin Dvorak,String Quintet No.3, In E Flat Major, Op 97(It is a Viola Quitet)

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.

this pressed: Could Mother Teresa be canonized during the Holy Year for Mercy? :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

By Elise Harris

 

Vatican City, May 19, 2015 / 10:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).-

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has said that Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta could be canonized during the upcoming Jubilee for Mercy, although he clarified that no concrete plans have been made.

Fr. Lombardi told CNA May 19 that the possible canonization of Mother Teresa during the Holy Year is “a working hypothesis.”

“There is no official date but you can say that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is studying the cause.”

When asked if there was a second miracle attributed to the nun’s intercession, the spokesman said, “The cause is in the process.”

An Italian cardinal heading one of the Vatican dicasteries who preferred to remain anonymous told CNA May 19 that the canonization was brought up during a Monday meeting between Pope Francis and the heads of various dicasteries in the Roman Curia.

According to the cardinal, the Vatican’s prefect of the Congregation of the Causes for Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, suggested Sept. 4, 2016 – which is being observed as a jubilee day for workers and volunteers of mercy – to the others as a possible canonization date, since it is close to Sept. 5, the nun’s feast day

via Could Mother Teresa be canonized during the Holy Year for Mercy? :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

Historic Musical Bits: Wilhelm Kempff plays Robert Schumann – Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischem Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelik)


Robert Schumann – Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Wilhelm Kempff, piano
Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischem Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelik

Movements:

Allegro affettuoso (A minor) 00:00:00
Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso (F major) 00:15:43
Allegro vivace (A major) 00:21:27
*****************************************************************
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, is a Romantic concerto by Robert Schumann, completed in 1845. The work premiered in Leipzig on 1 January 1846 with Clara Schumann playing the solo part. Ferdinand Hiller, the work’s dedicatee, conducted.

History

Schumann had earlier worked on several piano concerti: he began one in E-flat major in 1828, from 1829–31 he worked on one in F major, and in 1839, he wrote one movement of a concerto in D minor. None of these works were completed.

In 1841, Schumann wrote a fantasy for piano and orchestra, his Phantasie. His pianist wife Clara urged him to expand this piece into a full piano concerto. In 1845 he added the intermezzo and finale to complete the work. It was the only piano concerto that Schumann completed.

The work may have been used as a model by Edvard Grieg in composing his own Piano Concerto, also in A minor. Grieg’s concerto, like Schumann’s, employs a single powerful orchestral chord at its introduction before the piano’s entrance with a similar descending flourish. Rachmaninov also used the work as a model for his first Piano Concerto.

After this concerto, Schumann wrote two other pieces for piano and orchestra: the Introduction and Allegro Appassionato in G major (Op. 92), and the Introduction and Allegro Concertante in D minor (Op. 134).

Instrumentation

The concerto is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings, and solo piano.

Structure

The piece, as marked in the score, is in three movements:

  1. Allegro affettuoso (A minor)

  2. Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso (F major)

  3. Allegro vivace (A major)

There is no break between these last two movements (attacca subito).

Schumann preferred that the movements be listed in concert programs as only two movements:[citation needed]

  1. Allegro affettuoso
  2. Andantino and Rondo

The three movement listing is the more common form used.

Allegro affettuoso

The piece starts with an energetic strike by strings and timpani, followed by a fierce, descending attack by the piano. The first theme is introduced by the oboe along with wind instruments. The theme is then given to the soloist. Schumann provides great variety with this theme. He first offers it in the A minor key of the piece, then we hear it again in major, and we can also hear small snatches of the tune in a very slow, A flat section. The clarinet is often used against the piano in this movement. Toward the end of the movement, the piano launches into a long cadenza before the orchestra joins in with one more melody and builds for the exciting finish.

Intermezzo

This movement is keyed in F major. The piano and strings open up the piece with a small, delicate tune, which is heard throughout the movement before the cellos and later the other strings finally take the main theme, with the piano mainly used as accompaniment. The movement closes with small glimpses of the first movement’s theme before moving straight into the third movement.

Allegro vivace

The movement opens with a huge run up the strings while the piano takes the main, A major theme. Schumann shows great color and variety in this movement. The tune is regal, and the strings are noble. Though it is in 3/4 timing, Schumann manipulates it so that the time signature is often ambiguous. The piece finishes with a restating of the previous material before finally launching into an exciting finale, and ending with a long timpani roll and a huge chord from the orchestra.

Further reading

 

Historic Musical Bits: Wieniawski – Violin Concerto No. 2 in d minor op. 22 Isaac Stern and Philadelphia Orchestra-Eugene Ormandy: conductor-1957


Isaak Stern plays Wieniawski-Violin Concerto No. 2 in d minor op. 22 

Biography: Pepe Romero, World Renouned Classic Guitar Player


Pepe Romero

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPepe Romero (born March 8, 1944 in Málaga, Spain) is a world-renowned classical and flamenco guitarist. He is particularly famous for his outstanding technique and colorful musical interpretations on the instrument.

Pepe Romero
Pepe Romero 2000.JPG

Pepe Romero in 2000
Background information
Born March 8, 1944 (age 71)
Málaga, Spain
Genres Classical music, flamenco
Occupation(s) Guitarist, arranger
Instruments Guitar
Years active fl. ca. 1959 – present
Labels Philips Records
Associated acts The Romero Guitar Quartet
Website www.peperomero.com
Notable instruments
Torres 1856

Biography

As a soloist Pepe Romero has appeared in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, and many countries around the world with the Toronto, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Pittsburgh, Boston, San Francisco and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, as well as with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York, Bogota and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and the London Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, I Musici, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Hungarica, the Hungarian State Orchestra, the Spanish National Orchestra, the Spanish National Radio/Television Orchestra, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, The New Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Springfiled Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the American Sinfonietta and the Bournemouth Symphony. He has been a special guest at the festivals of Salzburg, Israel, Schleswig-Holstein, Menuhin, Osaka, Granada, Istanbul, Ravinia, Garden State, Hollywood Bowl, Blossom, Wolf Trap, Saratoga and Hong Kong.

Since his first recording (at the age of 15) he has recorded over 50 solo albums and 30 albums as part of the famed guitar quartet The Romeros. He has played for Presidents Carter and Nixon, the Queen of the Netherlands, the Prince of Wales and Pope John Paul II. He has numerous international recording awards to his credit and has received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from University of Victoria.

His contributions to the field of classical guitar have inspired a number of distinguished composers to write works specifically for him, including Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Rev. Francisco de Madina, Lorenzo Palomo, Michael Zearott, Enrique Diemecke, and Celedonio Romero.

Pepe Romero is the second son of Celedonio Romero, who was his only guitar teacher. His first professional appearance was in a shared concert with his father when Pepe was only seven years old. In 1957 Celedonio Romero left Franco‘s Spain for the United States with his family.

