Friday, February 20, 2015

Scriabin Mysterium Nemtin Universe 00:41:46 II. Mankind 01:33:45 III. Transfiguration Alexei Lubimov, piano Thomas Trotter, organ Anna-Kristiina Kaappola, soprano Ernst Senff Chor St Peterburg Chamber Choir Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin Vladimir Ashkenazy Mystery surrounds Mysterium. It is a work that was left unfinished by Aleksandr Scriabin. He started working on this composition in 1903 but kept it incomplete until his death twelve years later. He wanted this work to be performed in a synesthetic concert stage which gave the sensation of smell, touch and hearing. He wanted the spectators to participate. The intention on the core sheet was to include a large orchestra, a mixed choir and a wind machine along with a projector that gave out visual effects. He also wanted dancers with rhythmic articulation. He also wanted incense to be burnt all around the performing enclosure. It was his intention that the work should be first performed in the Himalayan foothills in Tibet with the help of lights and mists to give substance to the architectural contour. At the time of Scriabin's death, seventy two pages were completed of this composition. Aleksandr Nemtin spent twenty eight years after the death of Scriabin to reform the sketches and convert it into a work than spanned almost here hours. It was recorded eventually. This is a great version by Ashkenazy and the Berlin orchestra.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Monuments Men

Monumental Film The Nazis stole many art pieces during the Second World War and hid them at isolated places. The intention was to make a Museum for Hitler. This film is about art scholars, historians and architects who are past their prime in life. They build a unit and volunteer to retrieve as many of the European masterpieces as they can lay their hands on. The mission takes on an urgency when they learn about the `Nero Decree' taken out by Adolf Hitler and this decree ordered the destruction of all these artworks if the Third Reich fell. These people are caught in a race against time and they risk their lives to get back some of the greatest achievements of mankind back to their rightful places. There is an excellent background score given by Alexandre Desplat. He has turned out another brilliant score recently for `The Imitation Game'. Excellent fifth directorial venture by George Clooney. He started with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in 2002. His last film was The Ides of March. Clooney puts in a good performance and he is very well supported by Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett. Some people felt that the film is light-hearted for the subject it is covering but this very fact does not take anything from this engrossing tale even if it looks like Oceans Eleven going into the heart of the Second World War inferno.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Richard Wagner was inspired by nature for Tannhauser as in the case of the Flying Dutchman. When Wagner visited Wartburg in April 1842, he spent many months near a mountain ridge which he called `Horselberg'. This is where he completed most of this opera. This work was originally labelled as 'Der Venusberg'. It was changed in 1845 to 'Tannhauser und der Saugerkrieg auf der Wartburg'. He revised the score a couple of years later and changed the finale among many other things that included the addition of Venus and the funeral procession for the departed Elisabeth instead of a mere announcement of her death and it came to be known as the Dresden edition. It was revised once again in March 1861 and it came to be considered as the Paris version. The difference between these versions is that the initial two scenes were expanded through a Bacchanale with a pantomime written on a large scale. It also called for a ballet in the second act. Walther's song was also added in the second act. The Paris version brought out a nice contrast between the chromatic and the diatonic. The use of incidental music and choruses is also unique in this opera. It is surprising to note that Tannhauser was performed for the first time in Bayreuth in 1891. This performance took place in July 1994 during he opera festival of the Bavarian State at the Munich national Theater. This is a modern staging of Wagner's opera. It is a deeply passionate performance by Zubin Mehta but it will fall in line after Sir Georg Solti's Paris version, Wilhelm Furtwangler and Sir Colin Davis' interpretations. Must have been exciting for the people who attended this Munich Opera Festival.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tchaikovsky's Visit to the New World in 1891

