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Friday night is Music night!

By Mike Cunningham On June 27th, 2015 at 7:24 pm

I have not posted any of my kind of sound for a while, so I thought I’d search around for a true classic. I searched around for a good choral version, but none was available.

It commences slowly, but let it mellow your mood, and you may just enjoy it, as I hope you do!

and so, Mr. Wagner, would you have approved of Auschwitz?

By Mike Cunningham On April 15th, 2015 at 10:38 am

I feature the divine music of  Beethoven’s ‘Fur Elise’ this morning for many reasons. Partly my own enjoyment, because to watch and to hear a talented virtuoso perform this enchanting piece is like balm to a wounded soul; but also to ask, as I attempt to do so in my headline, a very important  question. Does, or should, a composer’s or artiste’s politics or beliefs have any place in the performance of that composer’s or artiste’s works?

Consider Wagner: his works feature majestic themes, fantastic sweeping lyrical overtures and superlative works such as the ‘Ring of the Nibelung’ and ‘Lohengrin’; the majesty of ‘Gotterdamerung’ from that same ‘Ring’ series, and many, many more. His works espoused nationalistic pride, and deep fervour, and those works still speak to many today. But he was also a vehement and vicious anti-Semite, and his efforts to keep Jews out of his orchestras and audiences are well documented. But should we allow his beliefs to intrude on our enjoyment of his superb musical works?

Now I would move to the young lady who performed with skill and verve in that performance featured in the video. She is Russian, and besides being extremely well-known for her skills at the piano, she is also well-known for her pro-Russian and –Putin pronouncements especially on the subject of the Ukraine, and Russia’s involvement with that unhappy State. She is a fervent Nationalist, and whilst I might have an argument as to the target of her adoration; namely the Russian federation, and Putin as its boss: I have no qualms at all with her philosophy, which is Nation above all. There is nothing wrong, in my view, with expressions of a deep love for the country of one’s birth, and allied to that love, a hope that that country will prosper. But that is why Miss Lisitsa has been told that she is no longer welcome to play the piano with the  Toronto Symphony Orchestra, which had booked Lisitsa to perform Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto with the orchestra last Friday.

It seems as though the local chapter of the Ukrainian Nut-Cases National (Canadian Branch) was ‘deeply offended’ by Miss Lisitsa’s tweets and comments, and threatened legal action. So, because of a so-called ‘hate-speech’ agenda, a vivacious, charming and talented pianist will not be playing Rachmaninov in Canada; and yet another nail has been driven into the already-dormant body which is labelled ‘Freedom of Speech’ in this once tolerant world in which we live. So, enjoy those fragrant moments ‘Fur Elise’, and sympathise, if you will, with the citizens of Toronto, whose orchestra management caved in at the slightest sound of the noise and fury of the so-called Liberal Left!

 

For me, there is only one

By Mike Cunningham On December 25th, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Without reservation, for me there is still only one sound on this Night!

 

to some I’m sure I’m mad

By Patrick Van Roy On October 25th, 2014 at 3:44 am

I have spent the last few months thinking I was dying, yes we are all dying a little everyday. Over the last 4 months I’ve lost 36 pounds, and no I have not been on the grapefruit diet, or taking speed.

I didn’t know what was wrong. I have had no more pain than usual, no unexplained bleeding, no symptom that stood out. It started when I stopped drinking soda. I do this occasionally and it’s good for dropping 10-15lbs. However I kept losing weight.  Both my father and grandfather died of colon cancer, my father was 47. Needless to say I go for the fun tests every two years.  Even though I did these tests last year I immediately had them all run again.  No cancer was found in every test, and I had a lot of tests.

What is happening is I am starving to death. It seems I have Achalasia.

Achalasia is a rare disorder that makes it difficult for food and liquid to pass into your stomach. Achalasia occurs when the food tube (esophagus) loses the ability to squeeze food down, and the muscular valve between the esophagus and stomach doesn’t fully relax. The reason for these problems is damage to the nerves in the esophagus. There’s no cure, but achalasia symptoms can usually be managed with minimally invasive (endoscopic) therapy or surgery.

Well I have had the surgery, we shall see what happens.

During the last few months, besides arguing with you, I have been arguing with both Angels and Demons.  Unlike some of you I believe in god. If you believe in god consequently you must also believe in angels and demons. The existence of such creatures is alien to most, even believers.  I happen to believe in both because I have encountered both, now scoff if you must. I have no problem as you all know at being scoffed at. It happens here daily.