On February 11, 2000, King Juan Carlos I of Spain knighted Pepe Romero and his brothers, Celin and Ángel, into the Order of “Isabel la Catolica.” The official ceremony of this high honor took place at the USC Thornton School of Music, and included a gala performance by The Romeros with the Thornton Chamber Orchestra. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Classical Guitar at the Thornton School, where he was named “Distinguished Artist in Residence” in 2004.[1][2]

Although originally a classical guitarist, he is talented in Flamenco and a popular Flamenco performer. His most famous Flamenco-only album is called ¡Flamenco Fenómeno!

The Romero Guitar Quartet

The Romero Guitar Quartet

Related Stories:    HERE

https://euzicasa.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/pepe-romero-plays-fantasia-para-un-gentilhombre-by-joaquin-rodrigo-great-compositionsperformances/

Alexander Glazunov: Symphony #7 “Pastoral” in F Op 77, great compositions/performances


The image of Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdes...

The image of Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky Das Foto von russisch Dirigent Gennadi Nikolajewitsch Roschdestwenski (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alexandr Glazunov – Symphony No. 7 in F major, Op. 77

historic musical bits, Vladimir Horowitz plays Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 (live 1978), great compositions/performances


Vladimir Horowitz plays Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3 (live 1978)

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


O. Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances Suite III. Complete

1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany


1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany  Added by Alex Lemieux on April 20, 2015.  Saved under Breaking News!, Germany, World  Tags: 1915 Armenian Massacre  1915 Armenian Massacre

1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany Added by Alex Lemieux on April 20, 2015. Saved under Breaking News!, Germany, World Tags: 1915 Armenian Massacre 1915 Armenian Massacre

1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany

Added by Alex Lemieux on April 20, 2015.

Saved under Breaking News!, Germany, World

Tags: 1915 Armenian Massacre

1915 Armenian Massacre

Germany has now reversed its stance to use the term “genocide” to describe the 1915 Armenian massacre when around 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered by Ottoman Turkish forces. The major reversal is crucial due to the fact that Germany is Turkey’s top European Union trading partner. Germany comes after France, Pope Francis, and the European parliament to condemn the violence.

Germany has resisted using the term of genocide even though other European nations have. Though, the government has come under scrutiny from officials to use the word in a resolution. Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, stated Germany would support a parliamentary resolution, declaring the 1915 Armenian massacre an example of genocide.

Turkey’s government currently denies that the slaughters constituted genocide. Officials stated there was no organized nation campaign to kill off Armenians and no such other orders from the Ottoman Empire. The word Genocide has not been used by any other nations to avoid upsetting Turkey and trading negotiations.

Originally, the German government refused to use the term due to some concerns of the Herero massacres done in 1904 and 1905 by German forces. This lead to reparation demands in what is now Namibia.

By Alex Lemieux

Source:

The Daily Mail

Photo by Luke Ma – Flickr License

via 1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany.

More>>>>>>> HERE <<<<<<<<<

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


Debussy – La Mer

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


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

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

El Cóndor Pasa…Única Versión Original, según la partitura de Daniel Alomía Robles.


El Cóndor Pasa…Única Versión Original, según la partitura de Daniel Alomía Robles.

OTTORINO RESPIGHI.-1879 – 1936. FOUNTAINS OF ROME (Juturnalia (2015), great compositions/performances


OTTORINO RESPIGHI.-1879 – 1936. FOUNTAINS OF ROME

It is the year 1456 and Gutenberg Produces the First Printed Bible


It is the year 1456  and Gutenberg Produces the First Printed Bible:  Using his revolutionary invention—printing from movable type—he made the Scriptures potentially accessible to every person. MORE HERE (http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/1990/issue28/2825.html)

Gutenberg Bible

Gutenberg Bible of the New York Public Library. Bought by James Lenox in 1847, it was the first copy to come to the United States.

Gutenberg Bible of the New York Public Library. Bought by James Lenox in 1847, it was the first copy to come to the United States.

The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible or the B42) was the first major book printed in the West using movable type. It marked the start of the “Gutenberg Revolution” and the age of the printed book in the West. Widely praised for its high aesthetic and artistic qualities,[1] the book has an iconic status. Written in Latin, the Gutenberg Bible is an edition of the Vulgate, printed by Johannes Gutenberg, in Mainz, in present-day Germany, in the 1450s. Forty-eight copies, or substantial portions of copies, survive, and they are considered to be among the most valuable books in the world, even though no complete copy has been sold since 1978.[2][3] The 36-line Bible, believed to be the second printed version of the Bible, is also sometimes referred to as a Gutenberg Bible, but is likely the work of another printer.

Printing history

“All that has been written to me about that marvelous man seen at Frankfurt [sic] is true. I have not seen complete Bibles but only a number of quires of various books of the Bible. The script was very neat and legible, not at all difficult to follow—your grace would be able to read it without effort, and indeed without glasses.”

Future pope Pius II in a letter to Cardinal Carvajal, March 1455[4]

The Bible was not Gutenberg’s first work.[5] Preparation of it probably began soon after 1450, and the first finished copies were available in 1454 or 1455.[6] It is not known exactly how long the Bible took to print. The first precisely datable printing is the Gutenberg’s 31-line Indulgence which is known to already exist on 22 October 1454.[7]

Gutenberg made three significant changes during the printing process.[8] The first sheets were rubricated by being passed twice through the printing press, using black and then red ink. This was soon abandoned, with spaces being left for rubrication to be added by hand.

 Spine of the Lenox copy

Some time later, after more sheets had been printed, the number of lines per page was increased from 40 to 42, presumably to save paper. Therefore, pages 1 to 9 and pages 256 to 265, presumably the first ones printed, have 40 lines each. Page 10 has 41, and from there on the 42 lines appear. The increase in line number was achieved by decreasing the interline spacing, rather than increasing the printed area of the page.

Finally, the print run was increased, necessitating resetting those pages which had already been printed. The new sheets were all reset to 42 lines per page. Consequently, there are two distinct settings in folios 1-32 and 129-158 of volume I and folios 1-16 and 162 of volume II.[8][9]

The most reliable information about the Bible’s date comes from a letter. In March 1455, the future Pope Pius II wrote that he had seen pages from the Gutenberg Bible, being displayed to promote the edition, in Frankfurt.[10] It is not known how many copies were printed, with the 1455 letter citing sources for both 158 and 180 copies. Scholars today think that examination of surviving copies suggests that somewhere between 160 and 185 copies were printed, with about three-quarters on paper. [11][12] However, some books say that about 180 copies were printed and it took about three years to produce them.[citation needed]

The production process: Das Werk der Bücher

 A vellum copy of the Gutenberg Bible owned by the U.S. Library of Congress

In a legal paper, written after completion of the Bible, Gutenberg refers to the process as “Das Werk der Bücher”: the work of the books. He had invented the printing press and was the first European to print with movable type.[13] But his greatest achievement was arguably demonstrating that the whole process of printing actually produced books.

