Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

In the US under the present White House incumbent is like living in a house where the children are in charge: Senate Republicans are worried Donald Trump is mentally ill


In the US under the present White House incumbent is like living in a house where the children are in charge: Senate Republicans are worried Donald Trump is mentally ill

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 14 February, 2017

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, poetry, politics, songs, stories

An explanation


Some of you who visit and those who follow the site may have noticed a gap in the music I put up. An explanation of why this is so would not be out of place.

I have spent my life listening to music and, to a far lesser extent, studying it and am familiar with the whole range of the Western tradition of music.

Youtube is a cornucopia of resources for music. There is almost no corner of music performance which is not up on the Web. This allows me to discover composers with whom I am quite unfamilar.

 But missing in what I put up and what I listen to is music of the Classical Period and the Romantic Period.

A favorite has always been Baroque music. I find it glorious, such a celebration of life. And the number of composers of the period is vast. Almost every court, large and small, in Europe had a resident composer. And each composer was connected to the movements and styles of the rest of Europe, those countries and areas outwith the area in which he composed and worked. For example, I am currently listing to Carlos Seixas, whose music I haven’t put up yet. He is influenced, by among others, the German style of the period. I am not sure how composers all over Europe were aware of each other’s music. Perhaps as one composer travelled from one court to another the traditions and styles travelled with him. Also you find a German in England, an Italian in a German Court. And so on.

This interconnectedness is all the more remarkable since music manuscripts were not printed during this time but were copied by hand from the original manuscript.

What appeals to me so much about the Baroque period are the sonorities and the instruments. The former has a pungency which is lacking in later periods. The instruments are still not perfected so do not have the almost lifeless smoothness of later instruments. The playing style too is quite different from later periods. There is an exuberance generally lacking in later periods. The musical form is more more interesting and varied than that of later musical styles. Both Classical and Romantic music is restricted to three movements; fast, slow, fast. Frankly boring in that there are no surprises. Baroque also draws on dance forms popular at the time which are usually lively and each distinct in its own right.

Growing up, Baroque music was quite unperformed and unrecorded. The staples of recordings and performances were of the big guns. You can only listen to a piano sonata by Beethoven, for example, no matter how wonderful the music is and no matter how exquisite the permanence of that music is . Finally, I find too music of the Classical and Romantic eras smooth and lifeless. This is not however in the least true of, say, an opera by Mozart, among the greatest glories of the entire corpus of music.

As I say, until my twenties Baroque was absent. Pioneers like Sir Neville Marinner and his group of musicians, Academy of Saint Martins in the Field, and records labels like Argo who paid close attention to the exigencies of the recording techniques required to properly capture the music, began to emerge.

However Marinner’s group employed modern instruments and one felt there was something lacking.

It took people like Gustave Leonhardt and Nicholas Harnoncourt to develop playing and presences styles that mirrored Baroque practice and to adopt the use of original instruments. This transformed the sound of the music. This was  accompanied by the emergence of recording companies such as l’Oiseau-Lyre in France and the Archiv label in Germany that had a sensitivity towards the needs of chamber music which, for the most part is what Baroque music is. This development was required because 100 piece orchestras have quite different needs over the smaller ensemble of Baroque music. Instruments like the modern piano are loud compared to the sheer quiet of a harpsichord which was designed for small rooms with a an audience numbering in, at most, twenties, whereas the piano had to fill a vast concert hall with a thousand or so in attendance. And this was before amplification was used in performance.

One must note the exception in talking of sheer volume and note that choral Church music of the Baroque period, and before, was amplified so to speak by the vast, echoing cathedrals in which it was performed. Churches ceased to commission music on a regular basis after the Baroque period and services become austere as a result. Bach, for example, was commissioned to come up with a new, major work every week.

I don’t suppose any of you noticed the absence of the music I talk of above. But here is why. Perhaps in the future I shall be able to return to the music of Tchaikovsky which I so loved as a child, and to Joseph Haydn, whose fabulous music I listened to in my thirties.

Finally, I disliked CDs over vinyl records. The music recorded on CDs is harsh and brittle and lacks the warmth of of LPs. The sound on Youtube is far, far better. In addition, Youtube opens up endless vistas. More and more undeservedly forgotten composers will be rediscovered and revived continually enriching our music listening experience.

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 14 February, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Memoir, poetry, songs, stories

New build British steam locomotives: Tornado, Peppercorn Class A1 Pacific


New build British steam locomotives: Tornado, Peppercorn Class A1 Pacific

tornado2

Tornado3.pngTornado completed 2008

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 11 February, 2017

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Memoir, poetry, songs, stories

does it


does-it does it

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 10 February, 2017

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Memoir, poetry, politics, songs, stories

Трагедия, которая является Россия: The tragedy that is Russia


Трагедия, которая является Россия

Это большое распространение земли, как это происходит, в восточной части
Европа и большая часть Северной Азии и аксессуаров
все же, не принадлежащие к одному или другому.

Для того, чтобы быть перешли от крестьян непосредственно 20 век.
приверженцы экономической политики политики диктуются сверху
Это не растут органически из из земли.

Эта тоска, которая охватывает их до сих пор и всегда имеет
Темный мир, в котором они жили и живут до сих пор. Нет
Реформация, ни Ренессанс, не следуя за ходом истории.

Но резкое Отрыв со своим прошлым, и все же не смог оставить его позади
Он живет с ними до сих пор их навязчивый. Нет объединяющим национализм
Какими бы ни были беды. Ведь что такое Россия, кто мы? Россияне?

