Wednesday, September 30, 2020

David Oistrakh - Tchaikovsky violin D Major Op 35 adante allegro vivacissimo

 


Tchaikovsky violin D Major Op 35 adante allegro vivacissimo

The music piece is the second and third movement of Concerto violin D Major Op 35 that Tchaikovsky wrote in 1881.  Originally, the entire piece was dedicated to violinist Leopold Auer but he turned his nose up calling it too difficult and too radical to play.  Tchaikovsky had to wait three years until the right violinist would come along.  Brodsky had a go at it, which became a big hit in London.  Eventually, the music would arrive in Moscow.  By then, Tchaikovsky would have completed the mighty quartet of violin concertos produced in the nineteenth century.

Credits:

David Oistrakh, violin

Eguene Normandy, conducting The Philadelphia Orchestra

I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Image post and video art were appropriated from the original album.) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. Hope you enjoy. 

sDg.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Jericho - Cozy Cole

The music is Jericho from the vinyl album All Star Swinging Groups, Pete Johnson, Cozy Cole, The Savoy Sessions.  This is as much as I could find about Cozy Cole's arrangement of Jericho.   If anybody has more information, I appreciate your inputs.

Cozy Cole and his Orchestra: 

Cozy Cole, drums

Johnny Guarnieri, piano

Teddy Walters, guitar

Billy Taylor, bass

Ben Webster, tenor sax

Ray Coniff, trombone

Lammor Wright, trumpet

Recorded: March 13, 1944, New York

I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Image post and video art were appropriated from the original album.) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.

Hope you enjoy. 

sDg. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

David Oistrakh - Tchaikovsky Violin D Major Op 35 allegro moderato

 

Tchaikovsky Violin D Major Op 35 allegro moderato

The music piece is the first of the three movements of Concerto violin D Major Op 35 that Tchaikovsky wrote in 1881.  Originally, the entire piece was dedicated to violinist Leopold Auer but he turned his nose up calling it too difficult and too radical to play.  Tchaikovsky had to wait three years until the right violinist would come along.  Brodsky had a go at it, which became a big hit in London.  Eventually, the music would arrive in Moscow.  By then, Tchaikovsky would have completed the mighty quartet of violin concertos produced in the nineteenth century.

I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Image post and video art were appropriated from the original album.) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. Hope you enjoy. 

sDg.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Shelly Manne and his Band vol 4 (side 1 of mono vinyl album)



For me the interesting thing about collecting jazz records is that I get to discover jazz artists from another jazz artist. Such is the case here. I've never heard of Shelly Manne before until I started collecting used vinyl records. I had no idea what he played and how he sounded. Then I saw his name on the album cover of one of the jazz records I already listened to - must have been one from Howard McGhee, whom I heard from Dizzie Gillispie, whom I heard from Miles Davis, and who has never heard of Miles.

I find that vinyl record was made for jazz. There is something organic about it. When I play the same song back to back from a CD to a vinyl the difference is huge. Most of the CDs of old school jazz recordings are remastered from analog recording tapes and made to sound clean. Not a bad approach but the result can sterilize the sound too much that the dynamics are lost. The energy is lost. Of course one complaints about vinyl records is that you have to put up with the pops and crackles, and at times some annoying hisses. That has never been an issue for me. I actually don't mind them because for me they are parts of the experience. Whenever I listen to jazz on vinyl I feel like I'm living in the past when these songs were written and performed. I like to share this particular video from the Shelly Manne Vol 4 album because I think it's worth listening to the recording. I hope you would enjoy as much as I did.

Sheldon Manne (June 11, 1920 – September 26, 1984), professionally known as Shelly Manne, was an American jazz drummer. Most frequently associated with West Coast jazz, he was known for his versatility and also played in a number of other styles, including Dixieland, swing, bebop, avant-garde jazz and fusion, as well as contributing to the musical background of hundreds of Hollywood films and television programs. - (excerpt from Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelly_Manne)

Alto Saxophone – Charlie Mariano Bass – Leroy Vinnegar Design [Cover] – Guidi Drums – Shelly Manne Engineer – Val Valentin Photography By [Cover Photo] – Fred Lyon Photography By [Rear Cover] – Lester Koenig Piano – Russ Freeman Supervised By [Technical] – Roy DuNann Trumpet – Stu Williamson Recorded on Jan.19th, Jan.26th and Feb.2nd, 1956 in Los Angeles. I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Video Artwork was appropriated from the original album. ) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.





