Music Monday #18 – Recycling

I had an outing to Boston yesterday for another Handel & Haydn concert, the last of this season.  The program featured a number of pieces with ‘regal’  connections.  Thoroughly enjoyable.  A soprano soloist booked for the concert had to withdraw which allowed a member of the chorus to take the soprano solo slot.  In the first half of the program Teresa Wkim sang the popular Mozart  Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165 and then it the second half she again soloed in the Mozart Coronation Mass in C, K. 317.  Now somewhere in that Mass, I am going to venture to say in the Gloria,  despite the distance between the Köchel  catalog numbers I found myself thinking ‘sounds an awful lot like something I already heard today’.  Now a quick and simple Google search doesn’t turn up anything about a melodic/harmonic/rhythmic relation but I still believe I heard it.  However my search did lead to a note stating that Mozart reused materials from his Mass in C minor (1783)  in a 1785 oratorio “Davidde penitente”.  So perhaps my ears did indeed catch a bit of “recycling”.

  This clip is in no way similar to the concert performance I heard yesterday.  I selected it because I have had the pleasure of hearing services & performances in Salisbury Cathedral where this rendition took place.  And there is just something endearing about English choristers carrying on their long tradition.



Thoughtful Thursday # 17 – Art

What type of art do you appreciate most?

I am going to address this question in terms of visual art.  I am fond of landscapes, still life paintings, and portraits (people or pets).  I like watercolors and pastels best.

I live in an area full of artists of all types.  I am not a deep pocketed collector so I tend to appreciate the works of people who manage to produce moderately priced work that reflect this region.  I have several watercolors by Deborah Holmes.   My husband and I purchased a couple of her winter scenes and pictures of sheep over the years as Christmas gifts to us.  To see what she has available for sale now click here.  My favorite picture in my home however is a pastel portrait of Zoe, the cat who graced my home for 17 years.  My next art purchase?  Easy, that will be portraits of my two new cats,  Thunder and Lightning.

Wacky Wednesday # 17 – Sky Awareness Week /Astronomy Week

Growing up on the eastern side of Vermont there was often a school field trip in the spring  to the Fairbanks Museum.  The natural history aspect of the museum did not inspire me much.  In fact to this day my husband has a hard time getting me into natural history museums.  What I did enjoy were the planetarium shows.  The presentations were live and always reflected exactly what was happening in the sky at the time.  I really did not understand how good the planetarium shows were until I went to a big city planetarium and found that the presentation was simply a generic prerecorded program.

Below is some info the Fairbanks Lyman Spitzer Jr, Planetarium from the website:

The Fairbanks Planetarium opened in 1961 to stimulate interest in astronomy. The pursuit of this mission continues today through the Museum’s ongoing astronomy programs, including Eye on the Night Sky radio broadcasts on Vermont Public Radio, Star Quest astronomy outreach programs, and our annual Perseid Star Party in August. The planetarium welcomes about 15,000 visitors annually through programs for schools and the public.

The projector is the original Spitz model A-2 installed in 1961, with bench seating for 45 people under a 24-foot domed ceiling enhanced by sound and image systems. Immediately adjacent to the Planetarium is the Exhibit Hall, featuring displays on many aspects of astronomy and space travel, including the exploration of the Solar System, and a diorama of the Moon’s surface and the Apollo Lunar Lander from 1969.

I have been to the planetarium presentation within the past three years and can report the quality continues.  The presenters have a real knack for engaging both children and adults.  So if you find yourself in St. Johnsbury, VT on a Saturday or Sunday at 1:30 pm  I recommend you take in the show.

The bug actually bit me

It is spring yet rainy (which we need) and cool.  There was been a lot of sickness, or late season flu going around.  So far I have been lucky but another kind of ‘bug’ got me.  I am usually exceptionally immune to this one — the spring cleaning bug.  But it got me.  I have rooms where the area rugs have not been taken out in too many years and the furniture has not been moved for cleaning the baseboards behind pieces.  So if my blogging appears even more skimpy than you are used to blame this bug.  I know it will pass well before I have done half the rooms in my home.  Large houses are a blessing but also a curse.  Back to my ‘strength training’.

Travel Tuesday # 17 – Robert Burns

Today I am once again sharing scrap-book pages from my September 2009 trip to Scotland.  These pages reflect a day at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and nearby area.  I remember it was real Scottish weather, rainy and cool.  One of the unplanned highlights was listening to a piper outside a church and watching the people, dressed up in their finest — many a man in a kilt, walking in for a country wedding. 

Music Monday # 17 – The Birth Date of Two Sergeis

April 23, 1873 is the birth date of Sergei Rachmaninoff and April 23, 1891 is the birth date of Sergei Prokofiev .  Both men would be important in 20th century music.

Rachmaninoff was the son of two amateur pianists and came from a noble family that had been in the service of Czars since the 16th century.  He is regarded as one of the finest pianists of the 20th century, while his reputation as a composer is more controversial.

Prokofiev has the only child of a pianist and a relatively wealthy agricultural engineer.  At a very young age he was inspired by his mother practicing the piano and would start composing.  Prokofiev would study along side older students at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and  be viewed as arrogant and eccentric. Musically he would develop the reputation of a rebel.

Both men would spend time living as exiles in California.  Rachmaninoff would die in California and be buried in Valhalla, New York.  Prokofiev would live in Paris and in the Bavarian Alps for several years. But in 1936, Prokofiev returned permanently to the Soviet Union.  He is buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

You Tube links:  Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev plays Prokofiev