TCHAIKOVSKY IN AMERICA New York City had a concert hall built by Andrew Carnegie in May 1891. It became the biggest venue for a classical concert in the city. Music festivals were held and in the initial season, Tchaikovsky was invited. These are notes from his diary written to his brother, Modeste, “I was accorded a very warm welcome here with the local papers all running my portraits and writing stories about me. Looks like I’m even more popular here than in Europe. I’m a big shot here, I really am… There are things people in Moscow have hardly heard about while here in America they are played and written about several times a year. Take, for example, my overture to Hamlet, which they never once played in Moscow and which is very well known in America…” Tchaikovsky was touched by the hospitality shown to him in the New World. “The Americans are absolutely amazing!” he wrote. “Their sincerity, generosity, friendliness and desire to please are absolutely out of this world! Nowhere but in Russia have I ever seen so much love for foreigners.” The New York Philharmonic Society held a dinner to honour Tchaikovsky and the composer was impressed by the general attention he got. “The list of the treats literally went forever. Halfway through the dinner they served ice cream in special boxes complete with pencils and small wooden plaques featuring excerpts from my music elegantly handwritten on them. I was supposed to put my signature on them too,”. On 5th May, the opening night's program featured music by Beethoven, Berlioz and Tchaikovsky who personally conducted his music. The moment the final chord ended, there was a deafening applause. Tchaikovsky got a standing ovation. “Tchaikovsky is a tall, gray-haired and well built man of about 60,” The New York Herald wrote. "He looks a bit embarrassed as he returns the ovation with short and brisk bows. The moment he picks up the baton and starts conducting, however, his confidence is back and he steers the orchestra with a firm hand…” . In his interviews, Tchaikovsky talked about how he loved America and New York City with its fast moving lifestyle, architecture and a penchant for new things. “Tchaikovsky’s second appearance at the festival was as successful as the first time and the Symphony Society orchestra had never played the way it did that night… Mr. Tchaikovsky is a courageous and inspired conductor, driven, confident and magnetic and he made the orchestra into a very special organism playing with clockwork precision. No one has ever been able control the orchestra the way Tchaikovsky does…”. The newspapers were full of rave accounts about Tchaikovsky’s performance. On His birthday on 7th May and then again on 15th May, the first piano concerto was played by Adele Aus der Ohe. “Tchaikovsky’s concerto is one of the finest in modern music,” eulogized The Evening Sun newspaper. It is replete with expressive melody lines and fresh orchestral effects. Miss Aus der Ohe and Mr. Tchaikovsky got big kudos and a standing ovation this hall had never seen before. The Americans realized once again that Tchaikovsky’s participation was the biggest highlight of the whole festival…” Once the concerts were over, Tchaikovsky visited the Niagara Falls. While returning back on the sea liner, Tchaikovsky admired the Statue of Liberty. He was not aware that this would be his only voyage across the Atlantic to the New World. He was dead within a couple of years. A

Thursday, February 12, 2015

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

Many people do not like the very idea of dieting. It restricts them. It also tends to lead them to cravings or makes them suffer from hunger pangs. Out of hundred who take up a strong resolve to diet, only half of them go through the discipline successfully. The other half generally give up the idea and eat with so much revenge on the return that they gain more weight than what they were trying to shed. Most of the traditional methods of weight loss have a bad success rate. Not many people have succeeded in the long run. This brings us to a site, which tells you all about a popular dietary supplement for weight loss called Garcinia Cambogia. Many health experts have endorsed this extract and confirmed that it reduces appetite and helps you to lose weight without putting in much effort. What is Garcinia Cambogia? When an extract becomes as popular as this one, the first question that comes to people’s minds is, `What is Garcinia Cambogia?’ Garcinia Cambogia is a plant native to Southeast Asia. It is also referred to as Garcinia Gummi-Gutta. The fruit of this plant resembles a small and greenish pumpkin. It is also used in many conventional Asian dishes for the pungent and sour flavor. There is a large dose of Hydroxycitric Acid as a natural substance in the skin of this fruit. This is the main ingredient in the extract of Garcinia Cambogia and this is what produces the weight loss effect. Purchasing Garcinia Cambogia Where can I purchase Garcinia Cambogia? I can do it at People like to do through research before buying a dietary supplement like this. Garcinia Cambogia Select is 100% pure extract. It is being recommended by doctors and has been backed up by clinical studies. The recommended dosage is a thousand milligrams of the Garcinia extract with 50% HCA to have a maximum effect on fatty areas in the body and for the reduction of overall weight. Why Garcinia Cambogia? Many reviews of Garcinia Cambogia have confirmed that the extract is hundred per cent natural unlike many products that could have some unwanted additives. There are no preservatives or binders with chemical additives in Garcinia Cambogia extract. The power in this fruit’s extract comes from the high content of Hydroxycitric Acid, making it one of the most effective fat busters in this world. The American television personality, Dr. Oz, the famous health Guru, has spoken very highly in his reviews of Garcinia Cambogia. He has featured Garcinia Cambogia on his television show and has even hailed it as one of the most breathtaking breakthroughs in natural weight loss. Fat Burning Properties of Garcinia Cambogia When you read about this fruit and its extract at, you will realize that the best thing about Garcinia Cambogia Select is its dual action properties of burning fat. It prevents the creation of fat in your body and also suppresses the appetite simultaneously. A combination of these effects is what makes it possible for you to lose weight without bothering much about exercising or dieting.