Monday, September 21, 2020

Art Hodes Plays Bugle Call Rag

 


Art Hodes Plays Bugle Call Rag...

... From the album is Jazz Classics Original Blue Note Jazz, Volume 1 featuring Edmond Hall on side 1 and Art Hodes on side 2. Side 1 recorded in November 29, 1943, side 2 recorded in June 1, 1944. Published in 1952 and 1962. It's amazing that copies of this album are still out there. My copy is falling apart. Arthur W. Hodes (November 14, 1904 – March 4, 1993), known professionally as Art Hodes, was an American jazz pianist. A committed jazz traditionalist, Hodes was often at odds with proponents of the bebop movement in the 1940s. One of his forums was a radio program on WNYC out of New York City. He also published and wrote for the magazine Jazz Record; his columns appear in the collection Selections from the Gutter (1977). [excerpt from Britannica https://www.britannica.com/biography/Art-Hodes] I would categorize the songs performed by Hodes in this album in the style of New Orleans jazz. Others who are familiar with Art Hodes might disagree and would say he belongs to the Chicago style jazz. And yet, Hodes considered himself a swing man, a jazzman who typically would be associated with big bands. "I was always a 'swing' man," Hodes wrote in 1988. "But I could also play it pretty." I left some parts of the vinyl scratches in reproducing the songs in this album. I felt that the noise added to the era of smoked filled dance floor, champagne and cocktail glasses clinging, and the swinging vibe of glamour culture. Personally, I felt a lot of the hype was shallow - hiding behind sophistication and idiocy - reminiscent of the Dada Movement. But let me not get too far ahead of myself. The point of listening to the song is reimagining jazz as it were back then. As a side note, the music style was probably waning when the songs were recorded in 1944. I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Video Artwork was appropriated from William Gottlieb/Library of Congress and the album Art Hodes – I Remember Bessie. The video clip of spinning turntable is from Atakan Ozkan https://www.pexels.com/@atakan-ozkan-1068907.) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. Hope you enjoy. sDg.

Monday Blues in Texas


 

It's a lazy morning as always in our humble abode.  Raining outside, believe or not.  This is how it looks like when it rains here in Texas.  Just finished our expresso coffee.  Taking our time for the next thing to come.  Enjoying our seed grown Zinnas.  Texture on the leaves courtesy of the neighborhood bugs.  Captured with the iPhone 11 pro.  Edited using Snapseed.  Hope you are having a great day.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Borodin - In The Steppes of Central Asia Symphony No 2 in B Minor


 

In The Steppes of Central Asia Symphony No 2 in B Minor

Alexander Borodin, doctor, chemist, professor, composer, bartender.  Try to top that in your business card.  His day job was a doctor and a chemist.  When he was bored, he taught and chased women at the School of Medicine for Women, a school he founded in Saint Petersburg.  At nights, he would be a mixologist - creating cocktails for the Czar and his friends.  On his spare time or when was ill, he composed music.  His best known works are arguably Symphony No 2 in B minor and Prince Igor.  

It took him six years to write Symphony No 2 - between 1869 and 1876. It consists of four movements and is considered the most important large-scale work completed by the composer himself.  

Symphony No 2 has four movements but I divided the music into three parts: 

This video post consist of the first movement. But please be sure to follow the links for the rest of the music.

I do not own the copyright to the music and the recording. Photos used on post was appropriated from the original album . Video clip of spinning LP is mine. This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.

Hope you enjoy. sDg.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Glad

 

Glad

The video was more than four years in the making.  I composed, performed and recorded Glad back in February 2016 when we were still in California.  I always had in my mind that I would do a video of the music with aerial shots of the desert - but I found out that the video clips were very expensive.  Couldn't justify it.  So I just moved on.  Somewhere around last year, I revived the project when I stumbled unto a video clip produced by The World from Above - I believe they own the copyright.  The clip is not my own but appropriated to look different from the original. I am invoking Fair Use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107 for educational purpose.   I would gladly take down the post upon notice of the rightful owner of the video clip.

Music recorded using Capture and mastered on Presonus. Guitars used were Epiphone Acoustic Southern Jumbo and Fender Jaguar - both tuned to DADGAD. The music and performance of Glad is © 2016 Rob Castro.

Hope you enjoy.



