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Uplifting Thoughts for the Isolated and Depressed in Times of Plague

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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
As a kid, I loved this old cowboy song:
The song is interpolated in Aaron Copland's ballet Rodeo. A paint is a spotted horse, like someone had tossed paint on it1443px-American_Paint_Horse.jpg
The hoolihan is a backhand loop thrown with a lariat, typically thrown to catch horses.

From Ballad of America:
Cowboys faced many dangers on the trail including lightning, crossing of swift-flowing rivers, and hostile Native Americans. The greatest danger of all was the stampede. When the cattle were lying peacefully on the ground at night, some stray sound, flash of lightning, or instinct would bring them all to their feet and send them charging into the darkness. Static electricity from the hairy bodies rubbing together caused bluish sparks to be emitted from their horns. Many cowboys’ lives were lost in attempts to get the herds back in control by riding to the front and heading them off into a wide, but ever-narrowing circle.

To discourage stampedes, not to mention cattle rustlers and Native American attacks, each man would serve two-hour shifts of night duty. Two at a time, all night long the cowboys would ride slowly in opposite directions in a giant circle around the sleeping herd. They would usually sing or whistle continuously to pass the time, to keep themselves awake, to drown out the noises of the night, and so the cattle would know that a friend was watching over them. “Old Paint,” aka “I Ride an Old Paint,” and “Streets of Laredo” are among the many songs that were sung to sleeping cattle. A paint is a spotted horse and the rider/narrator in this song is most likely on his way to a Montana rodeo to wrestle steers. The word “dogie” refers to cattle taken from their mothers and, forced to eat grass too early, develop big doughy stomachs

The other great cowboy song:
Borrows the phrase, "beat the drum slowly' from an Irish folk tune.
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
A boy from Brooklyn, New York, grew up to be the premier American Composer. In 1940 he wrote the music for the film, "Our Town," from the play by Thornton Wilder. In 1944 he revised it into an orchestral suite. He dedicated it to another big city boy, Leonard Bernstein. Somehow Copland reached out to other experiences in composing a sensuous ode to small-town America before the World War. We all know the past was far from perfect. But close your eyes and be lost for just a few moments in a gentler, simpler, loving time.

 
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old slave

FELIS RESPICIENS

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
In 1829, twenty-year-old Felix Mendelssohn visited the Inner Hebrides Island of Staffa and toured Fingal's Cave known for its natural acoustics. Sitting in his skiff, as the tidal waters rushed in and out, Felix was awed by the experience. When he got back to his place, he jotted down a theme trying to capture the sights and sounds. He expanded it into his concert overture, Die Hebriden.
In hopeful anticipation of my upcoming trip to the Scottish Lowlands:


Fingal's Cave
1461px-Scotland-Staffa-Fingals-Cave-1900.jpg
Drawing Felix sent to his sister:
Mendelssohn_picture.jpg
 
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
I found this touching and uplifting. Maybe I'll visit Perth on my visit to Scotland.
Remembrance Sunday military parade to the 51st Highland Div memorial in Perth, Scotland, Nov 2019

Note at 1:00, the veterans marching; and at 3:39 the old men saluting their fallen comrades
 

Naraku

Draconarius
In 1829, twenty-year-old Felix Mendelssohn visited the Inner Hebrides Island of Staffa and toured Fingal's Cave known for its natural acoustics. Sitting in his skiff, as the tidal waters rushed in and out, Felix was awed by the experience. When he got back to his place, he jotted down a theme trying to capture the sights and sounds. He expanded it into his concert overture, Die Hebriden.
In hopeful anticipation of my upcoming trip to the Scottish Lowlands:


Fingal's Cave
View attachment 927393
Drawing Felix sent to his sister:
View attachment 927394
There's a story I read years ago. It may not be true and I may have forgotten some of the details:
During the Battle of Stalingrad, the Soviets played music over loudspeakers to keep up their own troops' morale and intimidate the enemy. At some point, they played a piece by Mendelssohn, whose music had been banned by the Nazis due to his Jewish origins. After it ended, an announcement was heard from a German loudspeaker: "We'll hold our fire if you play more Mendelssohn."
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
There's a story I read years ago. It may not be true and I may have forgotten some of the details:
During the Battle of Stalingrad, the Soviets played music over loudspeakers to keep up their own troops' morale and intimidate the enemy. At some point, they played a piece by Mendelssohn, whose music had been banned by the Nazis due to his Jewish origins. After it ended, an announcement was heard from a German loudspeaker: "We'll hold our fire if you play more Mendelssohn."
And don't forget that we can thank Felix for his almost single-handed revival of interest in J. S. Bach, who had fallen into obscurity.

In 1829, Mendelssohn embarked on a walking tour of Scotland. On 30 July, Mendelssohn visited the ruins of Holyrood Chapel at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, where, as he related to his family in a letter, he received his initial inspiration for the piece:

"In the deep twilight we went today to the palace where Queen Mary lived and loved...The chapel below is now roofless. Grass and ivy thrive there and at the broken altar where Mary was crowned Queen of Scotland. Everything is ruined, decayed, and the clear heavens pour in. I think I have found there the beginning of my 'Scottish' Symphony."

Alongside this description, Mendelssohn enclosed in his letter a scrap of paper with the opening bars of what would become the symphony's opening theme. Later on the trip, he visited the Hebrides.

Felix didn't complete Symphony no. 3 "Scottish" until 1842. But it was well worth the wait.
 

