Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Town

Welcome to the Town of Halloween

from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas

Good luck with all your 'trick or treating'
and come home with lots of candy for eating.
Watch out for ghosts, be they fat or lean,
remember this is the night of

photo credit:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pavane for a Dead Princess

Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess was first composed for a piano solo in 1899, then orchestrated in 1910. This compostion is characteristic of stately Spanish court dances.

The pavane was a slow processional dance popular in the sixteenth century intended to express ceremonial dignity.


The Renaissance Dancers of Southwark, London,
an all ladies troupe

The lady rested her hand on the back of the gentleman's hand, and the couple would proceed taking long gliding steps. The dance was performed with many curtsies, retreats and advances.

As Ravel described his music, "This is not the funeral mourning for a girl who has just died, but an evocation of a pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court."[1]It is considered by many that Ravel's inspiration was a portrait of Margarita Teresa of Spain (1651-1673) painted by Diego Velazquez (1599-1660).


Many musical historians feel that Ravel's pavane "expresses a nostalgic enthusiasm for Spanish customs and sensibilities, which Ravel shared with many of his contemporaries (most notably Debussy and Albéniz) and which is evident in some of his other works such as the Rapsodie espagnole and the Boléro."[2]

Though the pavane is meant to be played slowly, Ravel, on hearing it performed, felt that it was much too slow and plodding. Ravel attended just such a performance, and afterward mentioned to the pianist that it was called "Pavane for a Dead Princess", not "Dead Pavane for a Princess,"[3]

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) had an affinity with Spain; he was born on its border at Ciboure, France, in the Basses-Pyrénées in 1875. While an infant his family moved to Paris. His mother was of Basque origin and his father was a mechanical engineer from Switzerland who played a role in the manufacture of early motor cars. When Ravel was seven years old he began to study piano and attended the Paris Conservatory until 1895.

This video shows the basic steps in the pavane.

There are two Renaissance dances on this video; a pavane and a gallard which is a bit more vigorous.

fn 1.
fn 2.
fn 3. wikipedia



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From Europe

While Teri of Girl Meets Paris and her husband, Scott, were vacationing in Paris they mailed postcards to those of us who made a request. Isn't there a special ring in the sound Postcards from Paris? This is the lovely postcard that I received. Thank you Teri and Scott; so glad you had a wonderful time and a safe trip.

If you are interested in tours around Paris drop in and visit with Teri. She will tell you about things she has learned first hand, and some places that you will, and places you may not find in the travel guides. - - - Teri has just posted that due to illness in her family, she will not be posting for awhile, but there are many, many of her posts that you can catch up on through the archives.


A Happy Award came my way from Letizia whose blog is 'My Sweet Happy Home.'

Letizia posts from Italy. She has beautiful pictures of her home, projects, flowers, sometimes her dog, and shares some of her thoughts.

I am to list ten things that I like most: God, family, friends, our pets, music (many kinds), traveling, reading, working in the yard, painting/drawing (does not equate with having any talent), having an active life. There are so many more, but that's ten. Try to keep a happy list down to ten!

Now here's my list of ten blogs that make me happy and thus I send them the 'Happy Award' too: This is a very hard thing to do for all the blogs that I follow make me happy, and it does not make me happy in narrowing this to ten:

Vetsy at Vetsy's View, Laura's Prep Judicata, Sandy's Hob Nobbers, Debbie's Mosaic Magpie, Jan's A Journey, Rose's Wonders of Life, Francie's A Scented Cottage Studio, Dottie's It's Just Dottie, Jill's Untie the Ribbons, and Teri at Girl Meets Paris.

Thank you, Letizia.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Adoramus Te, Christe

The Farther Along Octet, an acappella men's ensemble, of Goshen College sings Palestrina's Adoramus Te Christe (We adore thee, oh Christ).

Goshen College, founded in 1894, is a Mennonite institution located in Goshen, Indiana. The enrollment is about 1,000, and has 135 acres in a rural setting. Goshen is listed on the U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Colleges - 2010.


Adoramus Te Christe,
et benedicimus Tibi:
Adoramus Te Christe,
et benedicimus Tibi:

quia per sanctam crucem tuam
redemisti mundum.
Adoramus Te Christe,
et benedicimus Tibi,
Adoramus Te Christe.

Latin text

We adore Thee, O Christ,
And we bless Thee,
Who by Thy Holy Cross
hath redeemed the world.

translation for general understanding

This antiphon is usually sung during the services of Holy Week and in some churches this is sung or recited during the Stations of the Cross. As apparent, this song is offered in thanks, and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for bearing the punishment of our sins.

Though Holy Week is about half a year away, we remember everyday God's grace and thus humble ourselves before Him with gratitude, praise and love.


Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) is considered a Renaissance master, and the greatest composer of liturgical music of all time(1). He was a composer, organist, and a choir master. Most often he work in Rome, and for Pope Julius III. Palestrina composed more than 700 musical pieces.

posted on Spritual Sundays

1. Wikipedia

Monday, October 11, 2010

Not All Mess is the Same

This has been in the email circuit for some time, but in case you have not seen it...

You were worried about squirrels getting into your bird feeder?

Gotta wonder what this line is made of.

The words will be easier to read by clicking on the picture.

Ft. Steele Campground is located in Southeastern British Columbia

Don't you just love those Canadians?

Dancing Bears by William H. Beard 1824-1900

Sunday, October 3, 2010

All Creatures Great and Small, Blessings to You All

If you find yourself in church with a different breed of parishioners this week, do not worry, your church has not been converted into a zoo. It is probably the annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. His feast day is October 4.


The Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York , New York


St. John the Divine, NY, NY


St. Marks Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina


St. John the Divine, NY, NY

This is a video of St. Francis Feast Day at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Lee's Summit, Missouri.

St. Francis was born in the little town of Assisi, Italy in 1182. Though his father had a successful business Francis was not interested in following in his father's footprints. Like some kids today he went his own way, sowing a few wild oats. But in 1201 he joined in a military campaign and was taken prisoner for a year. Afterwards he spent much time in contemplation and asking God for enlightment. Little by little Francis immersed himself in devotion to religious causes from taking care of the sick to helping save and restore churches; one was the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, which became his favorite.

Francis would go on to become a Catholic dean and preacher and the founder of the Franciscan Order of Monks. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment and a patron saint of Italy.

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Angelina, a versatile singer of many genre's, sings the prayer of St. Francis.

photo credits:
4. same as 2