Thursday, September 17, 2020

The most efficient way to make omelet

 


The old lady claimed that these eggs will hatch herbs that I couldn't believe. So, lo and behold, magic pepper plants are hatched.  I transplanted them into container pots.  In a few days, I think the peppers would be ready for harvest.

Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Alexander Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy" op. 54


Alexander Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy" op. 54 parts 1 and 2  


Russian composer and pianist Alexander Scriabin wrote "Poem of Ecstasy" op. 54 also known as his 4th symphony. The music is from the album Scriabin Piano Concerto/Poem of Ecstasy performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Donald Johnson, conductor; Richard Gianguilio, solo trumpet; Philip Ruder, solo violin.  

The liner notes on my album is worth repeating here:  "His (Scriabin's) life was constantly in ferment, and though he ran at fever pitch he never indulged in stimulants (with the exception of beautiful women..."  In other words, Scriabin was a mad man high on testosterone with a youthful lust of the flesh as exemplified in his fervent passion for women. 

Poem of Ecstasy is divided into three parts.  The first part is a Prologue which is identified as "Striving after the Ideal" and "Awakening of the Soul".  The solo violin is heard in a theme of "Ecstatic Love".  The trumpet solo announces the "Will to Arise" at the final portion. 

I do not own the copyright to the music and the recording. Photos used on video clip was appropriated from the original album (Vox Production Inc. ) and Alexander Scriabin:  The Complete Piano Sonatas. This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.

Hope you enjoy. sDg.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Charles Magnante plays La Comparsita

 

Charles Magnante plays La Comparsita

Charles Magnante (accordion) plays La Comparsita. From the album Spanish Spectacular (Grand Awards Records).

Whether or not we know La Comparsita, we often think of Tango when we hear this song.  A lot of chatters have been spoken about the origin of La Comparsita. I'm not going into that but a rather interesting piece in Wikipedia was written about the song. We all know the trustworthiness of Wikepedia. Or not.

Wikipedia writes:

"The song was originally a march, whose melody was composed in early 1916 by an architecture student in Montevideo, an 18-year-old man named Gerardo Hernán "Becho" Matos Rodríguez, the son of Montevideo's Moulin Rouge nightclub proprietor Emilio Matos. On 8 February 1916, Becho and his friend show the music to orchestra leader Roberto Firpo.  He looked at the music and quickly determined that he could make it into a tango... Years later, Firpo reported the historic moment as follows:

"In 1916 I was playing in the café La Giralda in Montevi

deo, when one day a man was accompanied by about fifteen boys — all students — to say he brought a carnival march song and they wanted me to review it because they thought it could be a tango. They wanted me to revise and tweak the score that night because it was needed by a boy named Matos Rodríguez."

The album Spanish Spectacular was a runt from the selection of used vinyl records that we were going through at our local record store. At first glance without hearing the music, I was not impressed by the artwork, which I thought was dated. And the recording was monoaural. There was not much redeeming value to the album but nonetheless we bought it just for fun. Turned out to be a gem.

Charles Magnante (December 7, 1905 – December 30, 1986) was an American piano-accordionist, arranger, composer, author and educator. His artistry helped raise the image of the accordion from an instrument considered suitable only for folk music to an instrument accepted in many music genres. (excerpt from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Magnante) Credits Accordion - Charles Magnante Featuring - Allen Hanlon, Bob Haggart, Dick Hyman, George Barnes, Terry Snyder, Tony Gottuso, Willie Rodriguez Orchestra - Charles Magnante And His Orchestra Record Album Artwork - Tracy Sugarman I do not own the copyright to the music and the recording. Cover art and video clip of spinning record are mine. The clips of the awkward dancing is from Cottonbro in Pexels. This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.

Hope you enjoy. sDg.




Thursday, September 03, 2020

Art Hodes Plays Sugar Foot Stomp



The album is Jazz Classics Original Blue Note Jazz, Volume 1 featuring Edmond Hall on side 1 and Art Hodes on side 2. Side 1 recorded in November 29, 1943, side 2 recorded in June 1, 1944. Published in 1952 and 1962. It's amazing that copies of this album are still out there. My copy is falling apart.

