Monthly Archives: August 2013

Eternal Echoes, Songs and Dances…- Yitzhak Perlman and Yitzchak Melchior Helfgot

This CD contains a nice selection of Yiddishe and Jewish music.

Comments Off on Eternal Echoes, Songs and Dances…- Yitzhak Perlman and Yitzchak Melchior Helfgot

Filed under Musicality

Il Sogno – by Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello’s CD is like ballet music written to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” I like Elvis Costello’s music, but basically this sounds like music scores made for television.

Comments Off on Il Sogno – by Elvis Costello

Filed under Musicality

Voice of An Angel – by Charlotte Church

This is a beautiful CD. Charlotte Church is the original opera prodigy.

Comments Off on Voice of An Angel – by Charlotte Church

Filed under Musicality

Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits

This CD is wonderful and includes many favorites you’ll be familiar with. It is a tragedy about his life.

Comments Off on Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits

Filed under Musicality

Havoc and Bright Lights – by Alanis Morissette

Her lyrics are open and emotionally honest in this CD. Some of the better songs include: Guardian, Empathy, Lens, Havoc, Receive, and Edge of Evolution.

Comments Off on Havoc and Bright Lights – by Alanis Morissette

Filed under Musicality

Cavalier: A Tale of Chivalry, Passion and Great Houses – by Lucy Worsley

With what is most likely unfettered access to the homes of the landed gentry as Chief Curator of the Historic Royal Palaces, Lucy Worsley pieces back together the lives of the Cavendish household and their remarkable properties through her decade-long research via the great archival collections of the institutions and families that comprised the Royal households from the mid-1500’s through the following century. Her exhaustive obsession with her subject matter, from the bawdy, yet occasionally witty poetry of William Cavendish excerpted within, to the daily drudgery of the householders linked by their servitude to them, Lucy Worsley recaptures, in precise detailing, the intrigues and banality of everyday life in the English “Court.”

A well-written work by this very talented and rather young historian with a lot to say in an imagined historic recounting and musings of a romantic, Royalist past.

Comments Off on Cavalier: A Tale of Chivalry, Passion and Great Houses – by Lucy Worsley

Filed under BookLIGHT

The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry

The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry: From Ancient to Contemporary, the Full 3,000-Year Tradition; Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, New York, 2005, and Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto; Edited by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping, copyright 2005 by both, above.

From the Zhou Dynasty (1122-256BCE) to the present century, this work pulls together a good representation of the various styles that evolved over the years, and gives a good glimpse into the times, summing up in quick history the events and feelings of the times in which the poems were written. Some of my favorites from these selections include:

Meng Jiao (Male) (751-814), whose down-trodden style livens his work (unappreciated by some) in the works, “Complaints” and “Song of the Homebound Letter.”

Liu Yuxi (Male) (772-842): His outspoken political poetry caused his repeated exiles and demotions from posts he had attained. “Mooring at Niuzhu at Dusk”, “Black-Uniform Lane” and “Looking at Dongting Lake” are all nice.

Liu Zongyuan (Male) (773-819): Nice imagery drawn in his many styles, he is one of only two Tang Dynasty poets to have been included in “Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song (sic).”

Zhang Ji (Male) (c.776-c.829): Contemporary of Meng Jiao, who helped him obtain employment alongside himself. “Song of a Virtuous Woman” and “Arriving at a Fisherman’s House at Night” are both good.

Yuan Zhen (Male) (779-831): Appreciate a paragraph taken from “Missing Her After Separation.”

Li He (Male) (791-817): Led a very short life, and was mostly unappreciated during his days. I think he’s fantastic. “Twenty-Three Horse Poems” and “Shown to my Younger Brother” are both very nice.

Wei Zhuang (Male) (836-910): Very nice poetry. Beautiful wording, some as simple as simplicity — “To The Tune of Daoist Princess.”

Wang Anshi (Male) (1021-1086): Torturously pulled words beat into beautiful configurations — “Plum Blossoms” and “Late Spring, a Poem Improvised at Banshan” are particularly nice.

Su Shi (Su Dongpo) (Male) (1036-1101): “Boating at Night on West Lake” is nice. “Brushed on the Wall of Xilin Temple” is perhaps an allegory of how one cannot see one’s true self as one is, just as a mountain appears different from where one stands. In “To the Tune of ‘Prelude to the Water Song'”, he notes that the same moon can be shared by people who are even a thousand miles apart.

