Category Archives: Featured

Rossini String Sonatas

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) grew up in a musical and operatic family; his mother was a singer and his father a horn player. He is the only composer to write multiple masterpieces before reaching 25: Tancredi, L’italiana in Algeri, Il turco in Italia, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Otello, ossia Il moro di Venezia, and La Cenerentola….


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The Invention of Jazz

The conventional view is that jazz is an American art form that originated in African-American communities of New Orleans. It was a derivative of blues and ragtime. Over time it split into many branches. When one thinks of the original New Orleans version, names like King Oliver (1881-1938), Jelly Roll Morton (1890-1940), and Louis Armstrong…


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Livin’ the Dream – Governments, Polls, and Other Blunders

The current state of societal and economic collapse is completely the governments fault. Yet what’s seen as the solution? More Government action. Since the viral epidemic was recognized, we warned here that locking down the economy would make things a lot worse, which sure enough it did. We’ve had worse viral outbreaks, some within living…


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Opera Interludes

My subject is the instrumental music that occurs during a scene or between two. Excluded are overtures, preludes, and ballet music. Sometimes the distinction between an interlude or intermezzo and a prelude can be precious, but if the music below is called an interlude, an intermezzo, or in one case a meditation I accepted it…


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Church Scenes

I recently wrote about the last few minutes of the first act of Tosca, which is set in a church – Sant’Andrea della Valle. There are other operas which have scenes in a church or houses of worship, five are presented below. Giacomo Meyerbeer was a German composer who tried to follow the style of…


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Haydn Piano Trios

No great composer wrote as much music as did Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). The quality of his music as as great as its amount. So vast is his output that it’s hard to count them. He is famed as the father of both the string quartet and the symphony. He wrote 68 of the former and…


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The Lack of Effect of Influenza Vaccination on the Elderly

The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published online a study of the effectiveness of influenza vaccination on the likelihood of subjects 65 and older being hospitalized or dying. The study’s objective was: “To determine the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in reducing hospitalizations and mortality among elderly persons by using an observational research design that…


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Drinking Songs

Opera and alcohol are frequently paired. Accordingly, here are some drinking songs. I’m using the term loosely. Most would fit under this appellation, but some do not and not all the selections are from operas. They are presented in no particular order. If randomness works for quantum mechanics, it’s OK here. First is likely the…


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Mad Scenes Not By Donizetti

Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor is the poster girl for operatic lunacy. She’s been going mad for close to two centuries with no letup in sight. She should be an honorary member of the American Psychiatric Association; she’d fit right in. She’s probably got her own ICD 10 code. But opera has many other examples of…


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World War 2 Photos

The photos below were found in a box after my mother died. They detail part of her brother Nat’s service in the US Army during World War 2.  I know nothing more than what was written on the back of some of these pictures. They were about 60 years old by the time I saw…


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