Many book-lovers have commented on the high standards achieved in the production of the Gutenberg Bible, some describing it as one of the most beautiful books ever printed. The quality of both the ink and other materials and the printing itself have been noted.[1]

Pages

 First page of the first volume: The Epistle of St. Jerome from the University of Texas copy. The page has 40 lines.

The paper size is ‘double folio’, with two pages printed on each side (four pages per sheet). After printing the paper was folded once to the size of a single page. Typically, five of these folded sheets (10 leaves, or 20 printed pages) were combined to a single physical section, called a quinternion, that could then be bound into a book. Some sections, however, had as few as 4 leaves or as many as 12 leaves.[14] Some sections may have been printed in a larger number, especially those printed later in the publishing process, and sold unbound. The pages were not numbered. The technique was not new, since it had been used to make blank “white-paper” books to be written afterwards. What was new was determining beforehand the correct placement and orientation of each page on the five sheets to result in the correct sequence when bound. The technique for locating the printed area correctly on each page was also new.

The folio size, 307 x 445 mm, has the ratio of 1.45:1. The printed area had the same ratio, and was shifted out of the middle to leave a 2:1 white margin, both horizontally and vertically. Historian John Man writes that the ratio was chosen to be close to the golden ratio of 1.61:1.[5] To reach this ratio more closely the vertical size should be 338 mm, but there is no reason why Gutenberg would let this non-trivial difference of 8 mm go by in a work so detailed in other aspects.

A single complete copy of the Gutenberg Bible has 1,286 pages (usually bound in two volumes); with 4 pages per folio-sheet, 322 sheets of paper are required per copy.[15] The handmade paper used by Gutenberg was of fine quality and was imported from Italy. Each sheet contains a watermark left by the papermold.

Ink

In Gutenberg’s time, inks used by scribes to produce manuscripts were water-based. Gutenberg developed an oil-based ink that would better adhere to his metal type. His ink was primarily carbon, but also had a high metallic content, with copper, lead, and titanium predominating.[16] Head of collections at the British Library Dr Kristian Jensen described it thus:” if you look (at the pages of The Gutenberg Bible) closely you will see this is a very shiny surface. When you write you use a water based ink, you put your pen into it and it runs off. Now if you print that’s exactly what you don’t want. One of Gutenberg’s inventions was an ink which wasn’t ink, it’s a varnish. So what we call printer’s ink is actually a varnish, and that means it sticks to its surface.” [17]

Type

The first part of the Gutenberg idea was using a single, hand-carved character to create identical copies of itself. Cutting a single letter could take a craftsman a day of work. A single page taking 2500 letters made this way was impractical. A less labour-intensive method of reproduction was needed. Copies were produced by stamping the original into an iron plate, called a matrix. A rectangular tube was then connected to the matrix, creating a container in which molten type metal could be poured. Once cooled, the solid metal form was released from the tube. The fundamental innovation is that this matrix can be used to produce many duplicates of the same letter. The result of each molding was a rectangular block of metal with the form of the desired character protruding from the end. This piece of type could be put in a line, facing up, with other pieces of type. These lines were arranged to form blocks of text, which could be inked and pressed against paper, transferring the desired text to the paper.

Each unique character requires a master piece of type in order to be replicated. Given that each letter has uppercase and lowercase forms, and the number of various punctuation marks and ligatures (e.g. the sequence ‘fi’ combined in one character, commonly used in writing) the Gutenberg Bible needed a set of 290 master characters. It seems probable that six pages, containing 15600 characters altogether, would be set at any one moment.[5]

Type style

The Gutenberg Bible is printed in the blackletter type styles that would become known as Textualis (Textura) and Schwabacher. The name texture refers to the texture of the printed page: straight vertical strokes combined with horizontal lines, giving the impression of a woven structure. Gutenberg already used the technique of justification, that is, creating a vertical, not indented, alignment at the left and right-hand sides of the column. To do this, he used various methods, including using characters of narrower widths, adding extra spaces around punctuation, and varying the widths of spaces around words.[18][19] On top of this, he subsequently let punctuation marks go beyond that vertical line, called Hanging punctuation, thereby using the massive black characters to make this justification stronger to the eye.

Rubrication, illumination and binding

 Detail showing both rubrication and illumination.

Copies left the Gutenberg workshop unbound, without decoration, and for the most part without rubrication.

Initially the rubrics — the headings before each book of the Bible — were printed, but this experiment was quickly abandoned, and gaps were left for rubrication to be added by hand. A guide of the text to be added to each page, printed for use by rubricators, survives.[20]

The spacious margin allowed illuminated decoration to be added by hand. The amount of decoration presumably depended on how much each buyer could or would pay. Some copies were never decorated.[21] The place of decoration can be known or inferred for about 30 of the surviving copies. Perhaps 13 of these received their decoration in Mainz, but others were worked on as far away as London.[22] The vellum Bibles were more expensive and perhaps for this reason tend to be more highly decorated, although the vellum copy in the British Library is completely undecorated.[23] There has been speculation that the Master of the Playing Cards was partly responsible for the illumination of the Princeton copy, though all that can be said for certain is that the same model book was used for some of the illustrations in this copy and for some of the Master’s playing cards.[24]

Although many Gutenberg Bibles have been rebound over the years, nine copies retain fifteenth-century bindings. Most of these copies were bound in either Mainz or Erfurt.[22] Most copies were divided into two volumes, the first volume ending with The Book of Psalms. Copies on vellum were heavier and for this reason were sometimes bound in three or four volumes.[1]

Early owners

The Bible seems to have sold out immediately, with initial sales to owners as far away as England and possibly Sweden and Hungary.[1][25] At least some copies are known to have sold for 30 florins – about three years wages for a clerk.[26][27] Although this made them significantly cheaper than manuscript Bibles, most students, priests or other people of ordinary income would have been unable to afford them. It is assumed that most were sold to monasteries, universities and particularly wealthy individuals.[20] At present only one copy is known to have been privately owned in the fifteenth century. Some are known to have been used for communal readings in monastery refectories; others may have been for display rather than use, and a few were certainly used for study.[1] Kristian Jensen suggests that many copies were bought by wealthy and pious laypeople for donation to religious institutions.[23]

Influence on later Bibles

The Gutenberg Bible had a profound effect on the history of the printed book. Textually, it also had an influence on future editions of the Bible. It provided the model for several later editions, including the 36 Line Bible, Mentelin’s Latin Bible, and the first and third Eggestein Bibles. The third Eggestein Bible was set from the copy of the Gutenberg Bible now in Cambridge University Library. The Gutenberg Bible also had an influence on the Clementine edition of the Vulgate commissioned by the Papacy in the late sixteenth century.[28][29]

