Monday, December 9, 2013

Begrabnisgesang Brahms

This work of Brahms brings out his love for Johann Sebastian Bach and Heinrich Schutz. There is tenderness that is brought out as in Schicksalslied. The title translates as songs for a funeral. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Phillip Herreweghe

Friday, December 6, 2013

Grieg String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor

Grieg composed this string quartet in 1877. The work has four movements: Un poco andante - Allegro molto ed agitato Romanze (Andantino) Intermezzo (Allegro molto marcato - Più vivo e scherzando) Finale (Lento - Presto al saltarello) Claude Achille Debussy's String Quartet, also in G minor, was subconsciously inspired by Grieg's quartet.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dante Symphony Franz Liszt

Berliner Philharmoniker Daniel Barenboim It is the 1991 recording where Barenboim captures the anguish and intimacy of this grand symphony as no other interpreter has. The Lust passage is remarkably read for its beauty that is brought out by the Berlin players.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Documentaries on Richard Wagner

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spartacus Khachaturian

Bolshoi Khachaturian wrote this ballet in three acts. The ballet is recognised for its energy and lively rhythms. It was first presented by the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg in 1956. It was revised again in 1968 and presented by Bolshoi Ballet. The libretto was written by Yuri Grigorovich. It was based on a book by Rafaello Giovagnolli about a Thracian warrior who becomes a Roman slave in the first century and how he led a revolt against the Roman Empire. The high point of the rebellion was Spartacus' conquest of Mount Vesuvius and how he makes it the stronghold for his band of rebels. Marcus Crassus breaks down this rebellion and crucifies Spartacus. This ballet became very popular in Russia and England. Khachaturian has composed a gem of an Adagio for this ballet.

Monday, December 2, 2013

In Autumn Edvard Grieg

This is a concert overture written by Grieg in 1865. Niels Gade, a friend of Grieg, was not so impressed by this overture. Gade had written a splendid concert piece called `The Rustle of Spring'. Grieg's Autumn does not have the drama of Gade's composition. However, it still is a competent concert overture. It opens with an Andante in D Major played by a woodwind theme. An Allegro builds up tension and shifts to D Minor in sonata form. The orchestra takes up the main theme which Grieg took from a song that was called `Autumn Storm'. A secondary theme then follows in F Major. The development sections recalls previous themes with modulations. The horn and strings bring on a slower section, which is followed by a recapitulation and the concert piece concludes with an emphatic statement of the woodwind theme that is heard at the opening. Orchestra: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Neeme Jarvi Recorded in 1993

Monday, November 25, 2013

Louise Farrenc Symphony No. 1 in C Minor

Louise Farrenc was a French composer. She was a virtuosa pianist and teacher. This Op. 32 First Symphony was written in 1842. Andante sostenuto - Allegro;Adagio cantabile;Menuetto: Moderato; Finale - Allegro. assai Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR. Johannes Goritzki The first movement and the finale of the symphony have sharp motives and cadences. The melodies that have been used are dark in shade. Do not be deceived by the output of this fascinating lady composer. There are no happy endings in this, her first symphony. The Adagio Cantabile is lyrical and beautiful. The style is influenced by Haydn and Beethoven. The Minuet also reminds people of a little Mozart and Mendelssohn. Goritzki has read the symphony well with sharpness and good intonation. It is disturbing to realise that this symphony and the female composer has been neglected for so long. If it is male chauvinism, then it be damned!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Ripening Symphony No.1 Josek Suk

Josef Suk was a student of Dvorak and became his successor. He then became the teacher of Bohislav Martinu. Other Czech masters were Bedrich Smetana and Leos Janacek. Suk's contribution to the development of Czech Bohemian music is neglected. His compositions do not find their way easily to the concert stage. He started writing his first symphony and called it the Ripening when he was only twenty three. The symphony is more in the mould of a symphonic poem and more in the idiom of incidental music. This is a work in which Suk puts his listeners through the entire breadth of human emotions as he suffered the pain of losing two people whom he loved much in life. The symphony is full of moving emotional content. Belohlavek delivers this symphony with authority and refinement, maintaining a lovely balance with the London players. Josef Suk Symphony No.1 Op.14 in E Major BBC Symphony Jiří Bělohlávek 1. Allegro ma non troppo-Allegro-Energico con fuoco-Tempo I-Tranquillo-Maestoso- Allegro con brio 2. Adagio-Pochettino piu mosso-Molto appassionato-Tempo I 3. Allegro vivace-Poco meno mosso-Tempo I 4. Allegro-Allegro con brio-Grandioso e maestoso

Moritz Moszkowski Piano Concerto in E Major

Moszkowski's E Major Piano Concerto was composed for the virtuoso of that time, Josef Hofmann. There are memorable themes in this concerto and a display of ample genius. The orchestration sparkles.The concerto was written in 1898. The concerto was popular for several decades after its premiere but fell into oblivion and neglect after that. By the time the First World War was over, Moszkowski had lost his wife and daughter and he too became a recluse, suffering ill health. He considered Scriabin and Schoenberg as artistic madmen. He died in Paris in 1925. Piers Lane BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Jerzy Maksymiuk

Friday, November 15, 2013

Complete Third Piano Concerto of Tchaikovsky in E Flat Major

Pianist: Irina Dubkova Smolensk Symphony Orchestra Vladimir Minin Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 3 in E-flat major, Opus Posthumous 75, turned out to be a troublesome creation of his. It was first conceptualised as a symphony (the movements are there in his Seventh Symphony). Initially, it was planned as a three-movement concerto, only to become a single-movement "Allegro brilliante" when published posthumously. Controversy remained despite the intentions of the composer as to what form this concerto would have ended up with had Tchaikovsky lived to complete it. It was due to the efforts of Sergei Taneyev that the concerto was revived. Most pianists who have performed this work have played the single-movement "Allegro brilliante." More recently, the three-movement version has received increased attention. The music also served as the basis for the ballet "Allegro Brillante", as imagined and choreographed by George Balanchine in 1956 for the New York City Ballet Tchaikovsky's first mention of using his abandoned Symphony in E flat as the basis for a piano concerto came as early in April 1893 [Brown, David, "Tchaikovsky: The Final Years" ] After completing the `Pathétique' symphony, Tchaikovsky turned once again to the concerto, only to go through further doubt whether he should retain or publish it. Once Tchaikovsky finished scoring the "Allegro brilliante" in October 1893, he requested Taneyev to look it over. Taneyev, on whom Tchaikovsky relied for techhical advice pianistically, found the solo part lacking in virtuosity. Tchaikovsky had told Siloti that if Taneyev shared his low opinion of the concerto, he would destroy it. The composer did not carry out this threat, however. Taneyev gave the first performance of the concerto in Saint Petersburg on January 7, 1895, conducted by Eduard Nápravník. Though the Third Concerto is in a considerably more completed shape than the Mahler Tenth Symphony or the Bartók Viola Concerto, it really belongs in their same category of musical what-ifs and considered accordingly. Tchaikovsky might have tailored the solo part, with its cascades of runs throughout the work and the presence of trills in the cadenza. There is no justification of why this concerto should not be performed in its three-movement format as worked out by Taneyev more so than it is actually done.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Sun can make your Bones stronger

Osteoporosis is on the rise in the world mainly on account of the Vitamin D deficiency. People just do not know how to take advantage in proper limits of the bountiful sunshine that nature has blessed them with. It is an amazing fact that out of the people suffering from osteoporosis, seventy eight per cent in the world are women. This is because they do not like to go out in the sun and are mainly indoors. People have got used to the comfort of shade and air conditioning to such an extent that they avoid the sun as far as possible. They abhor the hot and sunny weather. The homes also block out the rays of the sun as people prefer to stay in sheltered and screened areas. Cars have black tinted windows and many people even get the sunscreens applied with the high SPF. All these things block out the sun’s rays and also the absorption of Vitamin D into the skin. This supply of Vitamin is necessary for the maintenance of good health and for your bones. It is a natural and cost-effective way to prevent the risk from bones becoming brittle and fracturing easily. To keep your bones and your muscles in a healthy shape, you have to take in sufficient quantities of Vitamin D by means of safe exposure to sunlight and with proper diet, particularly if you are above the age of fifty. The diet has to be rich in proteins and calcium. It will also be beneficial if you try to stay active with the help of muscle strengthening activities. Read more:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Holiday

