Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Leonard Bernstein: Chichester Psalms (1965)

Leonard Bernstein: Chichester Psalms (1965)

Sang this in chorus once...what fun! The boy soprano solo, of course, but Part 3 is also the sweetest! I hope it gets you in the Passover spirit - the holidays are getting close!

Uploaded by TheWelleszOpus on You Tube

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990): Chichester Psalms, per voce bianca, coro misto e orchestra (1965).

I. Psalm 108 (Verse 2); Psalm 100 (complete)
II. Psalm 23 (complete); Psalm 2 (verses 1-4)
III. Psalm 131 (complete); Psalm 133 (verse 1)

Soloist from the Vienna Boy's Choir
Wiener Jeunesse Choir
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Direttore: Leonard Bernstein

(filmed in 1977)

Related links:

"Chichester Psalms is a choral work by Leonard Bernstein for boy treble or countertenor, solo quartet, choir and orchestra (3 trumpets in B♭, 3 trombones, timpani, percussion [7-8 players], 2 harps, and strings). A reduction written by the composer pared down the orchestral performance forces to organ, one harp, and percussion.

"Bernstein stated explicitly in his writing that the part for countertenor may be sung by either a countertenor or a boy soprano, but never by a woman. This was to reinforce the liturgical meaning of the passage sung, perhaps to suggest that the 23rd Psalm, a "Psalm of David" from the Hebrew Bible, was to be heard as if sung by the boy David himself. The text was arranged by Bernstein from the psalms in the original Hebrew.

(...) "Despite the work's difficulty, it is occasionally performed as an anthem in services of choral Evensong in the most musical Anglican cathedrals. The soloist in the second movement is thus very often a treble." Chichester Psalms - Wikipedia

Lessons Learned from Chichester Psalms by Christa Woodall, February 16, 2011

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In pictures: Pope Benedict in Cuba

In pictures: Pope Benedict in Cuba 27 March 2012 BBC News

Related links:

(...) "So the somber Mass in Santiago de Cuba unfolded, led by a clearly exhausted Holy Father. His homily was a serious catechism on the significance of the Annunciation, honoring family, commitment and, of course, the Blessed Mother.

"He acknowledged the many daily challenges facing Cuban families struggling to survive under stress and in dismal living conditions, which affect almost everyone, outside the ruling elite.

"Pope Benedict ended with a forward-looking vision aimed at the island’s souls: “I appeal to you to reinvigorate your faith, that you may live in Christ and for Christ, and armed with peace, forgiveness and understanding, that you may strive to build a renewed and open society, a better society, one more worthy of humanity and which better reflects the goodness of God.”

"Then scores of neatly dressed believers received Communion from the Pope’s delicate hands.

"Above, everyone gazed the diminutive 400-year-old figurine of Our Lady of Charity, whose jubilee anniversary provided reason for the papal visit.

"And in her honor, the Pope ended the liturgy by bestowing on her a golden rose, an ancient Catholic tradition and the 12th golden rose Benedict has given. In this case, it seemed to reward the Marian image for receiving countless prayers and tears throughout the years.

"The golden rose also honors the Cuban people, since the miraculous icon is their patroness." Read more: Pope Benedict's First Day in Cuba: Face-Off of Worldviews As papal Mass begins, a man in the crowd doesn’t get far in a vocal protest of communism. By Victor Gaetan 03/27/2012 National Catholic Register

"Some Christians, notably Roman Catholics, view Mariology as a key component of Christology.[68] In this view, not only is Mariology a logical and necessary consequence of Christology, but without it, Christology is incomplete, since the figure of Mary contributes to a fuller understanding of who Christ is and what he did.[69] Certain Christian traditions of Protestant heritage tend not to hold this view.

"Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) expressed this sentiment about Roman Catholic Mariology when in two separate occasions he stated, "The appearance of a truly Marian awareness serves as the touchstone indicating whether or not the Christological substance is fully present"[70] and "It is necessary to go back to Mary, if we want to return to the truth about Jesus Christ." Christology - Also see Marian (links on Wikipedia)

Mariology and Christology
"Mariology (the study of Mary) has been related to Christology (the study of Christ) and in Roman Catholic teachings has been positioned as a logical and necessary consequence of Christology: Jesus and Mary are son and mother, redeemer and redeemed.[13][14] Pope John Paul II expressed this concept in Redemptoris Mater by stating: "At the center of this mystery, in the midst of this wonderment of faith, stands Mary. As the loving Mother of the Redeemer, she was the first to experience it: "To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator"!"[14] Roman Catholic theologians have also expressed the view that: "Mariology is Christology developed to its full potential".[13]

"In Roman Catholic theology, Mary and her son Jesus are very close but not identical. Therefore, the study of Mary, while contributing to the study of Christ, is also a separate discipline in its own right, with an understanding of the figure of Mary contributing to a fuller understanding of who Christ is and what he did.[16] In the Roman Catholic view, a Christology without Mary is incomplete because it is not based on the total revelation of the Bible." Roman Catholic Mariology (Also see Mariology (general perspective))

(Added on 3/30/2012) "Prior to the pontificate of Sixtus IV (1471–84) the Golden Rose consisted of a simple and single blossom made of pure gold and slightly tinted with red. Later, to embellish the ornament while still retaining the mystical symbolism, the gold was left untinted but rubies and afterwards many precious gems were placed in the heart of the rose or on its petals.