Silent_Water

Governor
You may find it interesting as additional information that there are (or "would be" if there were not "this coronavirus-problem") four constant exhibitions about the family Mendelssohn in Berlin, their history in German banking and their cultural heritage in arts and music:

A short PDF-Folder from one exhibition:


Internet-page of the Mendelssohn - Society:

 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
In 1829, twenty-year-old Felix Mendelssohn visited the Inner Hebrides Island of Staffa and toured Fingal's Cave known for its natural acoustics. Sitting in his skiff, as the tidal waters rushed in and out, Felix was awed by the experience. When he got back to his place, he jotted down a theme trying to capture the sights and sounds. He expanded it into his concert overture, Die Hebriden.
In hopeful anticipation of my upcoming trip to the Scottish Lowlands:


Fingal's Cave
View attachment 927393
Drawing Felix sent to his sister:
View attachment 927394
Apparently poor Felix was violently seasick on the trip to Fingal's Cave.

The Overture is known among orchestral players as 'Thank God when it's over',
which can be hummed softly while playing that phrase repeated over and over at the start.
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
You may find it interesting as additional information that there are (or "would be" if there were not "this coronavirus-problem") four constant exhibitions about the family Mendelssohn in Berlin, their history in German banking and their cultural heritage in arts and music:

A short PDF-Folder from one exhibition:


Internet-page of the Mendelssohn - Society:

Very interesting, thanks for that link. The biographies of several members of that outstanding families are good to read, I'd always assumed, but never clarified, that there was some relationship between the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and the composer.
 

Silent_Water

Governor
Well, Valentina Babor and David Garrett are both young enough to survive their own concerts but they are also famous for playing until their instruments are too hot to be touched any more and until the emergency doctors arrive for their audiences ...
So, be careful when you are not topfit and want to visit their concerts!

:eek: ;) :cool:
 

Silent_Water

Governor
Mhm, when I think of such word-combinations like "concerts, speed and exhaustion", there are always those concerts of the French superstar Mylène Farmer on my mind.

I have heard French spectators speak of her concerts like they were visiting something "extraterrestrial & overwhelming" - especially the concert in 2009 on her 48th birthday - and from my German point of view, they are probably absolutely right because - being a German - I would be afraid of getting a heart attack at my age now at her concerts.

In Germany, you are usually going to a concert or a similar event in order to have a nice evening with beautiful music and something to have nice memories.
It is very different in France with someone like Mylène Farmer. She seems to have this attitude:

"Dear audience, this evening I will show you all the feelings of a human being's life within 3 to 4 hours.
I will try to show you all kinds of heaven, love, sex, madness, death and hell in a very artistic and musical way and you will be surprised or shocked and you will have to laugh, enjoy but also cry all the evening.
Afterwards, me, my musicians and certainly you, too, will feel tired and exhausted by all this music and visual effects like an old animal, but you will remember this evening for all your life!"

OK, something like this is now impossible in corona-times, but imagine being in this "Stade de France" in 2009.
In Germany, the background with "naturally naked" statues would be impossible because of moral reasons and the children in the audience, the movable stage design and parts of the laser show would probably not be permitted by German state authorities because of the security reasons for the audience (tons of metal and wood are often elevated over their heads, extreme green lasers just some centimeters over the heads) etc., but apart from all of this, all her performances are the greatest European shows of all times becaus so many artists are working together and the clothes are usually by a bit crazy French fashion makers like Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Ashampoo_Snap_2020.11.16_07h59m21s_002__ji.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2020.11.16_08h01m05s_003__ji.jpgAshampoo_Snap_2020.11.16_07h39m17s_011__ji.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2018.09.23_21h23m39s_044_.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2018.09.02_23h51m38s_062__ji.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2020.11.16_07h29m55s_005_.jpgAshampoo_Snap_2020.11.16_07h27m16s_002__ji.jpgAshampoo_Snap_2018.09.02_23h21m56s_030_.jpgAshampoo_Snap_2018.09.23_21h14m53s_035_.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2020.11.16_08h03m15s_005__ji.jpg

This is when she sings, she feels in a boring mood and I would not like to be one of the guitarists in the background ...



... and when she needs to disappear in order to change the clothes, the dancers performed an almost incredibly perfect choreography inspired by a "Haka" war dance from the Maoris of New Zealand ...


... after which she returns in order to sing a love song, in which she wants her number to be called by her lover because she feels "such hot senses" right now ...


:dancing:

... and her videos were sometimes a mixture of science fiction and actual movie hits like "The Fifth Element" and "The Perfume":


No, I still admire her but I would not really like to go to her concerts any more -although she is also getting older - but her concerts would most probably really mean "too much uplifting" and "exhaustion" for me ... and with her I started to understand why red-haired women were often burned on the stakes during the Middle-Ages ...
:very_hot: ;)
 
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Silent_Water

Governor
... and just because I am so curious, knowing nothing similar from Germany and never have seen such faces from an audience during a same concert within 3 hours.
Is this something "special French", "special Mylène", "a special musical mass hysteria" or do you know any other contemporary singer right now in the world who could cause such emotions by happy songs, sad songs and happy songs again within 3 hours?
This must really have been an exhausting emotional roller coaster to be live at her greatest shows.
I think, this "emotional overkill" within the same concert is the special reason that made Mylène Farmer such a star in France - these pictures are in chronological order made within 3 hours in 2009:

Ashampoo_Snap_2018.09.02_23h37m59s_046__ji.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2018.09.03_00h48m36s_108_ (neue Groesse).jpgAshampoo_Snap_2018.09.09_02h04m22s_078__ji.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2018.09.09_02h21m26s_091__ji.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2018.09.09_02h22m10s_092__ji.jpgAshampoo_Snap_2018.09.03_00h03m37s_072__ji.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2018.09.09_02h01m40s_076__ji.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2018.09.09_02h11m24s_082_.jpgAshampoo_Snap_2018.09.09_01h05m33s_047_.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2018.09.02_22h41m17s_003_.jpg
 
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