The Eastern Mediterranean itinerary usually includes Venice, Valletta, Athens and Istanbul. The departure port is Savona. It is one of the major ports in northern Italy on the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean cruises are quite affordable. Sometimes, with discounts, certain cruise operators may offer the Eastern Mediterranean package for about eight hundred dollars a person for an eleven day cruise. Major cruise operators have started expanding their cruise routes to give more choice options and variety to their sail itineraries. The Eastern Mediterranean cruise is more popular than the western one which includes Spain, France, Portugal and Monte Carlo. These cruises can be booked throughout the year. This is good news for those people who cannot take holidays during the conventional Christmas and New Year period. When you take a Mediterranean cruise during the summer, you have to remember that certain parts of Europe and West Asia tend to get quite hot. Some of the renowned cruise operators for the Eastern Mediterranean Cruises are the AVC (America’s Vacation Center), Azamara Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises, MSC Cruises, Windstar Cruises and Costa Cruises. The Eastern Mediterranean Cruise begins from Savona. The first port of call is Venice. The Venetian Lagoon is made up of over one hundred islands which are linked by a chain of canals, making Venice a unique city in the world. It is the heart of the Italian culture and a haven for romantic cruisers. You have to take a ride on the Gondola to make your day magical. The atmosphere at St. Mark’s Square is quite lively. The rooms of the Doge’s Palace will fascinate you. You cannot miss the sight at the Bridge of Sighs. You can also take a walk on the cobble-stoned paths of this interesting city that floats. Another famous site here is the St. Mark’s Basilica. The interior holds beautiful mosaics and statues. Next stop is Valletta in Malta, an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. Valletta is the capital city of Malta and is an exciting port of call. Malta is spread across seven islands situated to the South of Sicily with its ancient Grand Harbor. Valletta’s history dates back to almost seven thousand years. The tourists can take a peek into the city’s past by visiting the Byzantine temples which are even more ancient than the Pyramids of Egypt and the Stonehenge of England. The Maltese islands became an independent republic in 1974. Tourism and trade have developed since then. October is a busy month for Valletta as more than seventy five thousand visitors come to Malta as a cruise destination. In a year, more than half a million people visit this city. The voyage then continues to Athens as its next destination. People will take in this ancient city with complete awe as it is sighted. No Mediterranean cruise is complete without a call to Athens and the Greek Islands. It is a city where the past does meet the present. Many people regard it as the birthplace of the western civilized world. From Valletta to Athens, you pass the glorious islands of Corfu, Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes and Santorini. You can take a guided tour of the Acropolis in Athens. It is the ancient citadel. You can also visit the ancient Agora and Hephaisteion. The Eastern Mediterranean Cruise sails from Athens to Istanbul after you soak in the power of the Greek art and architecture. Istanbul is another great city of antiquity where the west meets the east, making it an important cultural seat of the Orient. This is the concluding port of call on this Mediterranean-Aegean odyssey. Noteworthy places of interest here are the sixth century Byzantine Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, the Blue Masjid, the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. Visitors are interested in the bargain collections at the Grand Bazaar. This is the largest covered market that you will find anywhere in the world. It has over four thousand shops and cafeterias. There are sixty five streets here. The seventeenth century Blue Masjid (Mosque) is probably the most distinct Masjid in the world. Its interior will display over thirty shades of blue. The Topkapi Palace is a remnant of the architecture of the Ottoman Empire, built by its Sultans and is a famous attraction. Istanbul has always remained a big attraction city for cruises and each year the number of tourists coming in to Istanbul is increasing in the past few years. For many centuries, Istanbul, known earlier as Constantinople, has been a center of attraction in the Bosphorus Strait. It was the capital of the Roman Empire in the East. The great capital cities of Europe looked like mere villages when compared with Constantinople. You will find the confluence of Europe and Asia here. There are mixed cultures in Istanbul of the Asians, the Persians and the Turks. The renowned classic Eastern Mediterranean Cruise concludes at Istanbul. You just cannot get tired of the Mediterranean Sea and its valuable ports. Read more:

Friday, November 1, 2013

King Christian II Suite Sibelius

Sibelius composed the King Christian II Suite in 1898. The concert suite is a selection from the incidental music for the play written by his friend Adolf Paul. The play deals with the love of King Christian II, ruler of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, for a Dutch girl Dyvecke, a commoner. A complete performance of the suite takes about 25 minutes. The suite movements are Nocturne, Elegy,Musette, Serenade and the Ballade. The Fool's Song of the Spider is lost from the incidental music sketches. Bournemouth Symphony Paavo Berglund

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sibelius Swanwhite

"Swanwhite" is a play by August Strindberg for which Sibelius wrote the music in 1904. This symbolic tale has evil, represented by a wicked stepmother who is defeated by the good Princess Swanwhite. Sibelius composed fourteen numbers from which he subsequently compiled a concerto suite in seven movements. He composed these pieces between 1906 and 1908 to accompany the music scene . Gothenburg Neeme Jarvi

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

This film was ably directed by Richard Brooks in 1958. Perhaps Paul Newman was not so deep and penetrating in his performance as maybe Brando was in a Streetcar Named Desire but, it was a super performance nevertheless. The film actually was carried by a superlative performance by Burl Ives as Big Daddy. Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie and the cat also delivered one of the finest performances of her life. She looks stunningly beautiful in the film. She is struggling to find her bearings amid family strife. She is both fragile and strong. She knows what she wants but she also wants support of her husband. Great cinema brings about realism in a deep sense. It is about exploring the truth behind the human conditions. This film brings it out.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pianoforte and Aleksandr Scriabin

I came across a brilliant discourse by Stuart Scott on how Aleksandr Scriabin made a great name for himself as a concert pianist. He managed this in a period when Rachmaninov, Arensky and Taneyev were playing and the public were used to hearing such giants of the keyboard. This fact ndicates that Scriabin was backed with some calibre. There are sufficient comments by musicians who knew Scriabin or worked with him or heard him play testifying his abilities as a performer and composer. A point has to be noted that Scriabin never played music of any other composer after his conservatoire recitals and he was never without critics whose bad reviews were because of their dislike of his music and his piano technique. After his last piano recital in Moscow in 1915, Grigori Prokofiev wrote in the Russian Musical Gazette said, “What makes Scriabin’s music ravishing is simply the enchantment of his performance. The tone is marvellous, despite a continuous sharpness, even clanging ‘mezzo piano’, but he achieves extraordinary effects. Don’t forget he is a wizard with the pedal, though his ethereal sounds cannot quite fit the hall. He breaks the rhythmic flow and something new comes out each time. This suffuses the performance with freshness. Never has he played his Fourth Sonata with more mastery or sincerity as he did yesterday. What power he put in the theme in the second movement! Yet the actual sound was not big. The secret is in the energetic rhythm”. It is well known that Scriabin did not play a piece in the same way at each performance. He played according to his mood declaring that “a piano composition is many facetted … alive and breathes on its own. It is one thing today, and another tomorrow, like the sea. How awful it would be if the sea were the same every day and the same forever, like a movie film!” It is also well known that Scriabin’s playing was extremely free as far as rhythm was concerned. In 1916, N. N. Cherkass, published a book entitled, “Scriabin as Pianist and Piano Composer”. Here he pointed out the reasons why he thought Scriabin was a bad pianist, but the book does contain a certain objectivity which is useful to a musicologist. Scriabin would use the pedal to help create the desired effect for his compositions. The pedal was a necessity for his slow changing harmonies. The use of the pedal in his music was not for a legato effect, but mostly for sustaining harmonies. It is clear from Scriabin’s compositions that he was a master when it came to pedal techniques and tonal balance. There is no doubt also that he created a great impact on his audiences with his magnetism. When Scriabin died, Rachmaninov gave a series of recitals in memory of his friend.Rachmaninov’s playing was that of a nineteenth century virtuoso whose performances were always controlled and refined, technically brilliant with a good sense of form. As if seeking a logic in Skryabin’s harmonic structure, Rachmaninov artificially condensed the tempi. Although Skryabin’s beginnings were Chopinesque, he soon developed a highly individual style in his compositions.As a teacher, Scriabin insisted that the first quality to be sought for in performance was intoxication. He captured the imagination of his followers and held his audiences captive. His recitals were events not to be missed. They caused excitement in the musical world and he was hailed as a star, not only by the public but by fellow musicians, some of whom were of an older generation. He possessed all the basic qualities of a concert pianist. His memory and technique were excellent. He learned things quickly and had a good sense of pitch. His pedal effects were outstanding. He had small hands and that his right hand troubled him occasionally but it was never too serious to cancel a performance because of it. What he lacked in his right hand, he made up for in the technique of his left. His phrasing was subtle and he worked on tonal shadings. As with his approach to sound, Scriabin had a new approach to rhythm.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Giuseppe Martucci D Minor Piano Concerto No. 1

Giuseppe Martucci Work: Piano Concerto No.1 in D-minor, Op 40 (1878) Pianist: Francesco Caramiello Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra Conductor: Francesco D'Avalos Allegro Andante Allegro Besides being a composer, Martucci was a noteworthy conductor who premiered two Wagner operas in Italy. He was a favourite of Toscanini. He has also composed two symphonies besides his two piano concerti. Piano Concerto No. 1 was premiered in 1878 It is a work that is influenced by the styles of Mendelssohn and Chopin.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Third Man

