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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Something for Thursday

Seeing as how Valentine's Day is falling on a Thursday, I'll set aside the song challenge for one week in favor of some love songs, because who doesn't want to hear a few love songs, right?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Today in Good Dogs

Meet Rudy.

Note Rudy's happy grin after he makes it to the end of the obstacle course.

Rudy is a good dog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tone Poem Tuesday

When in doubt, there are always Mozart and Beethoven.

In 1822 Karl Friedrich Hensler, a Vienna dramatist and theater manager, was opening a rebuilt venue called the Theater in der Josefstadt, which still stands and is apparently now the oldest operating theater in Vienna. For the theater's reopening, Hensler commissioned a work by Ludwig van Beethoven. The great composer had recently been studying the music of Bach and Handel, and with those sorts of Baroque fugues and sounds in his heart, he displayed their influence in this wonderful concert overture. It's hard not to listen to the fanfare passage a few minutes in, with its accompanying runs in the bassoons, and not think of things like Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks. But shortly after we're right back in the 19th century, with Beethoven's characteristic sense of forward motion. It's a fine, fine piece, and how fitting that a theater which had this work performed at its opening almost two hundred years ago is still operating today.

Here is Beethoven's Consecration of the House.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Bad Advice Friday

Not a joke, but it's still kind of funny (and I do not recommend doing this):

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Something for Thursday

Next up on our ongoing Song Challenge (details here) is a song that makes me sad. Well, I can't really think of too many of those, but this song from the Broadway show Camelot is terribly, terribly sad. It comes near the end, when Lancelot and Guinevere, having pursued their love affair after trying not to, have only seen their entire worlds collapse into ruin and a war that will destroy Camelot and everything King Arthur tried to build. It's an achingly beautiful song that seems hopeful at first, only to conclude that their love brought about disaster.

Here, for comparison, are two renditions. First Julie Andrews from the Original Cast recording:

And here are Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero from the soundtrack to the film version of the show:

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Tone Poem Tuesday

Jean Sibelius is a composer with whom I am in constant need of discovery. His work is sometimes warm and melodic and fully Romantic, but other times there is an austerity to his music, a certain emotional coolness and introspection that is sometimes difficult to get a handle on. Sibelius seems to be fond of repetition of sounds and musical figures, which can create a dreamy quality in his music. This is an example of the latter voice of Sibelius: no Finlandia-esque fireworks are on display here, just a sense of meditative motion as Sibelius musically describes (or so he says) a carriage ride in the darkness, followed by the arrival of sunrise.

Here is Jean Sibelius's Night Ride and Sunrise.

Monday, February 04, 2019

And now, a morning sky

Taken yesterday at Knox Farm State Park, where I was finally able to take the Dee-oh-gee for his nature walk after missing out for a few Sundays because of very cold weather.

Beautiful morning sky at Knox Farm. Minutes later the sun emerged. #sky #clouds #KnoxFarm #eastaurora #wny #winter #snow #nature #hiking

Minutes later the sun came out.