"Pope Sixtus IV substituted in place of the single rose a thorny branch with leaves and many (ten or more) roses, the largest of which sprang from the top of the branch with smaller roses clustering around it. In the center of the principal rose was a tiny cup with a perforated cover, into which the pope poured musk and balsam to bless the rose." Golden Rose

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chucho Valdés - Mambo Influenciado / El Cumbanchero

Chucho Valdés - Mambo Influenciado

Chucho Valdés - El Cumbanchero

Friday, March 23, 2012

Steps Ahead - Pools
From the album 'Steps Ahead' (1983)
Composed by Don Grolnick

Mike Mainieri - vibraphone; Michael Brecker - tenor saxophone; Eliane Elias - piano; Eddie Gomez - bass; Peter Erskine - drums

Uploaded by DHB1959

Michael Brecker "Peep" from Now You See It (Now You Don't), available on

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tsugaru Shamisen

Chikuzan Takahashi - Tsugaru Jonkara Bushi

Uploaded by Ronindennis on You Tube

The old (kyu) version of Jongara Bushi by the master of shamisen.

Uploaded by 997CarreraRS on You Tube

Ayako Fuji sings traditional Japanese Tsugaru Shamisen (with some modern (Latin-disco style) arrangement behind her and the shamisen players, kinda ruining it a bit...imo).

Tsugaru Ohara-Bushi (Furusato no Uta) Broadcast on March 7, 1963

Unchiku Narita - singer

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Say No to Dowry - Dowry in Asia and Europe

"In Victorian England, dowries were seen among the upper class as an early payment of the daughter's inheritance. Only daughters who had not received their dowries were entitled to part of the estate when their parents died. If a couple died without children, the woman's dowry was returned to her family.[13]

"In some cases, nuns were required to bring a dowry when joining a convent.[14] At some times, such as ancien regime France, convents were also used by some parents to put less attractive daughters, so that the more marriagable daughters could have larger dowries.[15] Ancien regime families that could not provide proper dowries also used the convents as places to put their daughters.[16]"

Say No to Dowry

"Bride-burning is a form of domestic violence practiced in India and Pakistan.[1] It is not the same as ancient and long abolished (formally abolished in 1829) custom of Sati, where widowed women were forcefully placed on a burning pyre of the dead husband (usually a man in his old age) and burnt to death.[2] According to Indian National Crime Record Bureau, there were 1,948 convictions and 3,876 acquittals in dowry death cases in 2008.[3]

"In this case the bride is killed at home by her husband. Kerosene is used as the fuel. [4] It has been a major problem on since at least 1993.[5] This crime has been treated as culpable homicide and if proven, is punishable accordingly (mostly up to death sentence or life imprisonment).[2]" Bride burning - Wikipedia

"A dowry (also known as trousseau or tocher or, in Latin, dos) is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage.[1][2] It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both dowry and bride price. Dowry is an ancient custom, and its existence may well predate records of it.

"Many authors believe that the giving and receiving of dowry reflects the status and even the effort to climb high in social hierarchy.[3]

"One function dowry may be to provide the husband with "seed money" or property for the establishment of a new household and to help feed and protect the family[citation needed] . Another to provide the wife and children some support if he were to die[citation needed]. Still another function may be as compensation for bride price.[4]

"A dowry may also have served as a form of protection for the wife against the possibility of ill treatment by her husband and his family.[5] In other words, the dowry provides an incentive to the husband not to harm his wife.

"An evolutionary psychology explanation for dowry and bride price is that bride price is common in polygynous societies which have a relative scarcity of available women. In monogamous societies where women have little personal wealth dowry is instead common since there is a relative scarcity of wealthy men who can choose from many potential women when marrying.[6] Dowry on Wikipedia

In Europe
"Dowry was widely practiced in Europe. In Homeric times, the usual Greek practice was to give a brideprice. Dowries were exchanged in the later classical time (5th century BC). Ancient Romans also practiced dowry, though Tacitus notes that the Germanic tribes practiced the reverse custom of the dower.

In Asia
"Dowry is a common practice in many Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka."

Related link: "The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code, dating back to about 1772 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a human-sized stone stele and various clay tablets. The Code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" (lex talionis)[1] as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man.[2]" Code of Hammurabi

Jaci Velasquez - When You Walked Into My Life

This is the best Whitney Houston song - and a fun one to sing!!!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Friday, March 02, 2012