Arthur W. Hodes (November 14, 1904 – March 4, 1993), known professionally as Art Hodes, was an American jazz pianist. A committed jazz traditionalist, Hodes was often at odds with proponents of the bebop movement in the 1940s. One of his forums was a radio program on WNYC out of New York City. He also published and wrote for the magazine Jazz Record; his columns appear in the collection Selections from the Gutter (1977). [excerpt from Britannica https://www.britannica.com/biography/Art-Hodes]

I would categorize the songs performed by Hodes in this album in the style of New Orleans jazz. Others who are familiar with Art Hodes mightdisagree and would say he belongs to the Chicago style jazz. And yet, Hodes considered himself a swing man, a jazzman who typically would be associated with big bands. "I was always a 'swing' man," Hodes wrote in 1988. "But I could also play it pretty."

I left some parts of the vinyl scratches in reproducing the songs in this album. I felt that the noise added to the era of smoked filled dance floor, champagne and cocktail glasses clinging, and the swinging vibe of glamour culture. Personally, I felt a lot of the hype was shallow - hiding behind sophistication and idiocy - reminiscent of the Dada Movement. But let me not get too far ahead of myself. The point of listening to the song is reimagining jazz as it were back then. As a side note, the music style was probably waning when the songs were recorded in 1944.

I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Video Artwork was appropriated from William Gottlieb/Library of Congress and the album Art Hodes – I Remember Bessie. The video clip of spinning turntable is from Atakan Ozkan https://www.pexels.com/@atakan-ozkan-1068907.) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. Hope you enjoy.

sDg.

You may also be interested in Art Hodes Sweet Georgia Brown and Squeeze Me.


Monday, August 31, 2020

Look at Me Look at You



Well it's a hard way down to the time I raised my hand And I swore I'd gladly die for my God and Uncle Sam There was so much I didn't know and what I knew I didn't understand Look at me, look at me, where have I gone? Where have I gone? It's a bittersweet way to my debut as a man I defied the Lord and Ford in that eucalyptus stand I wasn't even sure I loved her, we were friends in the high school band And look at me, look at me, where have I gone? Where have I gone? Look at me in the mirror of the way I look at you In the mirror of my words you'll find my fantasies are true Remnants of a childhood dream, a nightmare or two Look at me, I look at you It's a hazy way to the time I finally saw And it all came crashing in on me, my God and my law And now I wonder as I look around if I'll make it through at all Look at me, look at me, where have I gone? Where have I gone? And now I lie awake and sometimes I find them lost As I rummage through my what's and if's, my profits and my costs It's not the bridges burned that bother me but the ones that I never crossed Look at me, look at me, where have I gone? Where have I gone? Look at me in the mirror of the way I look at you
Whoa, in the mirror of my words you'll find my fantasies are true Oh, remnants ofa childhood dream, a nightmare or two
Look at me, I look at you Oh, look at me, I look at you Oh, look at me, I look at you Oh, look at me, I look at you [written by Terry Kirkman]

Look at Me Look at You was performed by The Association from their 1969 album with no title. Some people call it the Stone Henge album because of the cover art - a pastiche to look like the Stone Henge.  The words "The Association" are the pillars sitting on top of the world.  It's lacking in originality in my opinion.  Not sure why the band never put out a title on this album even though it's their fifth released one.  The sleeve art that came with my copy is even less creative.  Cutouts of famous performers during the 1960s.  I can identify some: Peter, Paul and Mary, Don Rickles, and the Everly Brothers.   

I bought this album by mistake.  I was expecting the songs would include their famous hits "Windy", "Cherish", "Never My Love" and "Along Comes Mary".  Instead the songs on the album are eclectic.  Very different style from the one I was expecting.  I admit that I didn't like this album at all. But I kept playing it.  I was thinking that I would find a gem among the rough stones.  Must have been it.  The song Look at Me Look at You grew on me.  As I started listening to the words, I began to identify with the singer. The story is trite.  But I think it resonates the attitude and the sentiments of the youth growing up in the 60s.  Perhaps that is still true today.  The words testify to it:

And now I lie awake and sometimes I find them lost As I rummage through my what's and if's, my profits and my costs It's not the bridges burned that bother me but the ones that I never crossed...

I now love this song.  

All images in the video are my own.  Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Night Shift Blues (Edmond Hall's Blue Note Jazzmen)


Night Shift Blues (Edmond Hall)

The album is Jazz Classics Original Blue Note Jazz, Volume 1 featuring Edmond Hall on side 1 and Art Hodes on side 2. Side 1 recorded in November 29, 1943, side 2 recorded in June 1, 1944. Published in 1952 and 1962. It's amazing that copies of this album are still out there. My copy is falling apart.