The Third Man is always mentioned with pride and pleasure when Welles' name comes up. It is marvellous entertainment. There are many sequences which carry the stamp of masterful art. They are stylishly done by Carol Reed. Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard and Adala Valli have also put in great performances in the film. One of the classic sequences is the first appearance of Welles. The final shot is also well done. Welles plays Harry Lime, an American black marketer in Vienna who is in the business of selling diluted penicillin in Viennese hospitals. The build up of this character is a study specimen in character exposition and in the art of film making. The first half hour of the film discusses almost nothing except Harry Lime. When the character finally turns up on the screen, Orson Welles comes through in the play of dark and light sans makeup or any wig. The screen presents Welles as he is. This scene has given the film a mighty special touch. Welles' participation in the film is so brief that the Assistant Director, Guy Hamilton, filled in as Welles' double for some shots in the dark sewer. The reason being that Welles was busy filling up for his own production of Othello then. I recommend this film as a study film along with Citizen Kane. These two films are sufficient to give Orson Welles a legendary status. Anton Karas also achieved a legendary status for himself for the magnificent title music that is played even today with the same enthusiasm as it instilled in those days when the film was released in 1949.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Military Haydn by Jansons and Concertgebouw - A Definitive Performance

This is the hundredth symphony of Franz Joseph Haydn that belongs to his London edition. It is called `Military' as a result of the effects of percussion in the second movement and finale. I call this performance of Jansons and Concertgebouw Amsterdam the definitive because of the repeat which is honoured in the exposition of the first movement. Jansons is in full control of the dynamics of this symphony. There is also a solo trumpet that is kept off stage during the second movement. The percussion effects are great.At the end of the final movement, four percussionists march among the audience while playing to accentuate the military impact.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Definitive Le Sacre Du Printemps Zubin Mehta

Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Zubin Mehta on 16th January 2009. Zubin Mehta gave a splashy rendition with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1969 that established him as an international conductor. Mehta has always been a superb technician with a control over the playing but the excitement is never supported by an underlying vision of the score as it is with the Concertgebouw. This performance excels the work done even by the electric Boulez and masterful Bernstein.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Definitive Resurrection

On 29 August 1999, Zubin Mehta conducted Mahler Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection)at the neighbourhood of Buchenwald concentration camp in the German city of Weimar with the Bavarian State Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra playing together as an ensemble. Another amazing result was achieved by Mehta at the Mount Masada recording of the Resurrection. The Masada Mount live recording (open-air concert)is much better soundwise.The Mezzo sung by Quivar is relaxed and smooth. As can be expected from the locale settings, this concert is loaded with emotion with Zubin Mehta in full control. This performance is one to cherish and the one to have.

The House of Wax

This flm was a remake of `The Mystery of the Wax Museum' that was released in 1933. It started the association of Vincent Price’s with horror and thriller films. Today, Vincent Price is always thought of as an actor who did nothing but horror films. Very few people realise that he had played the Master Builder's role in Ten Commandments to perfection. House of Wax was also Warner Brothers’ first ever 3D film. Another thing that can be mentioned here is the Director, Andre Van de Toth, shot the entire thing with the help of only one eye. Vincent Price plays an eccentric sculptor, Henry Jared, whose medium is the dummy made of wax. Jared is skilled at his work but the wax museum is not churning big money. This is because of Jared’s refusing to compromise his talents to make the kind of wax sculptures the public wants. Anthony and Cleopatra, Abraham Lincoln, and Marie Antoinette have some appeal for some people but the majority wanted sensational stuff. The public, as is the case in all ages, does not want sophistication and edification; it wanted crap! It wanted to see the gruesome.Jared’s business partner, Matthew Burke played by Roy Roberts, tries to convince him about the public tastes so that he can change his sculpting ways. Jared is unwilling and is looking for another interested partner but Burke is not in the mood for waiting for a long time. Burke’ wants to burn down the place and claim insurance. The place is under insuarnce for twenty five thousand dollars (quite a big amount in 1953). Jared is furious when he comes to know about Burke's plans.But Burke is keen to go ahead with his plan and he sets fire to Jared’s studio resulting in a tussle between the two men. Jared is knocked unconscious and sufferes severe burns to his face and body. Burke spends the insurance money and gives Jared up as burnt and dead. Burke spends on an actress,Cathy Gray played by Carolyn Jones. To take the story further, Burke is killed by a man in black whose face is burnt beyond recognition. The next victim is Cathy and she is strangled to death in her bedroom one night while her roommate Sue Allen played by Phyllis Kirk has gone out. Sue finds Cathy’s body and finds that the man in black is running away, escpaing through the window.Sue has a friend, Scott Andrews played by Paul Picerni. Scott is a sculptor and he takes Sue to a wax museum that has opened recently in towm. The owner of this `House of Wax', as it is called, is Henry Jared, reports of whose death were exaggerated in the papers. The fire had left him a cripple along with making his hands useless for sculpting. The exhibits in the museum are not his own creation as he supervises his apprentices, Igor played by Charles Bronson who was still going by the name of Charles Buchinsky and Leon played by Nedrick Young. When Sue sets eyes on the sculpture of Joan of Arc, she realises that it resembles Cathy. This adds up to the fact that someone stole Cathy’s body from the morgue a few days earlier and Sue becomes suspicious that this Joan of Arc waxwork could be the body of Cathy. She is also a little scared when she learns that Jared wants her as a model for his new Marie Antoinette. He wants Scott to do the sculpting. Sue is not the only one who is susoicious of the goings on at the House of Wax. Detective Sergeant, Lieutenant Tom Brennan played by Frank Lovejoy is actually investigating Cathy’s murder and the disappearance of her body rom the morgue. The Sergeant also realises that John Wilkes Booth in the Lincoln theatre drama resembles a city prosecutor who had vanished few weeks ago under suspicious conditions. He is also stunned by watching an exhibit in the crime section of the house of horrors that depicts the death by hanging of Matthew Burke, a case which the police department had been unable to solve. What adds up for the detective is that even Burke’s body had also gone missingfrom the morgue! One day, Sue sneaks in after the closing hours and checks out the wax figure of Joan of Arc and discovers that it is Cathy’s body when she checks under the dummy’s wig. She sees not find wax pate but a real head with blonde hair. Her discovery naturally lands her in trouble and she finds herself bound beneath a vat of boiling wax by Henry Jared.Scott and the detective are meanwhile on the rescue trip. The music score is provided by David Buttolph and creates the right support and effect for the plot and the 3D effectson the screen.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Daphnis et Chloe II Suite Maurice Ravel

Ravel's score for his Daphnis et Chloe ballet is full of masterful ochestration as is exemplified in most of his works including his adaptation of Mussorgsky's `Pictures at an Exhibition'. It is scored for a large orchestra that includes a piccolo, flutes, oboes, English horn, clarinets, bassoon and contrabassoon, french horns, trumpets, trombones, tubas, harps, three timpanists, a wind machine, divided strings and four-part chorus. It took Ravel a long time to complete Daphnis. He began writing in 1909 and completed in 1912. Ravel looked at himself as a failure for not having produced works of significance in his life. Ravel wrote in his diary that his intention in composing Daphnis was to write for a large musical fresco with dedication to the Greek narrative rather than being archaic. He wrote that he wanted to write the music symphonically as per a tonal scheme, using very few motifs. Ravel has assigned set motifs and instruments to signify all the main characters. Their repetitive nature makes the score almost a symphonic one where motifs are being developed organically. The inspiration seems to have come from Saint Saens' Samson et Dalila, Borodin's Prince Igor and Rimsky Korsakov's Scheherazade. Ravel has managed to maintain a vast range of spatial effects and musical textures by repeatedly dividing the strings into eight parts. He is also using the function of mutes frequently. Strings are sometimes playing on fingerboards. There are few instruments that are even placed behind the stage. The chorus in the whole ballet ( not in this Second Suite) is instructed to sing from behind the stage with closed mouths - something that Holst liked and used in his Neptune in his Planets Suite. The vocals are wordless. The closing moments of Daphnis bring to mind the constant pounding rhythms reminiscent of the industrial sounds coming from several factories which intrigued Ravel. The tonal centres have a wide range. The key signatures also have a range from about six flats almost to seven sharps. Daphnis is a score that can be noted for its revolutionary rhythms. Much of the Dance Contest music is written in 7/4 time with the first couple of measures shown as (3+4)/4 for guiding the players. The Bacchanale is in 5/4 time. Each measure is divided by a bar line which is dashed into (2/4+3/4). The dancers found it easy to keep memorising the name of the choreographer `Ser-Gei Dia-Ghi-Lev' to remember the beat. They have to accelerate into a rhyhthmic 3/4 before the thrilling climax at 2/4. There are many accents that are unprepared in the entire score with sudden tempo adjustments to be made. There is never an indication of a steady pulse. The dancers had to keep their score in their heads with simplified methods of their own in order to get the feel of the music and coordinate their moves accordingly. If the dancers found this complex, then what do you think was their reaction when Le Sacre du Printemps came on to the French ballet scene the very next year? This is a great read by Seiji Ozawa and Paris Conservatoire. I am also impressed by the performances of Zubin Mehta with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Georges Pretre with the Vienna Philharmonic and Karajan with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Die Geschopfe Des Prometheus

The Creatures of Prometheus (Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus), Op. 43, is a ballet written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1801. It was first performed at the Burgtheater in Vienna and was given over twenty performances. The overture to the ballet has become a part of the concert repertoire. Beethoven also used music from this ballet in the final movement of his Eroica symphony and in his Eroica Variations for pianoforte. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe is conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt in a definitive performance. Other good performances are by Berlin Philharmonic and Karajan and the same orchestra with Claudio Abbado.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Blessed Revenge (Mokhtarnameh)