Forgeries

Dr. Niels Henry Sonne, the Head Librarian, said, “A notable possession of the General Theological Seminary Library is a complete and excellent copy of the Gutenberg Bible.”[30] The copy of the Gutenberg Bible held by the General Theological Seminary Library, was found to have a forged leaf. The forged leaf was discovered by Mr. Joseph Martini, a New York book dealer. The leaf carried part of Chapter 14, all of Chapter 15, and part of Chapter 16 of the Book of Ezekiel. It was impossible to tell when the forged leaf had been inserted into the volume. In the fall of 1953, a generous friend of the Seminary gave a copy of the missing leaf to the General Theological Seminary Library, “…and the Seminary’s great Bible became the first imperfect Gutenberg Bible ever restored to completeness. The substitute leaf was taken from a defective copy of volume two, which was being broken up for sale in parts and leaves.”[31]

Surviving copies

 Another Gutenberg Bible

 

Locations of known complete Gutenberg Bibles.

As of 2009, forty-eight 42-line Bibles are known to exist, but of these only 21 are complete. Others have leaves or even whole volumes missing. In addition, there are a substantial number of fragments, some as small as individual leaves, which are likely to represent about another 16 copies. Many of these fragments have survived because they were used as part of the binding of later books.[25] There are twelve surviving copies on vellum, although only four of these are complete and one is of the New Testament only.

Copy numbers listed below are as found in the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, taken from a 1985 survey of existing copies by Ilona Hubay; the two copies in Russia were not known to exist in 1985, and so were not catalogued.

Substantially complete copies of the 42-line Bible
Country Holding institution Hubay
nbr
length material Notes,
Images,
Scans
Austria (1) Austrian National Library, Vienna 27 complete paper Online images (German)
Belgium (1) Library of the University of Mons-Hainaut, Mons 1 incomplete paper Vol. I. Part of the same copy as the volume in Indiana (see below)[11]
Denmark (1) Danish Royal Library, Copenhagen 12 incomplete paper Vol. II
France (4) Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris 15 complete vellum  
17 incomplete paper Contains note by binder dating it to 24 August 1456[32]
Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris 16 complete paper  
Bibliothèque Municipale, Saint-Omer 18 incomplete paper  
Germany (13) Gutenberg Museum, Mainz 8 incomplete paper One copy is vol. I; the other both vols. It is unclear which is which.
Online images of the 2 volume copy (German)
9
Landesbibliothek, Fulda 4 incomplete vellum Vol. I. Two individual leaves from Vol. II survive in other libraries.[25]
Leipzig University Library, Leipzig 14 incomplete vellum  
Göttingen State and University Library, Göttingen 2 complete vellum Online images
Berlin State Library, Berlin 3 incomplete vellum  
Bavarian State Library, Munich 5 complete paper Online images of vol. 1 vol. 2 (German)
Frankfurt University Library, Frankfurt am Main 6 complete paper  
Hofbibliothek, Aschaffenburg 7 incomplete paper  
Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart 10 incomplete paper Online images Purchased in April 1978 for 2.2 million US dollars (ex General Theological Seminary)
Stadtbibliothek, Trier 11 incomplete paper Vol. I
Landesbibliothek, Kassel 12 incomplete paper Vol. I
Gottorf Castle, Schleswig incomplete paper The Rendsburg Fragment[11]
Japan (1) Keio University Library, Tokyo 45 incomplete paper Vol. I, Purchased in October 1987 for 4.9 million (plus an auction house commission of $490,000) for a total of 5.4 million US dollars[33]
Online images
Poland (1) Biblioteka Seminarium Duchownego, Pelpin 28 incomplete paper Online images of vol. 1 vol. 2 (Polish)
Portugal (1) Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Lisbon 29 complete paper  
Russia (2) Russian State Library, Moscow incomplete vellum Confiscated in 1945 from the Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum, Leipzig
Moscow State University, Moscow complete paper Confiscated in 1945 from the Library of the University of Leipzig
Spain (2) Biblioteca Universitaria y Provincial, Seville 32 incomplete paper New Testament only
Online images (Spanish)
Biblioteca Pública Provincial, Burgos 31 complete paper  
Switzerland (1) Bodmer Library, Cologny 30 incomplete paper  
United Kingdom (8) British Library, London  ? complete vellum Online images
 ? complete paper Online images
National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh 26 complete paper Online images
Lambeth Palace Library, London 20 incomplete vellum New Testament only
Eton College Library, Eton College 23 complete paper  
John Rylands Library, Manchester 25 complete paper Online images of 11 pages
Bodleian Library, Oxford 24 complete paper High Resolution Online images
Cambridge University Library, Cambridge 22 complete paper Online images of vol. 1; vol. 2
United States (11) The Morgan Library & Museum, New York 37 incomplete vellum PML 13 & PML 818
38 complete paper PML 19206–7
44 incomplete paper PML 1. Old Testament only
Online images
Library of Congress, Washington DC 35 complete vellum Online images
New York Public Library 42 incomplete paper  
Widener Library, Harvard University 40 complete paper  
Beinecke Library, Yale University 41 complete paper  
Scheide Library, Princeton University 43   paper Online images
Lilly Library, Indiana University 46 incomplete paper New Testament only. Part of the same copy as the volume in Mons (see above).
Online images
Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA 36 complete vellum  
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin 39 complete paper Purchased in 1978 for 2.4 million US dollars.
Online images
Vatican City (2) Vatican Library 33 incomplete vellum  
34 incomplete paper Vol I

Recent history

 Binding of the copy at the University of Texas at Austin

Today, few copies remain in religious institutions, with most now owned by university libraries and other major scholarly institutions. After centuries in which all copies seem to have remained in Europe, the first Gutenberg Bible reached North America in 1847. It is now in the New York Public Library.[34] In the last hundred years, several long-lost copies have come to light, considerably improving the understanding of how the Bible was produced and distributed.[25] The only copy held outside Europe or North America is the first volume of a Gutenberg Bible (Hubay 45) at Keio University in Tokyo. The HUMI Project team at Keio University is known for its high-quality digital images of Gutenberg Bibles and other rare books.[35]

In 1921 a New York rare book dealer, Gabriel Wells, bought a damaged paper copy, dismantled the book and sold sections and individual leaves to book collectors and libraries. The leaves were sold in a portfolio case with an essay written by A. Edward Newton, and were referred to as “Noble Fragments”.[36][37] In 1953 Charles Scribner’s Sons, also book dealers in New York, dismembered a paper copy of volume II. The largest portion of this, the New Testament, is now owned by Indiana University. The matching first volume of this copy was subsequently discovered in Mons, Belgium.[11]

The last sale of a complete Gutenberg Bible took place in 1978. It fetched $2.2 million. This copy is now in Stuttgart.[34] The price of a complete copy today is estimated at $25−35 million.[2][3] Individual leaves now sell for $20,000–$100,000, depending upon condition and the desirability of the page.