Night Shift Blues is my favorite on side 1. The raw guitar cuts through the band remarkably. You can actually hear it at the beginning of the song. Followed by the trumpet. I think it is a trombone doing the counter point. Then comes in Edmond Hall on the clarinet. He is building it up. Just how blues should be played. Slow cooking. Then everyone seems to join in. Doing their own thing. Yet in one accord. This piece scores high on my jazz blues list.

About Edmond Hall (May 15, 1901 – February 11, 1967): American jazz clarinetist and bandleader. Edmond was first taught guitar by his uncle Edmond. When Hall picked up the clarinet, "he could play it within a week. He started Monday and played it Saturday," his brother Herb recalled in an interview with Manfred Selchow, who wrote a biography of Hall titled Profoundly Blue (1988). I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Video Artwork was appropriated from WBS Media and Imdb ). This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. Hope you enjoy. Other songs performed by Edmond Hall on the album Jazz Classics Original Blue Note Jazz, Volume 1: Royal Garden Blues High Society Blues at Blue Note



Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Delius Viloin and Piano Sonata No 2

 



The blog Observations has mostly been about photography, but that was never the intent.  As the name implies, it's about my observations on life and stuff.  It's just that photography has been a big part of my journey and thus have taken a huge part of the materials I've posted.  In the coming posts, I plan to write more about arts and music - both my passion and important parts of my life.

Lately I have been buying and listening to music on vinyl records.  Last Christmas Kamilah gave us some vinyl records so that started our journey to the world of  vinyl records.  Since then I have accumulated as much as 150 used records, maybe more.  I'm pretty crazy I know.  But I only buy used ones and have been fortunate to find this store in Massachusetts that sells pristine records online.  I have also traded some of my CDs and DVDs to make space for my vinyl collection.

The Three Sonatas album by Frederick Delius is one of the first records I bought when I started getting into vinyl records. I've never heard of Delius before. I'm pretty impressed with the songs on the album. I'm sharing Sonata No 2 as I think it's worth listening to. The pops and crackles from the vinyl are added features so please don't take them as a distraction. Think of the pops and crackles as ambers flying up in the air from a small camp fire. Delius in my mind must have been high on absinthe or acid when he wrote this song. The music is psychedelic. The violin intertwines with the piano - streaming down to produce textures that are ineffably sublime. I hope you will enjoy the music as much as I did. 

The music is also posted in youtube if you care to visit me there.  

Frederick Delius Violin and Piano Concerto Sonata 2 (1924) Wanda Wilkomirska - Violin David Garvey - Piano From the album Delius Three Sonatas for Violin & Piano (1974, Connoisseur Society, Inc. NY) Obviously I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Video Artwork was appropriated from the original album. ) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.

Still Life with the Morning Glory Organic Only Vegan Society Small Group

 


Still Life with the Morning Glory Organic Only Vegan Society Small Group.  Non-GMO certification awaiting approval.   

I think I will be more active in posting on this blog again.  I realize that I should not let the deprecate pandemic situation restrict my life style, and so I'm moving on.  For those who are still concerned about the infectious Covid 19 virus, I can assure them that I am currently wearing a mask as prophylactic while I'm typing this post.  An incredulous assurance if you can believe that.  

The image displays our first grape tomato produce.  The blueberries were added as props - store bought from our local grocery that specialized in organically grown vegetable.  I do think that the term organic is a misnomer as mostly everything on earth contains some carbon and therefore is technically organic.  Although I suppose one can plant vegetable solely in water, so that can be considered inorganic as water does not contain carbon if I remember correctly in my chemistry class.  I digress.  

The image is not real.  I mean the composition has been photoshopped.  The image of the green background was taken on one of excursions to Seneca in New York.  It's actually a pond.  I think the green is made up of algae.  The cup of tomatoes and blueberries was photographed at our kitchen.  The solar flare is courtesy of Adobe.   Everything was captured with the iPhone camera.  Post production completed in the comfort of our Texan home.

Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Charles Magnante - Espana Waltz (B. B. Monterde)


On this video, Charles Magnante (accordion) plays Espana Waltz (B. B. Monterde). From the album Spanish Spectacular (Grand Awards Records).

The song on this post starts with the accordion playing a classical Spanish riff that reminds me of Malagena. Only that it is distorted. That leads me to believe Magnante was the pioneer in heavy hard rock music. Hendrix must have been taking notes.