Other notable poets include:

Yang Shen (Male) (1488-1599): “On Spring.”

Feng Ban (Male) (1602-1671): “A Poem in Jest.”

Huang Zongxi (Male) (1610-1695): “A Stray Poem Written While Living in the Mountains.”

Jiang Shiquan (Male) (1725-1785): “A Comment on Wang Shigu’s Painting Portfolio.”

Zhao Yi (Male) (1727-1814): “In A Boat.”

Wen Yiduo (pen name of Wen Jiahua) (Male) (1899 – 1946): “Miracle” has nice phrasing. Parts of it I didn’t like, as he calls the miracles of nature ordinary, but it seems like he is saying that he can’t help but to cry at the birdsong of orioles. How beautiful.

Lin Huiyin (Female) (1904 – 1955): “Sitting in Quietude” has a dainty feel.

Comments Off on The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry

Filed under BookLIGHT

Embassies

Embassies have been on my mind quite a bit lately. I don’t know why, but they just seem to have popped into my conscious awareness without abating. When a constant image or thought invades my brain without letup, it’s usually a bad omen. Normally this occurs to me in the thought of certain individuals. If someone’s visage or name pops into my head and sticks there for several consecutive days, it sometimes turns out as a pyschic sign that something bad is about to, or has just, occurred to this individual.

Well, for several days I have had “embassies” on my mind. Why this should be, I have no idea. Now I find out that there is concrete warning of “chatter” coming from the Islamic world that puts “Western” embassies on alert to a viable threat against them. U.S. assessments apparently find enough justification in these assertions to warrant closing approximately twenty-one U.S. embassies around the world, especially in the Middle East.

I believe these to be credible warnings, and therefore find a particular comment aired by a caller to the Michael Savage radio show last night to be rather amiss. Recognizing this individual’s voice as a frequent caller-participant to the show, the man named Louis declared that the U.S. embassy located in Tel Aviv-Yafo in Israel was to be closed, as well. The caller basically asserts that he does not believe the U.S. warnings to be credible, as everyone in the Middle East would be running to the Tel Aviv embassy for protection, and so by closing this embassy, he feels it offers irrefutable proof that the closures are a hoax being somehow foisted upon the gullible public from the U.S. administration to gloss over their previous failures.

This is like comparing apples and oranges; it is an illogical and incorrect statement, anyway. Many days ago, and before the present accusations came to light, I wrestled with whether I should relay the information I’m about to, below. I feel it is important for many reasons — and mostly because they fortify my claims that the U.S. media are biased and anti-semitic.

For the most part, one rarely hears about bombings perpetrated by Muslims in Israel. This confirms my feelings that because the bombing victims are mostly Jewish, they do not warrant coverage by the media, which is indeed a biased viewpoint. Here are some other things you might not have known:

The following bombings have all occurred on the same street in Israel, but at different times. They represent the possibility that the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv-Yafo can INDEED be attacked by fifth-column Muslims living in Israel, as the following demonstrates.

Now, don’t forget — all these bombings which I’m about to tell you about, below, all took place on the same street, and within sight, pretty much, of each other. First, the Dolphinarium disco bombing which took the lives of many Jewish teenagers. Yes, this was quite a long time ago, but that doesn’t erase its memory in the eyes of the families of the Jewish parents whose children were killed.

Second, the more recent Mike’s Place bombing, which killed several people. While the U.S. Embassy may indeed be a well-guarded and fortified construct, the bombing which occurred at Mike’s Place took place directly across the street (on the same side) from the U.S. Embassy. Was this a misplaced attack? We do not know.

Third, nobody mentions that located between the Dolphinarium and the indoor/outdoor cafe known as Mike’s Place is a mosque, which hosts many individuals who could represent a serious threat to the safety of the citizens of Israel, as well as posing a danger to the interests of Western civilization.

This represents the ultimate sacrifice towards the precepts of democracy — don’t you think? And wouldn’t you think that Israel’s detractors have some thoughts to think about calling Israel biased?

Comments Off on Embassies

Filed under Uncategorized