A two-volume edition of the Gutenberg Bible was stolen from Moscow State University in 2009 and subsequently recovered in a FSB sting operation in 2013.[38] This particular copy had been looted by the Soviet Army after World War II from the Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum, Leipzig, Germany, and is estimated to be worth in excess of $20.4 million.

See also

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]

today’s birthday: Frank Sinatra (1915) Check Yahoo’s first 5 most popular Sinatra # euzicasa songs!


Frank Sinatra Christmas Collection

Frank Sinatra Christmas Collection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frank Sinatra (1915)

Sinatra was a giant of American entertainment. He began his career in the 1930s as a singer whose romantic renditions of songs like “I’ll Never Smile Again” caused teenage girls, called “bobby soxers,” to shriek and swoon. Later, as an actor, he starred in films such as The Manchurian Candidate, From Here to Eternity,

Nothing But the Best (album)

Nothing But the Best (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and the original Ocean’s Eleven. He became popular in Las Vegas as the leader of the Rat Pack, a group that included what other 1950s entertainers? More… Discuss

Chorioactis geaster: Devil’s Cigar a fungus


 
Chorioactis
A star-shaped mushroom with six rays growing on the ground, surrounded by grass. The interior surface of the mushroom is colored butterscotch-brown.
Chorioactis geaster
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Pezizomycetes
Order: Pezizales
Family: Chorioactidaceae
Genus: Chorioactis
Kupfer ex Eckblad (1968)[1]
Species: C. geaster
Binomial name
Chorioactis geaster
(Peck) Kupfer ex Eckblad (1968)[1]
Map of Texas, with Collin, Travis, Dallas, Denton, Guadalupe, Tarrant and Hunt Counties colored in green.
Distribution in Texas (above), and Japan (below) shown in red and dark green, respectively.
Map of Japan, with Nara and Miyazaki prefectures colored in dark green.
Synonyms
Urnula geaster Peck (1893)[2]
Chorioactis geaster (Peck) Kupfer (1902)[3]

Chorioactis is a genus of fungus that contains the single species Chorioactis geaster.[4] The mushroom is commonly known as the devil’s cigar or the Texas star in the United States, while in Japan it is called kirinomitake ( キリノミタケ?). This extremely rare mushroom is notable for its unusual appearance and disjunct distribution: it is found only in select locales in Texas and Japan. The fruit body, which grows on the stumps or dead roots of cedar elms (in Texas) or dead oaks (in Japan), somewhat resembles a dark brown or black cigar before it splits open radially into a starlike arrangement of four to seven leathery rays. The interior surface of the fruit body bears the spore-bearing tissue known as the hymenium, and is colored white to brown, depending on its age. The fruit body opening can be accompanied by a distinct hissing sound and the release of a smoky cloud of spores.

Fruit bodies were first collected in Austin, Texas, and the species was named Urnula geaster in 1893; later it was found in Kyushu in 1937, but the mushroom was not reported again in Japan until 1973. Although the new genus Chorioactis was proposed to accommodate the unique species a few years after its original discovery, it was not until 1968 that it was accepted as a valid genus. Its classification has also been a source of confusion. Historically, Chorioactis was placed in the fungus family Sarcosomataceae, despite inconsistencies in the microscopic structure of the ascus, the saclike structure in which spores are formed. Phylogenetic analyses of the past decade have clarified the fungus’s classification: Chorioactis, along with three other genera, make up the family Chorioactidaceae, a grouping of related fungi formally acknowledged in 2008. In 2009, Japanese researchers reported discovering a form of the fungus missing the sexual stage of its life cycle; this asexual state was named Kumanasamuha geaster.

History

The fungus was first collected in Austin, Texas, in 1893 by botanist Lucien

A cluster of empty brown roughly circular pods that are split lengthwise into two halves hinged together on the end connected to a branch. The roughly two dozen pods are distributed among about five small twigs on a tree branch, against a background of green leaves.

Spent seed pods of kiri, the empress tree

Marcus Underwood, who sent the specimens to mycologist Charles Horton Peck for identification. Peck described the species as Urnula geaster in that year’s Annual Report of the New York State botanist, although he expressed doubt about its generic placement in Urnula.[2] In 1902, student mycologist Elsie Kupfer questioned the proposed classification of various species in the genera Urnula and Geopyxis, as suggested in an 1896 publication on the Discomycetes by German mycologist Heinrich Rehm. She considered Rehm’s transfer of the species to the genus Geopyxis illogical:

“Even externally the fungus does not closely answer Rehm’s own description of the genus Geopyxis under which he places it; the texture of the apothecium is described as fleshy, the stem, as short and sometimes thin; while in this plant, the leathery character of the cup and the length and thickness of the stem are its noticeable features.”

Working with Underwood’s guidance, Kupfer compared the microscopic

A star-shaped mushroom with four rays growing on the ground, surrounded by dead leaves. The interior surface of the mushroom is butterscotch colored, and the center of the mushroom is cracked to reveal the white tissue layer underneath. The external surface is rough, and a dark brown color.

Chorioactis geaster. These specimens appeared along a foot trail to the Blanco River through the upland rim rock Live Oak – Ashe Juniper – Cedar Elm woodland savanna in a wildlife preserve near Fischer Store Road, Hays County, Texas. They seem to be associated with Cedar Elm trees. Found on January 12, 2006

structure of the hymenium (the fertile, spore-bearing tissue) of the Texan species with a number of similar ones—Geopyxis carbonaria, Urnula craterium, and Urnula terrestris (now known as Podophacidium xanthomelum). She concluded that the Texan species was so dissimilar as to warrant its own genus, which she named Chorioactis.[3] Although this taxonomical change was opposed in later studies of the fungus by Frederick De Forest Heald and Frederick Adolf Wolf (1910)[5] and Fred Jay Seaver (1928, 1942),[6][7] Chorioactis was established as a valid genus in 1968 by Finn-Egil Eckblad in his comprehensive monograph about the Discomycetes.[1][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

Low calories diet: Asparagus officinalis A low calories diet for diabetes sufferers, and healthy people alike (from wikipedia)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
For the botanical genus, see Asparagus (genus). For the colour, see Asparagus (color).
Asparagus officinalis
Asparagus-Bundle.jpg
A bundle of cultivated asparagus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Asparagoideae
Genus: Asparagus
Species: A. officinalis
Binomial name
Asparagus officinalis
L.

Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial[1] plant species in the genus Asparagus. It was once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Asparagus officinalis is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia,[2][3][4] and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.