My duty to my fellow man requires me to do service, it is also part of my faith.  I have given that service in the form of time. Time spent working with those that suffer from addiction.  If you spend enough time with addicts (30 years) you will acquire a belief of both demons and angels.  You will bear witness to the influence of both.  You can see the damage and healing that these creatures can do.  Here is how I heard the battle framed, God and Satan made a bet for the Earth, whoever gets the most souls wins. No direct contact with humans only influence, they call it balance. Demons stay in Hell and Angels stay in Heaven. The Great Detente of the Original Superpowers. Mankind are the players in their Sport. Both sides can coach, they just can’t play themselves.  Those lines are from a movie one that has nothing to do with any of this they do however fit, these influences are played out on every level of humanity. They are just easier to see taking place with addicts. They can happen right before your eyes.

If you witness the way addicts either live or die depending on their reactions to who is whispering to them, you quickly learn to accept the existence of these influences. You will see damnation and salvation and all doubt is removed.  That is why my belief is unshakable. The problem is you take someone that believes on a level that I do, you present them with the possibility that their time is up. Imagine the things that would go through your head.

Needless to say I have spent the last I’d say 2 months arguing with both demon and angel the value of my life.  It is a rhetorical battle, the decision of where your soul goes has been made by the choices you have made throughout your life. The argument is to find peace with that final judgement. Arguing with demons and angels never gets you anywhere you never win with either side. The argument is with yourself they are just your audience. The last thing you do is barter with them, no matter which side you barter with you get screwed.

It has been an interesting argument for me, I have found myself wanting in more areas than not. It’s hard to judge yourself, I don’t think anyone can judge themselves worthy. If they do they are either not being honest, or critical enough. I am glad I am not my own final judge.  Now the format of my trying to accept my mortality is mine, not yours.  Someday we all face our own mortality,  how will you review your own life? How or will you make peace with yourself.  Viewing the victories and failures of your own life honestly with yourself is not as easy as you think. It is something you can ask no other mortal to do with you. You can consult your Priest or your best friend, but only with yourself can you reach satisfaction or not.

It has been a hard couple of months, hopefully it will be a hard many more years.  Maybe I can tip the scales a little more in my favor.

My Friday night music pick not the best version, but the version by the writer.

Friday is of course for real ‘Music’

By Mike Cunningham On June 13th, 2014 at 9:48 am

Friday night is indeed ‘Music’ night!

By Mike Cunningham On April 11th, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Sit back, relax, and let the sounds of true genius wash gently over your senses!

….is indeed Music Night

By Mike Cunningham On February 7th, 2014 at 9:45 pm

A departure from my usual, but the voice of Mary Fahl, along with the song, took my breath away when first I heard it when watching the film.

Could have been a great movie, filmed with great accuracy inclusive of the torments of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg; but ruined by the sermonising and speechifying given by mainly the Southern as well as the Northern Generals.

Friday

By Patrick Van Roy On December 6th, 2013 at 11:41 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qVOruN1O14

and ignorance is truly bliss

By Mike Cunningham On September 20th, 2013 at 6:57 pm

One of the nastier aspects of the Gauleiters who rule us all under the heavy disguise of Local Government is their singular dislike for anything religious. My second son was planning his wedding, and because it was to be a civil ceremony, had to get the Registry Office people involved. One of the strongest diktats produced by these rigid clowns was ‘There must be No Religious Music at all during the wedding Ceremony’.

Now I must confess that my religion, which was once such a great part of my life, no longer holds any great thrall for me. The reasons for my withdrawal are many and varied, but they do exist; and the one strand of my old religion which still calls strongly to me is its music. Many of the Masters of the Renaissance and afterwards had religion and their beliefs at the very heart of their compositions, and when you hear the soaring strains from a Thomas Tallis or a Monteverdi piece, you can well understand the saying ‘All to the Honour and glory of God’. Not for one moment would I contend that the composers who do not have any religious fervour inbuilt to their works are any the worse for that lack; but for me, the music which holds the love and wonder of a Divine Creator has a special power.

At my son’s request, I compiled a selection of music on a CD, from which my son and his wife-to-be chose the strains which would celebrate their Union, and, unknown to me, for the entrance music, they chose this minor masterpiece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS5oWUyu6Mc

My eldest brother, now dead, leant forward and whispered to me, ‘Hoi, I thought that the hard-faced supervisor didn’t allow any religious or sacred music, How did you get that one past her?’

I simply replied, ‘What they don’t recognise, doesn’t worry them!’

ATW FRIDAY JUKEBOX….

By David Vance On May 24th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Well, Friday evening arrives and time for a little music. Here is a band that was part of my youth with a classic pop tune…the past has been bottled and labelled with love.