For someone who seems to post less than a dozen times a year on this blog of mine, I do admit it must appear rather strange to just about any readers left around Random Thoughts that I should be announcing a need to take a break, especially since the last post around here was several months ago. But strange as it seems, the longest day of the year has now arrived, and it is calling me to be outdoors, doing the countless things that renew my spirit, and more importantly, keep my lovely wife from complaining to me.
I’ve been rather scarce around the WordPress community of late, prompting some of you to make inquiries of my well being, and I do assure everyone that I am just fine. I oftentimes do over commit to so many things. I’ve always been that way – wanting to have a taste of everything, afraid I’ll miss out on a new experience.
So while I’m off doing my own thing, I do want to wish everyone a wonderful summer, filled with fun and enjoyment. I’ll catch up and peek in as time permits. Life is delicious – have a taste each and every day…
Despite a long absence from playing around the WordPress world, I’ve been given the honor of selecting this month’s theme in Dolly’s Music Passion thread, a regular monthly attraction on her blog All About Lemon. I reflected on what kind of theme we should do for this month that might capture the spirit of music and passion, and the concept of “night” seemed interesting. Night is definitely when music and passion often intersect. So join in everyone and post some of your favorite songs about night.
For me, the first song that came to mind was from a personal favorite, Ray Charles. I have chosen (Night Time) Is the Right Time. It is an old rhythm and blues song originally recorded in 1957 by Nappy Brown. Ray Charles covered it a year later and it became an immediate hit. The song has this raw, primal, lusty energy driving it, especially when Margie Hendricks calls to Ray in a little musical naughtiness. After all, isn’t night time the right time to be with the one you love?
(Night Time) Is the Right Time – Ray Charles (1958)
Hoping everyone has a very nice night. Behave! Or maybe not…
I’ve been gone so long, that it occurs to me I lost that one hour of sleep I had gained since I last posted. Last time I participated in the Music Passion thread in Dolly’s Blog was October. Well, here it is March and the theme for the month is DREAM. So many songs to choose from, but impulse struck. After checking out the other entries to make sure someone else hadn’t already posted, I was in luck!
OK, I’m a big fan of Louis Armstrong. He just has a way about him that leaves you with a smile. Since I like smiling, and like making other folks smile as well, I give you my humble entry for this month’s fun in Music Passion:
A Kiss to Build a Dream On.
Haiku #1 :
Leaves fall gently down
Dancing about in the wind
Color in motion
Haiku # 2 :
Endless piles of leaves,
I rake and gather them all
Woe, the wind brings more
See what happens when I spend an entire day raking leaves to no avail? The trees were probably laughing at me as they dropped more leaves when I wasn’t looking. Oh well, time to sip a nice glass of wine and listen to a song apropos for my day’s work. “Les feuilles mortes” (literally, “The dead leaves”) otherwise known here in the US as “Autumn Leaves”, sung by no other than an international treasure, Edith Piaf.
Happy Halloween Everyone!
Stay safe, and avoid the Boogie Man if at all possible…
Last night was another full moon. At this time of the year, it is referred to most often as the Hunter’s Moon, and sometimes as the Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon. The reference dates to agrarian times when, after the harvest and with the fallen leaves, the moonlight provides ample illumination for hunting at night, gathering meat which will be stored for the upcoming winter months.
Following is a musical composition for piano by Claude Debussy, titled Clair de Lune (French for moonlight), composed in 1890 and inspired by the poem bearing the same name written by Paul Verlaine in 1869.
Clair de Lune – Paul Verlaine
In its original French:
Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.
Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,
Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.
English Translation: (per Wikipedia)
Your soul is a chosen landscape
Where charming masqueraders and bergamaskers go
Playing the lute and dancing and almost
Sad beneath their fanciful disguises.
All sing in a minor key
Of victorious love and the opportune life,
They do not seem to believe in their happiness
And their song mingles with the moonlight,
With the still moonlight, sad and beautiful,
That sets the birds dreaming in the trees
And the fountains sobbing in ecstasy,
The tall slender fountains among marble statues
It’s been almost a year since I dusted off the old Opera blog, so this evening, I thought I’d give it a little bit of much needed attention. I’ve often wondered if the fear of clowns that some people have might have stemmed from this kind of character depiction…
Most finales in dramatic opera tend to be emotional roller coasters, and in many of these works, it may take a marathon of several hours to build up to that climax. Unlike many of those longer works, Pagliacci (Italian for “Clowns”) is more of a sprint, firing off the starting line with its opening notes and thrusting the audience quickly toward that dark, tragic end.
The finale in Pagliacci is thrilling and tense, a play within a play. Canio has a comic troupe that has arrived in town, and while he plays an idiot clown husband in his role on stage for the audience, he is in fact very jealous. His wife Nedda, has engaged in an affair with another in town, and pledges she will run off with her new lover after the show. Canio nearly caught the two in the first act though he didn’t see…
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