Biology

 

Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 centimetres (39–59 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The “leaves” are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm (0.24–1.26 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, and clustered 4–15 together. The root system is adventitious and the root type is fasciculated. The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white to yellowish, 4.5–6.5 mm (0.18–0.26 in) long, with six tepals partially fused together at the base; they are produced singly or in clusters of two or three in the junctions of the branchlets. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm diameter, which is poisonous to humans.[5]

Plants native to the western coasts of Europe (from northern Spain north to Ireland, Great Britain, and northwest Germany) are treated as Asparagus officinalis subsp. prostratus (Dumort.) Corb., distinguished by its low-growing, often prostrate stems growing to only 30–70 cm (12–28 in) high, and shorter cladodes 2–18 mm (0.079–0.709 in) long.[2][6] It is treated as a distinct species, Asparagus prostratus Dumort, by some authors.[7][8]

History

Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. In ancient times, it was also known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season, and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans even froze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus created the “Asparagus Fleet” for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action.[Note 1][9][10] A recipe for cooking asparagus is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.

The ancient Greek physician Galen (prominent among the Romans) mentioned asparagus as a beneficial herb during the second century AD, but after the Roman empire ended, asparagus drew little medieval attention.[11][Note 2] until al-Nafzawi‘s The Perfumed Garden. That piece of writing celebrates its (scientifically unconfirmed) aphrodisiacal power, a supposed virtue that the Indian Ananga Ranga attributes to “special phosphorus elements” that also counteract fatigue. By 1469, asparagus was cultivated in French monasteries. Asparagus appears to have been hardly noticed in England until 1538,[Note 2] and in Germany until 1542.[10]

The finest texture and the strongest and yet most delicate taste is in the tips.[12] The points d’amour (“love tips”) were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour.[13] Asparagus became available to the New World around 1850, in the United States.[10]

Uses

Asparagus
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 85 kJ (20 kcal)
 
3.88 g
Sugars 1.88 g
Dietary fibre 2.1 g
 
0.12 g
 
2.2 g
 
Vitamins
Vitamin A equiv.

(5%)

38 μg

(4%)

449 μg

710 μg
Thiamine (B1)
(12%)

0.143 mg

Riboflavin (B2)
(12%)

0.141 mg

Niacin (B3)
(7%)

0.978 mg

(5%)

0.274 mg

Vitamin B6
(7%)

0.091 mg

Folate (B9)
(13%)

52 μg

Choline
(3%)

16 mg

Vitamin C
(7%)

5.6 mg

Vitamin E
(7%)

1.1 mg

Vitamin K
(40%)

41.6 μg

 
Trace metals
Calcium
(2%)

24 mg

Iron
(16%)

2.14 mg

Magnesium
(4%)

14 mg

Manganese
(8%)

0.158 mg

Phosphorus
(7%)

52 mg

Potassium
(4%)

202 mg

Sodium
(0%)

2 mg

Zinc
(6%)

0.54 mg


Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Only young asparagus shoots are commonly eaten: once the buds start to open (“ferning out”), the shoots quickly turn woody.[14]

Water makes up 93% of Asparagus’s composition.[15] Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium,[16][17] as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.[citation needed] The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.

The shoots are prepared and served in a number of ways around the world, typically as an appetizer[18] or vegetable side dish. In Asian-style cooking, asparagus is often stir-fried. Cantonese restaurants in the United States often serve asparagus stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, or beef. Asparagus may also be quickly grilled over charcoal or hardwood embers. It is also used as an ingredient in some stews and soups. In recent years asparagus eaten raw, as a component of a salad, has regained popularity.[19]

Asparagus can also be pickled and stored for several years. Some brands label shoots prepared this way as “marinated”.

Stem thickness indicates the age of the plant, with the thicker stems coming from older plants. Older, thicker stalks can be woody, although peeling the skin at the base removes the tough layer. Peeled asparagus will however poach much faster.[20] The bottom portion of asparagus often contains sand and dirt, so thorough cleaning is generally advised before cooking.

Green asparagus is eaten worldwide, though the availability of imports throughout the year has made it less of a delicacy than it once was.[6] In Europe, however, the “asparagus season is a highlight of the foodie calendar”; in the UK this traditionally begins on 23 April and ends on Midsummer Day.[21][22] As in continental Europe, due to the short growing season and demand for local produce, asparagus commands a premium price.

White asparagus in continental northwestern Europe

Typical serving of asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and potatoes.

 

Typical serving of asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and potatoes.

Asparagus is very popular in the Netherlands, Spain, France, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, and is almost exclusively white; if not, it is specified by the local language term for “green asparagus”. White asparagus is the result of applying a blanching technique while the asparagus shoots are growing. Compared to green asparagus, the locally cultivated so-called “white gold” or “edible ivory” asparagus, also referred to as “the royal vegetable”,[13] is less bitter and much more tender.[citation needed] Freshness is very important, and the lower ends of white asparagus must be peeled before cooking or raw consumption.

To cultivate white asparagus, the shoots are covered with soil as they grow, i.e. earthed up; without exposure to sunlight no photosynthesis starts, so the shoots remain white in colour.

Only seasonally on the menu, asparagus dishes are advertised outside many restaurants, usually from late April to June. For the French style, asparagus is often boiled or steamed and served with hollandaise sauce, melted butter or olive oil, Parmesan cheese or mayonnaise.[23] Tall, narrow asparagus cooking pots allow the shoots to be steamed gently, their tips staying out of the water.

During the German Spargelsaison or Spargelzeit (“asparagus season” or “asparagus time”), the asparagus season that traditionally finishes on 24 June, roadside stands and open-air markets sell about half of the country’s white asparagus consumption.[24]

Effects on urine

The effect of eating asparagus on urine has long been observed:

“[Asparagus] cause a powerful and disagreeable smell in the urine, as every Body knows.” (Treatise of All Sorts of Foods, Louis Lemery, 1702)[35]
“asparagus… affects the urine with a foetid smell (especially if cut when they are white) and therefore have been suspected by some physicians as not friendly to the kidneys; when they are older, and begin to ramify, they lose this quality; but then they are not so agreeable.” (“An Essay Concerning the Nature of Aliments,” John Arbuthnot, 1735)[36]
“A few Stems of Asparagus eaten, shall give our Urine a disagreable Odour…” (“Letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels,” Benjamin Franklin, c. 1781)[37]
Asparagus “…transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.” Marcel Proust (1871–1922)[38]

There is debate about whether all—or only some—people produce the smell, and whether all (or only some) people identify the smell. It was originally thought this was because some of the population digested asparagus differently from others, so some people excreted odorous urine after eating asparagus, and others did not. In the 1980s three studies from France,[39] China and Israel published results showing that producing odorous urine from asparagus was a common human characteristic. The Israeli study found that from their 307 subjects all of those who could smell ‘asparagus urine’ could detect it in the urine of anyone who had eaten asparagus, even if the person who produced it could not detect it.[40] However, a 2010 study[41] found variations in both production of odorous urine and the ability to detect the odour, but that these were not tightly related. It is believed most people produce the odorous compounds after eating asparagus, but only about 22% of the population have the autosomal genes required to smell them.[42][43][44]

In 2010, the company 23andMe published a genome-wide association study on whether participants have “ever noticed a peculiar odor when you pee after eating asparagus?”[45] This study pinpointed a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in a cluster of olfactory genes associated with the ability to detect the odor. While this SNP did not explain all of the difference in detection between people, it provides support for the theory that there are genetic differences in olfactory receptors that lead people to be unable to smell these odorous compounds.