Espana Waltz means Spanish Waltz. It has its roots in English Country Dancing. By the 1820s the waltz had been thoroughly hybridized into country set dancing. According to Leilani Howard, Sacramento Ballroom Society, the Spanish Waltz ironically has nothing to do with Spain. As dance crazes spread across Europe and shortly thereafter America, music was written for them with gusto and diversity in all the countries a dance moved through [http://oslhp.net/2009/node/359].

The album Spanish Spectacular was a runtfrom the selection of used vinyl records that we were going through at our local record store. At first glance without hearing the music, I was not impressed by the artwork, which I thought was dated. And the recording was monoaural. There was not much redeeming value to the album but nonetheless we bought it just for fun. Turned out to be a gem.

Charles Magnante (December 7, 1905 – December 30, 1986) was an American piano-accordionist, arranger, composer, author and educator. His artistry helped raise the image of the accordion from an instrument considered suitable only for folk music to an instrument accepted in many music genres. (excerpt from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Magnante) Bernardino Bautista Monterde (1880-1959) was a Spanish composer. Credits Accordion - Charles Magnante Featuring - Allen Hanlon, Bob Haggart, Dick Hyman, George Barnes, Terry Snyder, Tony Gottuso, Willie Rodriguez Orchestra - Charles Magnante And His Orchestra Record Album Artwork - Tracy Sugarman Owned or licensed by EMI Music Publishing, UMPG Publishing, Sony TV Publishing. Obviously I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Video Artwork was appropriated from the original album. ) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.



Monday, August 24, 2020

Emil Sauer plays Liszt Piano Concerto No 2 in A Major

 

Emil Sauer plays Liszt Piano Concerto No 2 in A Major

Emil von Sauer plays F. Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major. Felix von Weingartner conducting the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra. Recorded in December 1938. That's right, not a typo - 1938! An EMI Recording.

Not exactly sure where we found this album. Might have been from a local thrift shop or the local record store. Cost me about $2. The surface of the record is immaculate. No visible scratches. The back of the album cover has an inscription indicating the duration of the song on each side of the record. I'm guessing this must have been previously owned by a classical music connoisseur of some sort. Or maybe it was used in record broadcast - hence the duration of the songs. The quality of the recording reveals its age. Not exactly high fidelity. But that is to be expected. There are discernible pops and crackles but for me that just add to the experience of listening to an old recording. Obviously I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Video Artwork was appropriated from the original album. ) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Jacques Offenbach - The Tales of Hoffmann [Act 1 and Act 2 part 1]

 

Jacques Offenbach - The Tales of Hoffmann [Act 1 and Act 2 part 1]

Another gem we acquired while going through used vinyl records at our local record store.  The album was accompanied by a Libretto printed in 1957.  Didn't know anything about Offenbach but we thought this would be a fun album to listen to.  I am not a big fan of Opera but after listening to the record several times I realized the story is entertainingly funny.  Cheap entertain if you ask me - $2.  

The setting is in Germany.  Likely in the late 1800s.  It starts with students - presumably inebriated - singing rather boisterously about the power of wine and beer to bring joy and long life to mankind.  That in itself should give a hint where this is going.  Hoffmann, the German romantic poet, tells the story of three great loves of his life. All three were unhappy, and all three were destroyed by Hoffman's evil genius. The evil influence works through certain tricks of magic, and the whole atmosphere of the opera is highly imaginative and fantastic.

The opera is in three acts with a prologue and an epilogue.  This post is the first installment, which consists of Act 1 and a part of Act 2.  I plan to post three more installments - so if you enjoy this one as much as I did be expecting for the remainder of the music.

The account of Jacques Offenbach arriving in America to write this opera is in my opinion another story worthy of posting. I may write something about this in the future but for now I will devote more priority to the opera. Hope you will enjoy as much as I did.

Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann [Le Contes D'Hoffmann] The Metropolitan Opera Record Club (1957) Performed by The Metropolitan Chorus and Orchestra Libretto by Jules Barbier Sung in English to a Text by John Gutman Olympia - Laurel Hurley Giuletta - Rosalind Elias Antonia - Lucine Amara Nicklausse - Helen Vanni The voice of Antonia's mother - Sandra Warfield Hoffmann - John Crain Coppelius, Dappertutto, Dr Miracle - Martial Singher Crespel - Norman Scott Cochenille, Pittichinaccio - Charles Anthony Spalanzani - Paul Franke Schlemil - Clifford Harvuot Conductor - Jean Morel Prologue: Luther's tavern in Nuremberg, next door to the opera house where the reigning diva Stella is now singing in a performance of Don Giovanni. Act 1: Spalanzani's study, opening at the back of the gallery whose doors are closed by tapestry portieres. Act 2: Venice. A palace on the Grand Canal. Giuletta is entertaining guests, Hoffmann, Nicklausse and Pittichinaccio among them. Obviously I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Video Artwork was appropriated from the original album. ) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.



Thursday, August 13, 2020

Charles Magnante - La Comparsa (Ernesto Lecuena)





The album Spanish Spectacular was a runt from the selection of used vinyl records that we were going through at our local record store. At first glance without hearing the music, I was not impressed by the artwork, which I thought was dated. And the recording was monoaural. There was not much redeeming value to the album but nonetheless we bought it just for fun. Turned out to be a gem. The song on this post is La Comparsa. A comparsa is a group of singers, musicians and dancers that take part in carnivals and other festivities in Spain and Latin America. Charles Magnante (accordion) plays La Comparsa (composed by Ernesto Lecuena). From the album Spanish Spectacular (Grand Awards Records ). Charles Magnante (December 7, 1905 – December 30, 1986) was an American piano-accordionist, arranger, composer, author and educator. His artistry helped raise the image of the accordion from an instrument considered suitable only for folk music to an instrument accepted in many music genres. (excerpt from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Magnante) Ernesto Lecuona y Casado (August 7, 1896 - November 29, 1963) was a Cuban composer and pianist of worldwide fame. He composed over six hundred pieces, mostly in the Cuban vein, and was a pianist of exceptional skill. (excerpt from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernesto_Lecuona) Credits Accordion - Charles Magnante Featuring - Allen Hanlon, Bob Haggart, Dick Hyman, George Barnes, Terry Snyder, Tony Gottuso, Willie Rodriguez Orchestra - Charles Magnante And His Orchestra Record Album Artwork - Tracy Sugarman Owned or licensed by EMI Music Publishing, UMPG Publishing and Sony ATV Publishing Obviously I do not own the copyright to the music, the recording and the photos. (Video Artwork was appropriated from the original album. ) This video is posted for educational use under Section 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Chilling with Dill




It's our first Dill harvest.  Or so I remember.  Maybe it's the second.  My mind slips from me at times. Chilling out and listening to Howard McGhee.  Vinyl Record Album.  Yes vinyl.  It has to be.  It's the only way to appreciate bebop, or swing or neo-bebop. Don't want to hear those modern jazz.  Not right now.  Don't dig fusion either.  I'm old school.  Yeah. What does the album have to do with the Dill?  Nothing really.  But can you dig it?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

New York City on a Winter's Day

The postman or the person carrying the gunny sack must have the tune "California dreaming on a winter's day" playing on his head.  We were still living in California when this picture was taken.  2005 I think.  I used a 4 megapixel Canon Powershot 40D to capture the image.  I had to pay a hefty price to acquire it back then.  Nowadays, if one is fortunate, the camera may be scored in a thrift shop for a couple of dollars.

I mostly used the camera to document my family's activities.  You know - daughter's first recital, vacation trips, and so on.  Wasn't even into serious photography.  The original image was eventually cropped for this post.  See the unedited image below.  Not bad for an archaic point and shoot camera.


Hope you enjoy.

Friday, May 08, 2020

As I See It


Things that occupy my time nowadays: Inspiration + Junk Materials = Creativity

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Love in Vain


Having self-doubt once again.  It's just a silly phase that I go through once in a season.  I question why I do things.  I feel like an old discarded onion that no one ever wants - dejected, rejected.  Yet when peeled I show a sensitive side.  Too sensitive that any criticism hurts.  I tried to offer the world love ... and yet the world puts me down... my offer to love is rejected ... the love I share is all but vain.  What is the point?  Vanity of vanities.  All is meaningless.  All is vanity.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Food as Art


My sister tells me that this food is healthy except for the Chinese Sausage (don't mean to be racist here.)  It is mainly boiled Quinoa, fried sausage, freshly sliced tomato and cucumber.  If you like, you can add drops of balsamic vinegar on the veggie to spice up the taste.  The artwork is optional.

