Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, Mozart!

Today is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Birthday, January 27, 1756-1791, just 35 years old when he died, not of poisoning but strep throat which led to kidney failure it is thought.

I am a Mozart fan, not an intellectual choice I know, but Mozart's music makes me happy, and such a prodigious output of compositions.  The operas are wonderful and so beautifully composed.  My favorite is "The Marriage of Figaro" with the Countess' aria at the beginning of Act II, "Dove Sono,"  a special favorite, "Oh love give me some remedy."The music is filled with sadness  and longing as she laments her husband's infidelity.

There are many You Tube selections for this particular aria.  And if you have time, "The Making of Amadeus" is worthwhile viewing.  "Amadeus" was filmed in Prague, Czechoslovakia during the communist occupation and the cast and crew had some trying and interesting challenges in the making of the movie, but funny stories as well.

Happy Birthday Mozart!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Viva La France, always

We begin the New Year with a horrific attack on a magazine's editorial office in France.  It left twelve journalists and two police officer's dead.  The Eiffel Tower was in darkness for five minutes in a memorial tribute to the fallen.  And this was not the only terrorist attack.  Over the past year there have been many all over the world.

The problems are huge, and as in the 9/11 attack in New York, this brings the war, and it is a war, closer to home, in this case, Paris.

I have always loved the idea of Paris, even though I have only visited the city and country, three times over the past years.  But when I think about Paris, I see a beautiful city with so much history, history of bad times and good times.  The bloody French Revolution, the occupation of France during World War II, hard times after the war and so many governments, but still she emerged somehow stronger.

This is a task of monumental proportions.  Courage and clarity will be needed in the difficult times ahead for all of us.