Chemistry

 

Asparagus foliage turns bright yellow in autumn

Certain compounds in asparagus are metabolized to yield ammonia and various sulfur-containing degradation products, including various thiols and thioesters,[46] which give urine a characteristic smell.

Some[47] of the volatile organic compounds responsible for the smell are:[48][49]

Subjectively, the first two are the most pungent, while the last two (sulfur-oxidized) give a sweet aroma. A mixture of these compounds form a “reconstituted asparagus urine” odor. This was first investigated in 1891 by Marceli Nencki, who attributed the smell to methanethiol.[50] These compounds originate in the asparagus as asparagusic acid and its derivatives, as these are the only sulfur-containing compounds unique to asparagus. As these are more present in young asparagus, this accords with the observation that the smell is more pronounced after eating young asparagus. The biological mechanism for the production of these compounds is less clear.[citation needed]

The onset of the asparagus urine smell is remarkably rapid. The smell has been reported to be detectable 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion.[51][52]

Gallery

 

Gymnema sylvestre: used for thousands of years as tea for various ailments of the digestive system and Type 2 daibetes


Gymnema sylvestre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Gymnema sylvestre
Gymnema sylvestre.jpg
in Karyavattam University Campus of Kerala, India.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Genus: Gymnema
Species: G. sylvestre
Binomial name
Gymnema sylvestre
R. Br.

Gymnema sylvestre (Sinhala: මස්බැද්ද / Masbadda)(Malayalam:ചക്കരക്കൊല്ലി ,Tamil:சிறுகுறிஞ்சா) is an herb native to the tropical forests of southern and central India and Sri Lanka. Chewing the leaves suppresses the sensation of sweet. This effect is attributed to the eponymous gymnemic acids. G. sylvestre has been used in herbal medicine as a treatment for diabetes for nearly two millennia,[1] and though there is insufficient scientific evidence to draw definitive conclusions about its efficacy[2] two small clinical trials have shown gymnema to reduce glycosylated hemoglobin levels.[3] Common names include gymnema,[4] cowplant, Australian cowplant, gurmari, gurmarbooti, gurmar, periploca of the woods, meshasringa (मेषशृंग), Bedki cha pala (बेडकीचा पाला) and miracle fruit[5][6](also a common name for two unrelated plants).

Chemical composition

The major bioactive constituents of G. sylvestre are a group of oleanane-type triterpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids. The latter contain several acylated (tigloyl, methylbutyroyl etc.,) derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid (DAGA) which is the 3-O-glucuronide of gymnemagenin (3,16,21,22,23,28-hexahydroxy-olean-12-ene). The individual gymnemic acids (saponins) include gymnemic acids I-VII, gymnemosides A-F, and gymnemasaponins.[citation needed]

G. sylvestre leaves contain triterpene saponins belonging to oleanane and dammarene classes. Oleanane saponins are gymnemic acids and gymnemasaponins, while dammarene saponins are gymnemasides. Besides this, other plant constituents are flavones, anthraquinones, hentriacontane, pentatriacontane, α and β-chlorophylls, phytin, resins, d-quercitol, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, lupeol, β-amyrin-related glycosides and stigmasterol. The plant extract also tests positive for alkaloids. Leaves of this species yield acidic glycosides and anthroquinones and their derivatives.[citation needed]

Use as herbal medicine

The effects of the herb are not entirely known. Gymnema reduces the taste of sugar when it is placed in the mouth. From extract of the leaves were isolated glycosides known as gymnemic acids, which exhibit anti-sweet activity.[7] This effect lasts up to about 2 hours. Some postulate that the herb may block sugar receptors on the tongue. This effect was observed in isolated rat neurons.[8]

The active ingredients are thought to be the family of compounds related to gymnemic acid: purified gymnemic acids are widely used as experimental reagents in taste physiology[9] and have also an anti-diabetic effect in animal models,[10] reduce intestinal transport of maltose in rats when combined with acarbose,[11] and reduce absorption of free oleic acid in rats.[12]

Historically, the leaves were used for stomach ailments, constipation, water retention, and liver disease;[citation needed] however, these claims are not supported by scientific studies.[13]

A water-soluble extract of G. sylvestre caused reversible increases in intracellular calcium and insulin secretion in mouse and human β-cells when used at a concentration (0.125 mg/ml) without compromising cell viability. This in vitro data suggests that extracts derived from G. sylvestre may be useful as therapeutic agents for the stimulation of insulin secretion in individuals with type 2 diabetes.[14] The rise in insulin levels may be due to regeneration of the cells in the pancreas.[15] G. sylvestre can also help prevent adrenal hormones from stimulating the liver to produce glucose in mice, thereby reducing blood sugar levels.[16] Clinical trials with type 2 diabetics in India have used 400 mg per day of water-soluble acidic fraction of the Gymnema leaves administered for 18–20 months as a supplement to the conventional oral drugs. During GS4 supplementation, the patients showed a significant reduction in blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin and glycosylated plasma proteins, and conventional drug dosage could be decreased. Five of the 22 diabetic patients were able to discontinue their conventional drug and maintain their blood glucose homeostasis with GS4 alone. These data suggest that the beta cells may be regenerated/repaired in Type 2 diabetic patients on GS4 supplementation. This is supported by the appearance of raised insulin levels in the serum of patients after GS4 supplementation.[17] Though for the moment G. sylvestre cannot be used in place of insulin to control blood sugar by people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, further evidence of its positive effect is accumulating[18][unreliable source?]

Alternative names

Despite the part used being the leaf, one common name of this species is miracle fruit,[4][5][6] a name shared by two other species: Synsepalum dulcificum and Thaumatococcus daniellii.[5] Both species are used to alter the perceived sweetness of foods.