Hope you are having a fine day.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Don't Take My Drink Away


Woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn't sleep again.  Sauntering on our living room, I noticed the random arrangement of clutters on our coffee table.  I thought I would document the grouping using an old app I downloaded a few years ago: Kodak X Marc Jacobs.  It's a free camera app that simulates the look of film.  You can use the camera in your phone along with this app to get the nostalgic look.  Or you can select images in your library.  For some reason, the aspect ratio of the library images on my iPhone 11 pro are converted to 4 x 5 when using the app.   This was not  the case when I was using my iPhone 7 plus.  So if you plan to use your library images, you may have to select images with the right aspect ratio - otherwise the image will be distorted.

The image above was shot on camera with some minor tweaks using the editing tool on Instagram.  The tool is very useful for quick edits.

Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

More Art Boxes


Another view of the modern art boxes I made the other day.  I think the black and white rendition gives the image a bit of class.  What do you think?

Here's the colored version:


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Bananas as Fashion Art


I found a new way for my bananas to avoid from ripening unevenly.  Basically just tie the bundle upright, and that should do the trick.  And I found other uses for this setup.  You can wear the bananas as a scarf.  Or you can wear it over a green scarf and display it as a medallion.  A red coat would go well with it.  You can do whatever you want.  It's art.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Avocado Toast

Rose has all these great cooking ideas, and I get to be the guinea pig.  Avocado Toast can be serve either as breakfast or snack.  It consist of toasted bagel, sliced avocado, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, swipe of honey mustard, drops of balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkling of bacon bits.  Rich in vitamins and minerals.  (We get our zinc from chocolates and bacon.)

Saturday, April 18, 2020

House on a Prairie


We here in Georgetown, Texas are very concerned about our environment that we even have a fire hydrant in the middle of a field filled with wild flowers and weeds in case they catch fire.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

American Art Boxes


Day 30 of the Covid19 national shutdown. Unless your condition is life threatening,  doctors and medical personnel wont even see you. Rose and I have gone through the beater for over a week now. We hardly had a decent sleep because of persistent coughing. No, I don't think it's CV19.

I made two more art boxes yesterday, which means my energy and creative juices are starting to pick up.  In case you are wondering what an “art box” is, it’s simply a storage box to put away clutter.  Since we can’t buy a decent looking one online, we decided to make our own. 


Hope your day is going well.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Come Judgement Day, Who Will Be Your Witness?


I suppose some people would think we are nearing judgement day with the Covid-19 pandemic.  Quite frankly, I'm not sure what to make of it.  Very likely it's because I'm a Johnny-Come-Lately when it comes to eschatology.  I do believe that there will be a time of reckoning.  It could be any day now.  When it comes, who will be your witness?

Friday, April 03, 2020

The Road Not Taken


One may ask, "why did they put a stop sign in the middle of an open field?"

One of the nice things living in Georgetown is that the area is not yet gentrified.  A lot of open spaces.   Soon these flowers will be replaced by ugly uniformed houses that will all look alike.  So I'm going to enjoy what the nature has to offer for the time being.

Taken two weeks ago before the Stay-Home mandate was put in place.  Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Still Life with Mason Jar


"Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."
 - W. C. Fields

Sunday, March 29, 2020

God's Grandeur - Gerard Manley Hopkins



The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. 

(God's Grandeur, Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Wild Things



We've been holed up for almost two weeks now.  Yesterday our County issued a Stay-At-Home Order, which means only essential activities are allowed outside.  The image was taken last week when the order wasn't issued yet so Rose and I had a chance to go for a walk in our neighborhood.  Right now, the area is mostly empty lots and wild flowers.  The wild flowers above are a variety of Pink Evening Primrose that grows in Central Texas.  It is a small purple or pink flower with a hollow, white-to-yellow center.  The flowers are most active between the months of February to May.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Testing the iPhone 11 Pro on Night Mode


I got the iPhone 11 Pro for Christmas so I am still learning to use the features.  I just realized that it has a cool feature called Night Mode.  As the name implies, it takes long exposures of night or dark images.  The image was captured hand held for about 3 seconds.  Even then it produced a rather sharp image.  Must be the Apple's algorithm.  Cool stuff.  This iPhone is a keeper.

Taken from our backyard porch.  The houses are not ours but from our rich neighbors.

Hope you are having a good day.