I would like to begin by saying that Hazrat Mokhtar has been portrayed, by the pigs who uphold the religion of Islam and call themselves Muslims, as a Liar and a Godless person. Numerous hadises have been fabricated against the name of Hazrat Mokhtar with the sole purpose of demeaning his character. Allah will bless him and overlook any shortcomings he had in his life as he had the spine and guts to stand up to the oppressors and crush their balls. What an uprising that was and what a blessed purposeful revenge to destroy the plotters behind the bloodbath of the Prophet's household! Abu Ishaq al-Mukhtar bin Abu Ubaida ath-Thaqafi was born when the Hijrat began. Though Hazrat Mokhtar was a couple of years elder to Imam Husain, he held the Imam to be his master. He proclaimed his love openly for the family of Imam Ali. Mu’awiya had Hazrat Mokhtar imprisoned in Kufa much earlier to the battle of Karbala. It was after the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) that Hazrat Mokhtar could esacpe from the prison with the hep of his cousin Zaedeh. When he learnt about the cruel incidents that Imam Husain was subjected to, he took an oath that he would bring the murderers to book. Initially, he joined hands with Ibn az-Zubair and helped him fight against Hussayn bin Numair. Then, he made Kufa his stronghold and collected people to form a group whose priority mission was to seek revenge for Imam Husain’s blood. Among them was Ibrahim bin Malik al-Ashthar. Ultimately, both al-Mukhtar and Ibrahim were killed but not before they were successful in their uprising and in the killing of all major perpetrators behind the crimes committed in Karbala. Hypocrisy reigned supreme after the death of Hazrat Mokhtar as it reigns supreme even today. Another observation is that the denizenry of Kufa could never be trusted. They have been an accursed lot. Mokhtarnameh is a magnificent television series produced by Sima Films based on the life of Hazrat Mukhtar Thaqafi. The direction by Davoud Mirbagheri and the performance by Fariborz Arabnia who portrays Hazrat Mokhtar are excellent. The music supports the drama capably with a haunting title theme. I have not seen a comprehensive television series drama with a historical and a psycho-analytical approach such as this. This is perhaps the greatest drama filmed on not just the Iranian scene but the world scene itself. The other two dramas that have had an impact on me have been the BBC War and Peace, 1971 version and Spartacus, 2009 version. Here is the concluding Episode XL

A Documentary on Igor Stravinsky

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky Born in Lomonosov, Russia on June 17, 1882/Died on April 6, 1971, New York. His father was a bass singer. Stravinsky took up music composition at the age of twenty and took lessons from Rimsky-Korsakov. His first major orchestral work, Fireworks, written in 1908 was heard by the impresario Sergey Diaghilev. He commissioned Stravinsky to write the Firebird ballet a couple of years later. The success of Firebird made Stravinsky famous. In fact, Fiebird could easily be called the greatest ballet written in the twentieth century after Le Sacre du Printemps. It is magnificent.The great ballet score Petrushka was written in 1911. His next ballet, The Rite of Spring, with its revolutionising rhythms and unsolved dissonances, was a landmark event in the history of music. The Premiere of the work in Paris resulted in an actual riot in the theatre. Stravinsky adopted a neo-classical approach to writing music for a while iin the nineteen twenties. His major Neoclassical works include Oedipus Rex and the Symphony of Psalms along with the Pulcinella Ballet. For those who are interested in exploring Stravinsky's music, these are his major works - Operas: The Nightingale (1914) Mavra (1922) Oedipus Rex, opera-oratorio (1927) The Rake's Progress (1951) Miscellaneous Dramatic Music: The Soldier's Tale (1918) Renard (1922) The Flood (1962) Ballets: The Firebird (1910) Petrushka (1911) The Rite of Spring (1913) Song of the Nightingale (1919) Pulcinella (1920) The Wedding (1923) Apollon Musagète (1928) Le Baiser de la Fée (1928) Perséphone (1934) Jeu de Cartes (1937) Circus Polka (1942) Scènes de Ballet (1944) Orpheus (1948) Agon (1957) Orchestral Music written: Symhony in E Flat Major (1907) Fireworks (1908) Symphony for Wind Instruments (1920) Concerto for Painoforte, Timpani, Winds and Double Bassoon (1924) Capriccio for Pianoforte and Orchestra (1929) Violin Concerto in D Major (1931) ‘Dumbarton Oaks’ Concerto (1938) Symphony in C Major (1940) Danses concertantes (1942) Circus Polka (1942) 4 Norwegian Moods (1942) Ode (1943) Symphony in Three Movements (1945) Ebony Concerto (1945) Concerto in D,Major for Strings 1946) Movements for Pianoforte and Orchestra (1959) Variations (1964) Choral Music written: The King of the Stars (1912) Symhony of Psalms (1930) Babel (1944) Mass (1948) Cantata (1952) Canticum sacrum (1955) Threni (1958) A Sermon, a Narrative and a Prayer (1961) The Dove Descending (1962) Introitus (1965) Requiem Canticles (1966) Two Bal′mont Poems (1911) Three Japanese Lyrics (1913) Pribaoutki (1914) Berceuses du chat (1916) 3 Shakespeare Songs (1953) In memoriam Dylan Thomas (1954) Abraham and Isaac (1963) Elegy for J. F. K. (1964) The Owl and the Pussy-Cat (1966)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Zur Namensfeier Beethoven

Namensfeier 'Name-Day Celebration' Overture in C Major, Op.115 was completed in 1815 by Beethoven. It is not very frequenty played. Its title refers to the feast day of King Francis I of France. It is held on 4th October - this very day one hundred and ninety eight years ago. The theme that Beethoven uses at the beginning of the overture is indicative of the theme that was used to set Schiller's Ode to Joy for the D Minor Ninth Symphony some nine years later. This performance is a bravura one by Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. Another good performance is by Klemperer and the Philharmonia.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Unfinished Oboe Concerto by Beethoven

Beethoven did not finish an oboe concerto; it was realized and performed in 2003. H. David Meyers played this concerto on June, 2010, with National Symphony Orchestra. Beethoven's Lost Oboe Concerto, Hess 12. Reconstruction of the Slow Movement by Charles Lehrer and Willem Holsbergen. Cadenza by Francoix Leleu. Performed by Nathalie Rompen (oboe) and PATRICK BATON. Concert Liege, March 24, 2011.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A reconstruction of Beethoven's Macbeth Overture on a Synthesizer

Beethoven's unfinished overture for Shakespeare's Tragedy `Macbeth' -- Something wicked this way comes --- Beethoven's unfinished overture on the subject of `Macbeth' was reconstructed by a Dutch composer, Willem Holsbergen, using a computer program. It had its world premiere by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington twelve years ago. In 1810, Beethoven started working on the overture to Shakespeare's Macbeth with an Austrian librettist, Joachim Collin. It was complained to Beethoven that the music sounder rather gloomy. The project was abandoned by the ever moody Beethoven and shortly later, Collin died. Working with some Beethoven experts, Holsbergen took some sketches of the piece dispersed in Europe by few enthusiastic souvenir hunters after Beethoven's death. Holsbergen began with the help of some notes from a sketchbook found in Bonn. Using a special computer program, Holsbergen typed in notes from Beethoven's sketches that were then converted electronically into music. Leonard Slatkin conducted the National Symphony Orchestra for the premiere of this overture. Despite certain scholars running this overture down as a sketchy one, it is interesting to absorb the emotions felt by Beethoven concerning Macbeth.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Das Klagende Lied

Mahler's Das Klagende Lied is a fantasy `Songs of Lamentation' in which the bones of a victim of regal fratricide are used to make a magic flute which, when played by the murderer, reveals his guilt. It is scored for soli, mixed choir and orchestra. The orchestral song Cantata work is based on poems written by Gustav Mahler and was completed in 1880. It consisted of three movements: Waldmärchen (A Tale from the Woods) Der Spielmann (The Minstrel) Hochzeitsstück (Wedding Piece) "Waldmärchen", Part I from "Das klagende Lied" by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Susann Dunn, soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, mezzosoprano Markus Baur, boy-alto Werner Hollweg, tenor Andreas Schmidt, bass Städt. Musikverein Düsseldorf Radio Symphonierorchester Berlin Riccardo Chailly, conductor Das klagende Lied: / Song of lament /Complainte 1 - Waldmärchen / Forest Legend /Conte Sylvestre /Favola del Bosco (Langsam und träumerisch) 2 - Der Spielmann / The Minstrel / Le Ménestrel (Sehr gehalten) 3 - Hochzeitsstück / Wedding piece / Le Mariage /Chant de noce (Heftig bewegt) Grace Hoffman, alto Evelyn Lear, soprano Elisabeth Söderström, soprano Stuart Borrows, tenor Ernst Haefliger, tenor Gerd Nienstedt, bass London Symphony Orchestra Chorus Chorus master: Arthur Oldham London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Pierre Boulez 1970 Der Spielmann III Hochzeitstucke "Hochzeitsstück", Part III from "Das klagende Lied" by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Susann Dunn, soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, mezzosoprano Markus Baur, boy-alto Werner Hollweg, tenor Andreas Schmidt, bass Städt. Musikverein Düsseldorf Radio Symphonierorchester Berlin Riccardo Chailly, conductor Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Das klagende Lied: / Song of lament /Complainte 3 - Hochzeitsstück / Wedding piece / Le Mariage /Chant de noce (Heftig bewegt) Grace Hoffman, alto Evelyn Lear, soprano Elisabeth Söderström, soprano Stuart Borrows, tenor Ernst Haefliger, tenor Gerd Nienstedt, bass London Symphony Orchestra Chorus Chorus master: Arthur Oldham London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Pierre Boulez 1970