Троцкий, Ленин, Сталин: рабы к идеалам европейский еврей. не русских.
Троцкий Лев Давидович Бронштейн. Ленин: калмык, Чувашская, немецкий, шведский, еврей. Иосеб Besarionis Дзе Джугашвили грузин. Идолопоклонники все. Океан крови на нашей любимой земле.

Советы? Нет, мы никогда не были. Прожив под всегда диктаторов
Никогда не имея известную демократию, владеющий собственной жизнью. Свобода, какая
Является ли это, что мы никогда не знали. Для того, чтобы нести ответственность за нашу собственную судьбу.

Тем не менее, мы любим нашу страну, однако он был, независимо от прогресс,
Мы приняли велениям наших лидеров, какими бы то ни перебоев
Мы знали, что это. Тем не менее, мы никогда не была колонизирована, покорили.

Где теперь, как лицо будущего с еще одним диктатором? никогда не Должны ли мы
Чтобы узнать свободу вести нашу жизнь, как наши двоюродные братья делают на Западе?
И все же в этой темной земле, которую мы любим нашу страну и до последних русских.

The tragedy that is Russia

This great land spreading as it does across both the Eastern part of
Europe and the greater part of Northern Asia belonging and
Yet not belonging to one or the other.

To have moved from being peasants directly into the 20 th
Century wedded to an economic policy dictated from above
That did not grow organically from out of the land.

That melancholy which embraces them still and always has
The dark world in which they have lived and live still. No
Reformation, no Renaissance, no following the course of history.

But an abrupt severing with their past and yet unable to leave it behind
It lives with them still haunting them. No unifying nationalism
Whatever its ills. After all, what is Russia, who are we Russians?

Trotsky, Lenin, Stalin: slaves to the ideals of a European Jew not Russian.
Trotsky: Lev Davidovich Bronstein, a Jew; Lenin: Kalmyk, Chuvashi, German,
Swedish, Jew; Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, a Georgian.
Idolators all. An ocean of blood spilt on Russian soil.

Soviet? No we were never that. Having lived always under dictators
Never having known democracy, owning our own lives. Freedom, what
Is that that we never have known. To be in charge of our own destiny.

And yes we love our country however it has been, whatever course
It has taken at the behest of our leaders, whatever disruptions
We have known. Nor have we ever been colonized, conquered.

Where now as face the future with one more dictator? Are we never
To know the freedom to lead our lives as our cousins do in the West?
And yet in this dark land we love our country and are to the last Russians

Malcolm D B Munro
Monday 23 January, 2017

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Memoir, poetry, politics, songs, stories

The economy under Trump: Plan for the worst


The economy under Trump: Plan for the worst

What Trump has the ability, and shows that he will, damage the economy, and not just that of the US. He is making enemies fast.

He so far has attacked Carrier (1), Boeing (2), Lockheed (3), Ford (4), Toyota (5), BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes (6), most of whom suffered immediate drops in their share price.

Should he put the wall up between Mexico and the US that alone will affect the economy since the US is so reliant on Hispanic labour. And remittances back to their home countries.

And all this before he has taken office.

He has upset blacks, women, Muslims, foreign leaders, and most damaging for him, the intelligence community in the US. He has attacked NATO, China and is cosying up to Russia whose policies hardly align with those of the US. He has at present count 26 people who refuse to attend his inauguration alongside all those performers who refuse to perform for him. A leader within the US intelligence told him to keep his mouth shut. He hasn’t, he won’t.

Just because a number of disgruntled people voted for him does not make him legitimate as a prospective leader. After all, a number of people voted for Britain to leave Europe. That does not make that course of action right or profitable.

How long will it be before people wake up to just what a danger he poses and how destructive he will be? But just because people’s pockets are hurt does not remove presidents. Politics does.

Malcolm D B Munro
Monday 16 January, 2017

(1)  Trump unleashes tweet on Carrier union boss who blasted him. Trump attacks Carrier union boss

(2)  Trump slams Boeing deal for new Air Force One  Company Trump attacked announces it will lay off workers

(3)   Trump’s tweet about Lockheed-Martin cuts $4bn in value as share prices fall

(4)   Trump Attacks Ford Motor for Outsourcing Car Production to Mexico  What President Trump Means for American Automakers

(5)  Trump hits Toyota in latest broadside against carmakers and Mexico  Toyota Stock Dip After Trump Tweet on Planned Mexico Plant

(6)  Trump comments hit shares in German carmakers

 

 

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Memoir, poetry, politics, songs, stories

“It is a multinational state, like the former Yugoslavia or the Austro-Hungarian empire.” How can Britain exit the EU? As a nation state Britain doesn’t really exist


“It is a multinational state, like the former Yugoslavia or the Austro-Hungarian empire.” How can Britain exit the EU? As a nation state Britain doesn’t really exist

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 13 January, 2017

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Memoir, poetry, politics, songs, stories

Tillerson’s foreign policy: Russia first


Tillerson’s foreign policy: Russia first

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 13 January, 2017

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Memoir, poetry, politics, songs, stories

The US President-elect and “his Moscow handlers” Fictional or not, the Trump dossier affair is another win for Putin


The US President-elect and “his Moscow handlers” Fictional or not, the Trump dossier affair is another win for Putin

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 13 January, 2017

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Memoir, poetry, politics, songs, stories

Donald Trump is trying his hardest to distract us and we must not let him


Donald Trump is trying his hardest to distract us and we must not let him

Malcolm D B Munro
Wednesday 11 January, 2017

Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Memoir, poetry, politics, songs, stories

Blog Top Sites

Previous Posts

Postings

February 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728  

Top Rated