In English the species is also known as gymnema, cowplant, and Australian cowplant.[citation needed]

This species also goes under many other names such as; Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, periploca of the woods and Meshasringa. The Hindi word Gur-mar (Madhunaashini in Sanskrit, Chakkarakolli in Malayalam,Podapatri in Telugu), literally means sugar destroyer. Meshasringa (Sanskrit) translates as “ram’s horn”, a name given to the plant from the shape of its fruits. Gymnema derives from the Greek words “gymnos” (γυμνὀς) and “nēma” (νῆμα) meaning “naked” and “thread” respectively; the species epitheton sylvestre means “of the forest” in Latin.[19]

 


October 29, 1875 in History Born:
Marie, queen consort of Ferdinand I of Romania, 1914-27

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Princess Marie of Edinburgh, more commonly known as Marie of Romania (Marie Alexandra Victoria; 29 October 1875 – 18 July 1938),[note 1] was the last Queen consort of Romania as the wife of King Ferdinand I.

Born into the British royal family, she was titled Princess Marie of Edinburgh at birth. Her parents were Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. Marie’s early years were spent in Kent, Malta and Coburg. After refusing a proposal from her cousin, the future King George V, she was chosen as the future wife of Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania, the heir apparent of King Carol I, in 1892. Marie was Crown Princess between 1893 and 1914, and became immediately popular with the Romanian people.

Marie visiting a military hospital, 1917

 

Marie had controlled her weak-willed husband even before his ascension in 1914, prompting a Canadian newspaper to state that “few royal consorts have wielded greater influence than did Queen Marie during the reign of her husband”.[2]

After the outbreak of World War I, Marie urged Ferdinand to ally himself with the Triple Entente and declare war on Germany, which he eventually did in 1916. During the early stages of fighting, Bucharest was occupied by the Central Powers and Marie, Ferdinand and their five children took refuge in Moldavia. There, she and her three daughters acted as nurses in military hospitals, caring for soldiers who were wounded or afflicted by cholera. On 1 December 1918, the province of Transylvania, following Bessarabia and Bukovina, united with the Old Kingdom. Marie, now Queen consort of Greater Romania, attended the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, where she campaigned for international recognition of the enlarged Romania. In 1922, she and Ferdinand were crowned in a specially-built cathedral in the ancient city of Alba Iulia, in an elaborate ceremony which mirrored their status as queen and king of a united state.

1882 portrait by John Everett Millais commissioned by Queen Victoria and exhibited at the Royal Academy.[9]

1882 portrait by John Everett Millais commissioned by Queen Victoria and exhibited at the Royal Academy.[9]

<<< 1882 portrait by John Everett Millais commissioned by Queen Victoria and exhibited at the Royal Academy.[9]

1882 portrait by John Everett Millais commissioned by Queen Victoria and exhibited at the Royal Academy.[9]

1882 portrait by John Everett Millais commissioned by Queen Victoria and exhibited at the Royal Academy.[9]

As queen, she was very popular, both in Romania and abroad. In 1926, Marie and two of her children undertook a diplomatic tour of the United States. They were received enthusiastically by the people and visited several cities before returning to Romania. There, Marie found that Ferdinand was gravely ill and he died a few months later. Now queen dowager, Marie refused to be part of the regency council which reigned over the country under the minority of her grandson, King Michael. In 1930, Marie’s eldest son Carol, who had waived his rights to succession, deposed his son and usurped the throne, becoming King Carol II. He removed Marie from the political scene and strived to crush her popularity. As a result, Marie moved away from Bucharest and spent the rest of her life either in the countryside, or at her home by the Black Sea. In 1937, she became ill with cirrhosis and died the following year.

Following Romania’s transition to a Socialist Republic, the monarchy was excoriated by communist officials. Several biographies of the royal family described Marie either as a drunkard or as a promiscuous woman, referring to her many alleged affairs and to orgies she had supposedly organised before and during the war. In the years preceding the Romanian Revolution of 1989, Marie’s popularity recovered and she was offered as a model of patriotism to the population. Marie is primarily remembered for her work as a nurse, but is also known for her extensive writing, including her critically acclaimed autobiography.

Queen Mary of Romania 2.jpg

Marie wearing her regalia. Photograph by George Grantham Bain.
Queen consort of Romania
Reign 10 October 1914 – 20 July 1927
Coronation 15 October 1922
Spouse Ferdinand I, King of Romania
Issue
Full name
Marie Alexandra Victoria
House House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (by birth)
House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (by marriage)
Father Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh
Mother Maria Alexandrovna of Russia
Born 29 October 1875
Eastwell Park, Kent, England
Died 18 July 1938 (aged 62)
Pelișor Castle, Sinaia, Romania
Burial 24 July 1938[1]
Curtea de Argeș Cathedral
Signature

Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>HERE

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of Allhallowtide: All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day.[1][2] Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world. In Brazil Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

Day of the Dead
Catrinas 2.jpg

Representations of Catrina, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico
Observed by Mexico, and regions with large Hispanic populations
Type Cultural
Synthetic Christian
Significance Prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died
Celebrations Creation of altars to remember the dead, traditional day of the dead’s food
Begins October 31
Ends November 2
Date October 31
Next time 31 October 2014
Duration 3 days
Frequency annual
Related to Hallowmas

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this pressed: Glycemic index diet: What’s behind the claims – Mayo Clinic (with additional chart and data from wikipwdia)


Graph describing the rise of blood sugar after meals.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Classification

GI values can be interpreted intuitively as percentages on an absolute scale and are commonly interpreted as follows:

Classification GI range[9] Examples[9]
Low GI 55 or less beans (white, black, pink, kidney, lentil, soy, almond, peanut, walnut, chickpea); small seeds (sunflower, flax, pumpkin, poppy, sesame); most whole intact grains (durum/spelt/kamut wheat, millet, oat, rye, rice, barley); most vegetables, most sweet fruits (peaches, strawberries, mangos); tagatose; fructose; mushrooms; chilis
Medium GI 56–69 not intact whole wheat or enriched wheat, pita bread, basmati rice, unpeeled boiled potato, grape juice, raisins, prunes, pumpernickel bread, cranberry juice,[10] regular ice cream, sucrose, banana
High GI 70 and above white bread (only wheat endosperm), most white rice (only rice endosperm), corn flakes, extruded breakfast cereals, glucose, maltose, maltodextrins, potato, pretzels, bagels

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excerpts from Mayo article:

Understanding GI values

There are various research methods for assigning a GI value to food. In general, the number is based on how much a food item raises blood glucose levels in healthy research participants compared with how much pure glucose raises their blood glucose. GI values are generally divided into three categories:
Low GI: 1 to 55
Medium GI: 56 to 69
*High GI: 70 and higher

For example, raw carrots have a GI value of 35. This means that if you eat enough carrots to consume 1.8 ounces (50 grams) of digestible carbohydrates (sugars and starches), your blood glucose level after eating the carrots will be 35 percent of the blood glucose level after eating 1.8 ounces (50 grams) of pure glucose.

Comparing these values, therefore, can help guide healthier food choices. For example, an English muffin made with white wheat flour has a GI value of 77. A whole-wheat English muffin has a GI value of 45.

via Glycemic index diet: What’s behind the claims – Mayo Clinic.
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