Monday, September 23, 2013

Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg Herbert von Karajan

Full Opera Recording "The Mastersingers of Nuremberg". Theo Adam, René Kollo, Geraint Evans, Peter Schreier, Helen Donath, Ruth Hesse. Recorded by Staatskapelle Dresden and the Chorus of the Staatsoper Dresden Conducted by Herbert von Karajan (EMI, 1970). This is an opera in three acts. It is among the longest operas performed today, usually taking around four and a half hours. It was first performed at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater in Munich on 21 June 1868. The conductor at the premiere was Hans von Bülow. The story is taking place in Nuremberg during the mid sixteenth century. It was an Imperial City and one of the Renaissance centres in Northern Europe. The story is about the real-life guild of Meistersinger (Master Singers), an association of amateur poets and musicians, from the middle class and master craftsmen. The Mastersingers developed a craftsmanlike approach to music-making with a complicated system of rules for composing and performing songs. One of the main characters, the cobbler-poet, Hans Sachs, is based on an actual historical figure: Hans Sachs (1494–1576), the most famous of the historical Mastersingers. This opera has a unique place in Wagner's works. It is the only comedy among his mature operas apart from Das Liebesverbot (based on Sakespeare's Measure for Measure)It is the only mature Wagner opera to be based on an entirely original story. It is also the only one of Wagner's mature operas in which there are no supernatural powers. Wagner compromised on the very theories that he had rallied against in his essays such as arias, choruses, a quintet, rhymed verses and a ballet too. Die Meistersinger is a composition in which music is a central part of the narrative. Wagner had the Bayreuth Festspielhaus built with many unique designs. It was here that the Ring and Parsifal received their premieres and where his most important stage works continue to be performed in an annual festival that are managed by his descendants. His thoughts on the contribution of music and drama in operas were to shift again and he reintroduced conventional forms into his stage work in this opera. After going through several versions of this opera, I have come to the conclusion that this is the definitive version followed by Horst Stein and Bayreuth Festpielhaus.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Till Eulenspiegel's Lustige Streiche

Richard Strauss Till Eulenspiegel's Lustige Streiche Berlin Philharmoniker 1943 Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks Op. 28, is a tone poem by Richard Strauss, describing the misadventures and pranks of Till Eulenspiegel, the German folk hero. The two themes representing Till are played respectively by the horn and the clarinet in D Major. The horn theme is a lilting melody that reaches a peak, then falls downward. It culminates in three long notes which are lower in progression. The clarinet theme depicts the acts of a trickster.I must say that the timpani of Berlin Philharmonic lost its thunderous hold when Furtwangler moved out of the scene. Here is a 1950 performance with the Berlin Philharmonic

Friday, September 20, 2013

Saint Saens Requiem

Messe de Requiem, Op. 54. -- Coro della Radio Svizzera & Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana Diego FASOLIS The movements are Kyrie, Dies Irae, Rex Tremendae, Oro Supplex, Hostias, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. A friend of Saint Saens, Albert Libon, requested a Requiem to be played on his funeral. Libon died in 1877. Saint Saens composed the Requiem in Switzerland in a matter of eight days. It is a short Requiem that packs quite a punch. It was a Messe de Requiem to be performed in honour of Libon in a church mass. It was scored lushly for the orchestra, brass, choirand organ with a very effective use of harps.

B Minor Violin Concerto No. 3 of Charles Camille Saint Saens

The Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61, by Camille Saint-Saëns was written in 1880. Saint-Saëns dedicated the concerto to fellow composer-virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, who played the solo part at the premiere. The work is in three movements: Allegro non troppo; Andantino quasi allegretto; Molto moderato e maestoso. This is the last of Saint-Saëns' violin concertos.It has innovative melodies. The virtuoso demands are evident in the second movement and the chorale of the final movement. It is reminiscent of the conclusion of the Fourth Piano Concerto and the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28. Gil Shaham New York Philharmonic Giuseppe Sinopoli

Sunday, September 8, 2013

John Williams Compilation

Thursday, September 5, 2013

La Traviata

The Complete Opera at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1988 London Philharmonic with Bernard Haitink Performances of La Traviata depend much on the principal soprano. Marie McLaughlin has all of the attributes needed for a role that is a virtuoso one. She mesmerises. Violetta is a socialite seeking love in Act One. She becomes a quiet and domestic woman in Act Two who sacrifices her love for Alfredo to the family values he has talked her into adopting, leading to the dying penitent of Act Three. Walter McNeil is a poetic Alfredo. He is excellent in Act Two, Scene Two. His public humiliation of Violetta is painful to watch; and this makes his repentance at her deathbed extremely moving. Brent Ellis is powerful as his father Germont. The duet in which he convinces Violetta into leaving his son and comes to value what he is destroying is one of the high points of the opera. Bernard Haitink is impressive in his reading with the London Philharmonic.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Mirror Crack'd Guy Hamilton 1980

This 1980 version of Agatha Christie's less-loved novels is very well directed by Guy Hamilton with brilliant performances by Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis,Angela Lansbury and Edward Fox. It is a narrative that tells of gentle rebuke. It is set in the English countryside of the nineteen fifties. The backdrop is filming of `Mary Queen of Scots' with Taylor and Kim Novak as two cats out to shred each other .When one of Ms. Rudd's fans is murdered at a reception given for her, Miss Marple (Angela Lansbury) and her nephew Inspector Delbert Craddock (Edward Fox) investigate the crime. There is a very young Pierce Brosnan doing a silent cameo in a film within this film and he gets to star opposite Elizabeth Taylor. It was quite an interesting baptism for him.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tchaikovsky G Major Concert Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra

Of all the works that Tchaikovsky wrote for piano and orchestra, this concert fantasy ia quie adventurous. It is not a one-movement fantasia as most people would think. No one can gauge what was in Tchaikovsky's mind when he wrote this. It was written after his G Major Second Piano Concerto. He was trying something different. It is actually a concert piece in two movements. It was written as a showcase for a virtuoso pianist who could play out a grand rhapsody. Eugen D'Albert had actually inspired him to write this fantasy. He was a rotege of Liszt. The honour for the premiere went to Sergei Taneyev who was also responsible for bringing wide success not only to this Fanatsy but also to both the piano concertos. The first movement is Quasi Rondo but it is not a traditional rondo. It is more an expansive sonata movement with a brilliant cadenza replacing the development section. The second movement is called `Contrasts'. It reminds people of the third orchestral suite. It makes a good finale to the Fantasy.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Two Serious Melodies for Violin and Orchestra Sibelius

1. Cantique 2. Devotion These two earnest pieces were also transcribed for cello and orchestra. They were written in 1914 and first performed on March 30, 1916 by cellist Ossian Fohström (to whom Sibelius dedicated them) and the Helsinki Orchestra conducted by Sibelius. The first, "Cantique (Laetare anima mea)" (the subtitle means "Rejoice, my soul") is scored for a pair of flutes, clarinet, two horns, timpani, harp and strings.The harp and the string textures recall the style of Ralph Vaughan Williams. The second, "Devotion (Ab imo pectore)" ("From my very heart") features a larger orchestral setting: two flutes, clarinet, two bassoons, four horns, three trombones and strings. This opens with pulsating strings over which the soloist soars. Poignant dissonance marks the central section. Both these pieces use good tone color. Sibelius was a very good violinist himself. Dong-Suk Kang Gothenburg Symphony Neeme Jarvi

Spring Song 1895 Sibelius

Spring Song was composed as an improvisation for orchestra in D major. Sibelius recast it in F major and called the work in 1895,"The Sadness of Spring".It has an optimism which is rare among the works of Sibelius. It uses prominent bells at the end of the song. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cassazione Sibelius

Cassazione Op. 6 was written in 1904 and was first performance in Helsinki on 8th February by the Orchestra of Helsinki Philharmonic Society under Jean Sibelius. It is one of Sibelius's most rarely performed works.It is a Ballade for orchestra. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Scenes Historiques Suite II Sibelius

Sibelius worked on three orchestral compositions in 1912. He decided to combine them to create a suite which he called Scènes Historiques II. The first movement, The Hunt, has French horn parts of a high order. The second movement, The Love Song, includes a theme which Sibelius took from Pohjola's Daughter. The third movement, On the Drawbridge, concludes the work with the violins providing guitar-like sounds. The first public performance was a success. Finnish Radio Symphony Jukka-Pekka Saraste The Hunt Love Song At the Drawbridge

