Elen sila lumenn omentielvo!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tone Poem Tuesday

I've featured this before, of course, because Alexander Borodin is a relatively newly-discovered favorite composer of mine. But I find myself returning to this work often, not only because of its beauty but because of its depiction of two groups of people, traveling opposite directions on the same road, meeting each other and spending a bit of time before departing again as peacefully as they met.

Borodin described the work thusly:

In the silence of the monotonous steppes of Central Asia is heard the unfamiliar sound of a peaceful Russian song. From the distance we hear the approach of horses and camels and the bizarre and melancholy notes of an oriental melody. A caravan approaches, escorted by Russian soldiers, and continues safely on its way through the immense desert. It disappears slowly. The notes of the Russian and Asiatic melodies join in a common harmony, which dies away as the caravan disappears in the distance.

Here is In the Steppes of Central Asia.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Symphony Saturday

Sir Arthur Sullivan has a hallowed place in the history of classical music for his work in setting the librettos of W.S. Gilbert to music, resulting in the enduring operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, which are probably the greatest musical achievement of Victorian England. Sullivan didn't just write operettas, however. He was a prolific composer who wrote a number of operas, oratorios, various orchestral works, and this single symphony, which he considered titling "the Irish Symphony". He didn't officially choose that title, and in fact it didn't end up being attached to the work on a de facto basis until after his passing.

The symphony is a youthful work and as such it is uneven and in places clearly inspired by Sullivan's musical models -- in this case, Mendelssohn and Schumann. Nevertheless, the piece is an engaging listen. I'm not familiar enough with Sullivan's more mature work to know if and where you can hear in his Symphony hints of what is to come later on when he writes, say, The Mikado or Iolanthe, but Sullivan's Symphony is a pleasantly typical Romatic-era symphony, with some moments of pleasing lyricism -- particularly in the opening, when a portentous opening in the low brass yields to an almost ethereal chord in the strings.

Here is Sir Arthur Sullivan's Symphony in E Major, the "Irish".

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Something for Thursday

I'm seeing this movie tonight on the big screen...so here are a couple of selections from that oh-so-wonderful camp classic, Flash Gordon!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Twenty Years

When we took our vows, twenty years ago today, she didn't like coffee and I didn't want a dog.

Go figure.

Happy anniversary, my love!

Twenty years ago today. Happy anniversary, my love. The sun rises in your eyes!

Happy Valentines Day to my beautiful wife! This was taken last summer. We probably need a photo of us with the dee-oh-gee....

Wife and Dee-oh-gee on a nice Christmas walk! #Cane #DogsOfInstagram #greyhound #ChestnutRidge #OrchardPark #wny #winter

Posing with Patience (or is it Fortitude?)

The Wife, with horse. #eriecountyfair #Wife

The Wife enjoys a bit of quiet. #CapeMay

Pumpkinville: Happy wife, irritated Daughter

Guess what happened to me today....

Death by Kitteh

To the sea!

Nose to nose!

Hurry up and pay for the popcorn.

I Get Hit in the Face with a Pie (on National Pie Day).

Couples all around

Wife 2

Arrival at Pumpkinville

Spot the non-family member!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tone Poem Tuesday

Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy exists somewhere in the space between tone poem and concerto, with its prominent and technical part for solo violin. It's not a concerto, however; its structure more casts it as a fantasy on a number of Scottish folk tunes. Bruch was a prolific composer in the Brahmsian tradition, although not much of his music is heard today. His Violin Concerto is a mainstay in the repertoire, and the Scottish Fantasy has not disappeared either. The nature of the work puts me in mind of Berlioz's great symphony Harold in Italy.

Monday, May 15, 2017

In other news....

Two developments:

:: Amongst the Stars: The Song of Forgotten Stars Book III will be available on May 25! As is my usual practice, the book will be in paperback first with e-books to follow a couple of weeks later. And I am planning to start selling signed copies of all my books through ForgottenStars.net!

I'm calling it, folks! MAY 25 IS RELEASE DAY!!! #amwriting #ForgottenStars #amongstthestars #sciencefiction #spaceopera #indiebooks

Front cover:

IT'S MY FRONT COVER YOU GUYS!!! #amwriting #ForgottenStars #AmongstTheStars #sciencefiction #spaceopera #soon

Back cover copy:

ANNNNNND, the back-cover copy! I wrote the HELL out of this book, folks. I can't wait for it to be out there! #amwriting #ForgottenStars #AmongstTheStars #sciencefiction #spaceopera #soon

I've already posted the first two chapters to ForgottenStars.net, and there will be a third chapter up later this week, probably Thursday.

:: The jury is still out on this particular development on the home front. I'm sure we'll get it all figured out, but for now, things are a bit of a whirlwind at Casa Jaquandor.

Meet the source of the whirlwind: Carla, aka Dee-oh-gee 2.0.

Carla. Sigh. #Carla #DogsOfInstagram

What is this 'popcorn' of which you speak? #Carla #dogsofinstgram

So there we are.