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Wood Nymph Sibelius

Skogsraet Op. 15- The Wood Nymph. It is a symphonic poem ballad which is based on a poem by Viktor Rydberg.It was completed in 1895. The premiere was given in Helsinki on 17th April 1895 - Helsinki Orchestral Society conducted by Jean Sibelius. It was performed then with a narrator. An early sketch of Skogsrået was included in the plan for an opera in the summer of 1894. Viktor Rydberg's text relates the adventures of the hero Björn in the forest where evil dwarfs are carrying out their malicious schemes and a curvaceous wood nymph lures Björn into making love to her. The spell he is under cannot be broken. Björn can no longer love his wife. Nor does he feel like working. He dies alone and full of yearning. The Wood Nymph remained in Sibelius's concert programmes for years. It sank into oblivion until the late 1990s when the work was again thrust into the international spotlight after the Lahti Symphony Orchestra had played and recorded it. One of the finest moments in the work is the modal sound field which starts after the majestic opening and lasts for few minutes. The opening is impressive with the C major theme symbolising Björn. The second exposition is the heroic theme. In the third episode, Björn meets the Wood Nymph. The long instrumental line from the cellos creates an extremely erotic setting. The atmosphere changes to melancholia in the final episode which brings out the hopeless yearning of Bjorn. The tone colours used by Sibelius are magnificent. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

Monday, August 26, 2013

Oceanides Sibelius

Aallottarett - Sea Nymphs The Oceanides in Finnish `Aallottaret' or "nymphs of the waves" was written for the Norfolk Music Festival in the United States. It resulted from a commission by Horatio Parker who was acting on behalf of the millionaire and festival promoter Carl Stoeckel and his wife. In 1913, Sibelius started to prepare the work as a suite but this music is the one that has survived and played at the Lahti Sibelius festival under Osmo Vänskä. In the spring of 1914, Sibelius prepared a one-movement orchestral work in D flat major from the material. Inspiration for his tone poems generally came to him from two basic sources: Finnish legend, as recorded in the national epic the Kalevala, and Nature in its varied moods and awesome dimensions. In some instances these two powerful influences converged. The Oceanides, as Sibelius pointed out, "derives from the mythology of Homer and not from the Kalevala," but the work has been regarded by many as a marine counterpart to the brooding and terrifying landscape painted later in his final masterwork in this genre (the last of his orchestral works, in fact), Tapiola, which represents the Kalevala's depiction of the domain of the forest god Tapio. These two contrasting yet complementary works, incidentally, were the only ones Sibelius composed specifically for presentation in the United States. He was not present for the premiere of Tapiola, given by Walter Damrosch (who had commissioned it) and his New York Symphony Orchestra at the end of 1926, but he himself conducted the premiere of The Oceanides at the Norfolk Music Festival in Connecticut a dozen years earlier, on June 14, 1914. The theme for this work may have been the prospect of an ocean voyage to conduct the premiere that inspired Sibelius's thoughts to the subject of Oceanus and his three thousand daughters. The work is composed in a rondo form. The work was initially thought of as `Rondo of the Waves'. Sibelius wanted to emphasise the fact that he was not just portraying a seascape but was focused on bringing out visions of nymphs sporting on the crests of the waves. The nymphs are not seductresses and their sport reminds the listeners of a serious nature; the idea was to personify the sea itself in terms of its mystical creatures. This was later hinted also in another symphonic poem, Tapiola. Toward the end of his life, Sibelius referred to the Oceanides as one of his favourite works. He never provided a specific program for it and the listener should not be desperate to seek one. There are general impressions of high waves and the hint of a storm gathering. The concise nature of the thematic material and the colour touches by flutes, harps, clarinets and the timpani. These are all distinct devices used by the composer

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Unknown Mendelssohn This is quite a comprehensive documentary about Felix Mendelssohn. The narrative structure is based on the original letters of Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny, combined with evocative period images. Some of the most important moments of the composer’s life such as his training, his religious and cultural identity, his journey to Italy, his relation with Bach, the Leipzig years and the recent unearthing of many of his unpublished works. A blend of music and words will guide the public through Mendelssohn’s greatest masterpieces, illustrating their poetic background with images of the places that Mendelssohn himself experienced.

Mendelssohn unknown on

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy At just 9 years of age, he performed for the first time and 2 years later, he began composing. His music is performed and interpreted by the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Thomanerchoir. Sir Peter Ustinov steps from this background to take us to some authentic places : to Leipzig where Mendelssohn lived and died, to the former Gewanduas where he resided for a long time as director of music, to Weimar and "Goethe's Gartenhaus", and to Berlin, his birthplace. Sir Peter Ustinov narrates in his incomparable way the remarkable and varied but short life of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.

Sir Peter Ustinov's Mendelssohn (I) on

Sir Peter Ustinov's Mendelssohn (II) on

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Die Ruinen von Athen

The Complete Incidental Music Berlin Symphony Hans Schonzeler The Ruins of Athens (Die Ruinen von Athen), Opus 113, is a set of incidental music pieces, written in 1811 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The music was written to accompany the play by August von Kotzebue. A second overture was written in 1822 for the same play. It was composed especially for the reopening of Vienna's Theater in der Josefstadt in 1822. The second overture is now known as The Consecration of the House (Die Weihe der Hauses).Perhaps the best-known music from The Ruins of Athens is the Overture and Turkish March, a theme that even many are familiar with. The overture and the Turkish March are often performed separately. Another of Beethoven's compositions, Six variations on an original theme, Op. 76, uses the Turkish March as its theme. The music for The Ruins of Athens was reworked in 1924 by Richard Strauss.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sibelius Musik zu Einer Scene

It is also known as the Rondo of the Waves. This was written in the Spring of 1904. Originally, it was meant as an accompaniment to a tableaux but the idea was dropped later and it was performed as an isolated piece. The music concentrates on an introduction which is highly dramatic; it subsides into an intense but lighter mood. The latter half of the music introduces an infectious dance in B Flat Major which dominates till the end. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanka

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sibelius Scenes Historiques

Sibelius' set of Scenes Historiques forms two suites. The music was written for a patriotic pageant, staged in 1899, at a time of rising Finnish nationalism. It originally included Finlandia but it was published separately and isolated later. Scene Historiques I was written about the time of the First Symphony and it is reminiscent of it. The orchestration is lush as it picks up energy going along, closing with an allegro. Scenes Historiques II was composed around the time of the Fourth Symphony. The opening of the second suite evokes the spirit of the A Minor Symphony in much the same way that Scenes Historique I Suite is emotionally related to the E Minor First Symphony. These Scenes last for about an hour and are an excellent traversal of seldom heard Sibelius. Gothenburg Radio Neeme Jarvi

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Very Very Special Batsman

A short bio on V.V.S. Laxman, Cricketer Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman was born on 1st November 1974 at Hyderabad. He studied at Little Flower High School and St. John’s School in Hyderabad. Both his parents are doctors. He also studied medical science for a short time but later discontinued to play professional cricket. His nickname is `Very Very Special’. V.V.S. Laxman has played for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy and for Lancashire County. He made his test debut on 20th November 1996 against South Africa at Ahmadabad. He made his one day international debut against Zimbabwe at Cuttack on 9th April 1998. He has not played any T20 Internationals nor has he played a single world cup match in one day internationals. He has played 123 tests so far, scoring 8,146 runs with a highest of 281. He has taken 124 catches and two wickets. He has 16 centuries and 52 fifties in tests. He has played 86 one day matches, scoring 2,338 runs with a highest of 131. He has 6 centuries and 10 fifties. He has taken 39 catches. He has played 427 first class matches, scoring 23,963 runs with a highest of 353. He has taken 340 catches. He has 62 centuries and 121 fifties. He has taken 30 wickets. V. V. S. Laxman is a right hand batsman and a right arm off break bowler. His highest test score of 281 against Australia at Kolkata in 2001 has been ranked sixth in Wisden’s list of hundred great test innings in history. The greatest test innings tag has gone to Sir Donald Bradman’s 270 against England at Melbourne in 1936. V.V.S. Laxman was also named Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year in 2002. He is well known for playing the spinners exceptionally well. He can play the ball to any part of the ground with the use of his wrists. He has performed well against Australia in both the tests and the one day matches. He is not considered to be a great runner between the wickets. It is interesting to note that despite playing in over 120 tests, he has not played even once in any world cup. He started his one day match account with a duck against Zimbabwe in 1998 and also scored a duck in his last one day match against South Africa in 2006. V.V.S. Laxman’s onside play is reminiscent of Mohammad Azharuddin. The Australians paid a great compliment to him when they admitted to the Australian press media that they were not able to decide where to bowl to him when India toured them in 2004. He keeps the scoreboard moving at a decent pace with his leg glances and deft placement. He possesses a great quality of remaining calm even when he is well set. He is not at all lacking in temperament. He can play any shot. He is a match turner and a match winner. He is a trusted partner and a tail ender’s companion. He is of a pleasant disposition and is very down to earth in nature. He dared to tell the selectors in the late nineties that he will play only in the middle order and not open the innings for India because he felt confident of his abilities as a middle order batsman.

Have a Gala Time in The Galapagos Islands

A short synopsis of cruises to Galapagos Islands. Galapagos Islands, known as Archipelago de Colon, are made up of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. They are situated west of Ecuador. These islands have become a biological marine reserve area. They were first discovered and charted by Ambrose Cowley in 1684. What are the main attractions at the Galapagos Islands? They are the large turtles on the highlands and the marine iguanas on the black lava rocks. There is an abundance of penguins and cormorants. Usually, there is a naturalist guide onboard the luxury Galapagos cruises. You can explore the eco-systems on the islands and look at sea lions and whales offshore along with the pink flamingos in the lagoons. These rough and volcanic rocky islands are home to vast wildlife. There are certain adapted unique marine life creatures here that are not found anywhere else. There are many cruise operators to the Galapagos like the Responsible Travel, Celebrity Expedition Cruises, Nature Galapagos & Ecuador, Ecoventura, National Geographic Expeditions, Big Five Tours & Expeditions, Boundless Journeys, Haugan Cruises, IGTOA (International Galapagos Tour Operators’ Association) and Llama Travel. The location of the Galapagos archipelago has given it an unusual ecosystem. The set of currents and winds brings a unique variety of plants to the islands. About one-fifth of the marine species and terrestrial life that is found in the Galapagos Islands cannot be found anywhere else in the world. You can find over four hundred species of fish, one hundred and fifty species of birds and several marine mammal species in the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Marine Reserve is the third largest marine reserve in the world. It was set up in 1998 with an area of over one hundred and thirty thousand square kilometers. The Marine Reserve service has a fleet of more than ten oceanic and semi-oceanic vessels and an aircraft to patrol the entire region and deter poachers. The Satellite Vessel Monitoring System was started over three years ago and it requires all cargo and fishing vessels to use satellite tracking mechanisms in the Marine Reserve. Many cruise operators bring tourists to the Galapagos Islands on live-aboard boats. Each boat tour requires an anchor to be dropped and this often causes damage to the coral reefs and the sea floor. Mooring buoys have been set up to reduce the impact on the marine systems under water. When you take a cruise to the Galapagos Islands in the Ecuador, you will come across unique wildlife. You can have a gala time there when you swim side-by-side with the sea lions and float with the penguins. The wildlife there is diverse with biological richness which cannot be found anywhere else on earth. The sky there is mostly sunny. The breeze from the sea creates an ideal air temperature to relax your body. The ocean is of turquoise blue color. The beaches are long and sandy. There are mangrove lagoons and coves. The islands are full of exotic sea creatures which are not afraid of you and allow you to mingle with them. People taking these cruises are in for a great time when they are introduced to many natural wonders like the blue-footed long-winged seabirds, iguanas, sea lions, giant tortoises and families of penguins. The cruise operators allow you to snorkel with the sea lions and take you on treks on the volcanic islands. You can also paddle your kayaks through the mangrove lagoons. The days that you spend on these islands will be the most memorable in your life as you cruise here. Charles Darwin visited many places here about one hundred and fifty years ago. Each day will bring in a new experience when you discover the natural wonders on these islands with a naturalist guide. These islands have been voted by many people and travel organizations as the best in the world. They are one of the most popular tourist destinations. The catamaran Athala II has been designed exclusively to cruise the Galapagos Islands. Its cabins are stylish with good ocean view through the large portrait windows instead of the portholes. The cabins on the main deck allow the extra luxury of a secluded balcony. It is better to cruise on a larger and more stable boat in order not to get sea sick. This catamaran is run by Ocean Adventures from Quito in Ecuador. You can also enjoy the Scuba Iguana Padi Resort. It offers good quality and affordable scuba diving tours and cruises in the Galapagos Islands. It is among the world’s most interesting diving sites. It is based in Puerto Ayora on the Santa Cruz Island. This region is among the seven underwater wonders of the world.

Sibelius Overture in A Minor

Overture in A minor. It was written in 1902. Premiered in Helsinki. It was written for a concert he planned for his D Major Second Symphony. The overture predicts the violin concerto and the third symphony. A theme that gets transposed is brilliantly written in A Minor. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sibelius Vainon Virsi

Vainon's Song. Vainon Virsi. Op.110 for mixed choir and orchestra is a setting on the Kalevala legend. It was written in the spring of 1926. It was commissioned by the Society for Popular Education for a festival in Sortavala. The introduction by the full ensemble sets the ceremonial tone of the work. The choral writing is in the Kalevala style. There is a slight resemblance at the end of the coda from the first movement of the A Minor Fourth Symphony. This was the last cantata completed by Sibelius. It represents national pride. Finnish National Opera Orchestra Eri Klas

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Player and an Umpire

Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan was born on 21st April 1945 at Madras. He was commonly known in the Indian cricket team as `Venkat’. The English media found it very difficult to pronounce his full name. Instead, they started calling him `Rent-a-Wagon’. Before he played professional cricket, he was a mechanical engineer. Srinivas Venkataraghavan was a right hand bat and a right arm off spinner. He made his test debut on 27th February 1965 against New Zealand. He came into the tests at the age of twenty and was selected to play against the touring New Zealand side. He made his mark as a world class spinner by taking twelve wickets in the Delhi test in 1965, leading India to victory. He played his last test on 24th September 1983 against Pakistan. He made his one day matches debut on 13th July 1974 against England at Headingley. He played his last one day match on 7th April 1983 against the West Indies. He played first class cricket between 1963 and 1985. Srinivas Venkataraghavan played 57 tests, scoring 748 runs and picking up 156 wickets with a best of 8/72. He played 15 one day matches and picked up 5 wickets. He played 412 first class matches and picked up 1,454 wickets. He played for Madras in the Ranji Trophy. He played for Derbyshire between 1973 and 1975. He has umpired in 73 test matches and 52 one day matches. He was honoured by the International Cricket Council in 2004 for his contribution to the game of cricket as he remains the only person in cricket to have played and officiated as an umpire in over fifty test matches. His test career was one of the longest of any Indian players along with Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar. Srinivas Venkataraghavan belonged to the famous Indian spin quartet. The spin quartet among themselves picked up more than nine hundred test wickets in the nineteen sixties and the seventies. He was a good close-in fielder and a useful bat in the lower order. He was the Vice Captain under Ajit Wadekar when India toured West Indies and England in that historic year of 1971. He played an important role in both the series where India was victorious beating the mighty West Indies and England on their home soil. He took five wickets in the Trinidad test and picked up thirteen wickets in the three test series in England. He led India in both the one day World Cup tournaments in 1975 and 1979 in which India could manage only one win against East Africa. Srinivas Venkataraghavan is remembered for his idiosyncratic manner of declaring a batsman out as an umpire with his right arm held out to his side and elbow almost bent to a ninety degree angle and his index finger raised hesitantly along with a gentle nod of his head. As an administrator, he participated widely by being the manager of the Indian team, a match referee and an umpire. He was known to be short tempered. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2003.

What I saw in Room 237?

After watching the documentary, I thought to myself that barring three or four fascinating theories and studies, it was a major attempt by Rodney Ascher to sensationalize Kubrick’s leitmotifs. People have started loving conspiracy theories ever since Dan Brown took a big lead in Da Vinci Code. Before I tell you what I saw in Room 237, I will take you to the backyard of the Overlook and search the source in its creator. I saw Stephen King first. This book takes us back to the mid nineteen seventies; the time that I turned my back on college and vowed never to study further. I was sick of the rat race and the worship of materialism. Back to Stephen King! The book tells us about events taking place at an isolated off-season time in a hotel, the Overlook, in the Colorado Rockies. It is about a young child gifted with psychic powers as he battles against evil forces that are threatening to drive his father beyond the edge. By the way, Stephen King has announced that he is working on a sequel to the book which he is going to call, `Doctor Sleep.’ The sequel will follow the tale of Danny Torrance, the young child of the `Shining’ who survived the events at the Overlook. I used to approach all Kubrick films with enthusiasm ever since I saw Spartacus and the magnificent `2001: A Space Odyssey’ which I hail as the greatest science fiction film ever made and a film that each student of cinema must take up as a case study. I saw `Shining’ in 1981 in Bombay. It was a censored and botched up print. Yet, I saw a similarity between the Overlook and the floating chamber scenes in the final moments in `A Space Odyssey’ that take place on Mars. The films always got cut under the imbecile guidance of the censor board of India. I was fortunate enough to pick an uncut DVD in 1989 which I still have. I finally saw the full one hundred and forty six minutes including the Director’s Commentary. That itself is enough. I don’t need a Room 237 to make me open my eyes any wider. I would like to keep my Eyes Wide Shut on most of the explanations in 237. I will not call the events in the Shining as horrific. I would call them disturbing. Nor will I think about the film when it is over as to what it was about. Stephen King was not so impressed by Kubrick’s adaptation or Nicholson’s performance as Jack Torrance. He wanted Jon Voight to play that role but Kubrick declined. I agree with Kubrick despite King being the original creator. Kubrick has the full right to cast. Who could deny Nicholson the role of Jack Torrance after watching him in ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’? When I watched the Shining, I was also reminded of a masterpiece made by Roman Polanski called the Tenant. It had brilliant performances by Polanski himself and Isabelle Adjani. Another film I was reminded of was Polanski’s Chinatown. Let us go inside Room 237 now. What do I see? I see careful compilation of leitmotifs. Some of them have fascinated me; others I rubbished. Let me single out the ones I considered important and relevant. 1. The blood gushing out of the elevators. You just cannot forget this scene from the film. This scene was done in three takes but it took almost three months to get the shot prepared because every time the doors opened and the blood gushed out, Kubrick would complain that it did not look like blood. 2. REDRUM embedded on the door. It stays with you for many months. 3. Gut wrenching music of Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind-Tourre. The music achieved the desired effect as Kubrick wanted. Kubrick always wanted the Ligeti type of overtones in the score as he had used in the `Space Odyssey’ with the `Atmospheres’. Both Wendy and Rachel achieved that sense of alienation with the brilliant sound created by the strings and the synthesizers. 4. The Calumet can. This is a fascinating theory and it could be true. 5. The Red Indian undertones. This is also very much possible. 6. Wendy backing up the stairs as she is swinging with the baseball bat. Perhaps, people are not aware that this has entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the scene with the most takes. It was done one hundred and twenty seven times. 7. The Adler typewriter and the link to the holocaust in Germany. Yes; this does have an allegorical link to the extermination of Jews in 1942. 8. Launching Pad of Apollo 11 as hinted by the patterns on the carpet. Yes. The biggest conspiracy theory going behind Kubrick was that he confessed one day and regretted that he should not have complied with NASA’s call to fake the moon landings. I truly believe down to the lower most recesses of my gut that Kubrick was talking the truth here and the whole landing on the moon was a Warner Bros. shot with Neil Armstrong taking that `giant leap for mankind’ in the 21st Century Studios. This is all that I can endorse and authenticate. Rest is bullshit. I do not believe that Kubrick was killed by the Illuminati or the Freemasons. I happen to be a Freemason myself and I do not think that Kubrick was obsessed with the All Seeing Eye of the Providence or the Divine Architect of the Universe. Yes! There are hints to the Craft of Freemasonry in `A Space Odyssey’ with the obelisks, Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut. No conspiratorial group caused his coronary to explode. He died of a heart attack in 1999 and so be it. There are fascinating things talked about in Room 237 and I have picked them here. It could have been encapsulated in just about thirty minutes. Yet, who am I to judge Ascher? He has the full right to speak his mind on the allegorical links and the leitmotifs in the `Shining’.

Sibelius Oma Maa (My Own Land)

Cantata for mixed chorus and orchestra. This was undertaken by Sibelius during a difficult phase in Finland’s history. A civil war had broken out shortly after the declaration of independence in 1917. The intrinsic character of the work is one of optimism towards a more peaceful future. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sibelius: Breaking of the Ice on the Oulu River

This a work for male choir and orchestra with a narrator in the background. It was written along with the Press Celebration Music that gave birth to Finlandia. The work was inspired by a patriotic fervour that came about because of the restrictions placed on the press by means of censorship. This was done by the Russian Governor General of Finland. The work was premiered in October 1899 in Helsinki. It is Op. 30. The words have been written by Zacharias Topelius. Another piece that was written around the same time by Sibelius was the Song of the Athenians. This Song was also with an anti-Russian feeling. The dramatic chords for the brass are reminders of Finlandia. The part for the narrator and the brass fortissimo notes bring about an interesting rhythm. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sibelius Snofrid

The Viking Soul.Op. 29. Snöfrid. This is an improvisation for narrator, mixed choir and orchestra. Words are written by Viktor Rydberg. It was completed in 1900. The premiere was given in Helsinki on 20th October 1900. Snöfrid is somewhat of a turning point in Sibelius's compositions. Snöfrid appeared frequently in concert programmes until the 1920s, after which it slowly began to fade into oblivion. The work begins tempestuously with the first bars of the choir followed by surging figures in the orchestral accompaniment.The figure of Snöfrid resists temptations to free himself from the shackles of the Wood Nymph. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

The Definitive Titan

2011 Moscow visit of Musicale Maggio Fiorentino under Zubin Mehta Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 1 in D major - The Titan

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Guns for San Sebastian Ennio Morricone

1968 Anthony Quinn Charles Bronson

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

3 Credit Bureaus

There are 3 major credit bureaus that are relied upon to make up the credit reports for people. They also make up their financial scores. These bureaus are the places where banks or other financial companies get the financial information about the credit history of an individual seeking credit. Credit bureau reports come from an industry that involves establishments which are mainly occupied in providing consumer credit reporting services. These credit reporting services are the main source of credit information for consumer markets. There are several credit reporting bureaus operating all over the world but the industry is led by 3 credit bureaus of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The 3 Credit Bureaus Scores The 3 credit bureaus provide credit scores through a credit report which is a single report that is made up of credit information from each of the three major credit history reporting agencies of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The personal information which is stored in these 3 credit bureaus will be assessed and then given a credit score. The score received from any of the 3 credit bureaus will inform a lender if a person is a new borrower. It will also inform on the kind of credit standing that he or she has. The 3 credit bureaus compile data from public records and creditors to create the reports for millions of people. All the 3 credit bureaus maintain a contract with an independent company which is known as Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). It assimilates the public record data into a credit score. The credit scores range from 350 to 800 points with a good score being considered as 620 or above. About six years back, VantageScore was launched to compete with FICO’s score. The VantageScore scale ranges from 501 to 990 with a good score being considered as 700 or above. 3 Credit Bureaus carry information on your financial history The 3 credit bureaus contain personal data like your name, address, date of birth and your social security number. They also contain historical information like your previous address, current employer information and public records such as bankruptcies, judgments and liens. The 3 credit bureaus include history of credit card, loan and mortgage payments. There are times when people with good repayment habits and decent loan schedules have carried a poor financial credit score. This happens most often because of incorrect information that shows up on an individual’s report. When a corrective action is taken, all these 3 credit bureaus will address such issues immediately and revise the financial information that they have stored with them. These bureaus generate more than a half billion reports each year with information on consumer trade activities. 3 Credit Bureaus track borrowing behavior Most of the money lenders form their decision on the credit information from all 3 credit bureaus. The 3 credit bureaus report can be signed up for at the websites, and Credit grantors like to see the 3 credit bureaus report for major credit decisions like the approval of a mortgage home loan. The 3 credit bureaus will also keep records on who you still owe money to and how much you do owe. They gather this information from companies and public records that have a relationship with you as a consumer. The 3 credit bureaus keep records of how you have previously dealt when repaying loans and whether you have paid them back on time.

Which Cars do Men and Women want?

`’ is a car research company which has completed a latest survey that has focused on the differences in the genders in their preferences when buying cars. It has reported that men like big sports cars while women go for practical and flexible cars. It narrowed down its study to five most preferred cars that men and women opt for. The summary is that men want a spectacular ride while women want practicality. Women buyers showed their inclination towards small and fuel efficient cars. Men buyers wanted a fast sports car with an impressive curb look or they looked out for a 4WD SUV. The study involved information on gender preferences, taking into account eight million vehicle purchases made during the last year. The five preferred cars for women are: • Volvo S40 – About fifty eight per cent of the purchases by women last year were for Volvo S40. It is a high end sedan. It is a spacious and safe car for commuting. • Nissan Rogue – It has good safety and visibility features. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the car good marks after testing it for overall crash protection. It is a crossover car and women like it because of its versatility and it does not look like a minivan which works in its favor with women. It looks spacious and at the same time resembles a sports model. • Volkswagen EOS – it has a good fuel economy and gives thirty miles per gallon on the highway. It is a convertible hardtop with sufficient legroom. It is also known as a coupe convertible with sunroof. It offers four airbags. • Volkswagen Beetle – About a couple of decades back, it was the most sought after car by women and it still holds its place in the top five. Now, men have also started buying it more after its modifications with its sloping roof. • Hyundai Tucson – It is a crossover car which gives good mileage for its big size with twenty seven miles per gallon on the highway. It has got a good panoramic sunroof and luggage space to keep strollers for kids. The top five cars that men prefer are: • Porsche 911 – Male car buying is dominated by cars like this. It has the highest buying ratio among men. • GMC Sierra – When the attention of men shifts from sleek race cars, it goes to the big brawny cars like GMC Sierra. It is a half-ton pickup car. It projects a complete macho image. It does not give very good mileage (21 mpg) but is ideal to tow boats or motor bikes. • The F Series of Ford Motor – They are popular in the full size pickup range. Men like them for their luxurious rides and off-road adventures. • Chevrolet Corvette- This is an iconic sports model. It is General Motor’s most powerful output. It is named after a small warship and has been there since the past sixty years. • Chevrolet Silverado – It will also carry whatever weight men will load on to it. It is excellent when you are looking for a pickup truck or going out on a camping trip for the weekend.