Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2014/01/17

“January 17, 1560” by Rick Sanders

It is 1560. Gaspard Bauhin, the Swiss botanist is born. He dies in 1624. Wikipedia says:

Gaspard Bauhin, or Caspar Bauhin (17 January 1560, Basel – 5 December 1624, Basel), was a Swiss botanist who wrote Phytopinax (1596), which described thousands of plants and classified them in a manner that draws comparisons to the later binomial nomenclature of Linnaeus. He was a disciple of the famous Italian physician Girolamo Mercuriale and he also worked on human anatomical nomenclature. Linnaeus honored the Bauhin brothers in the genus name Bauhinia.

Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2014/01/13

“January 13, 1596” by Rick Sanders

It is 1596. Jan van Goyen, the Dutch painter is born. He dies in 1656. Wikipedia says:

Jan Josephszoon van Goyen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjɑn vɑŋ ˈɣoːjə(n)]; 13 January 1596 – 27 April 1656) was a Dutch landscape painter. Van Goyen was an extremely prolific artist; approximately twelve hundred paintings and more than one thousand drawings by him are known.

Typically, a Dutch painter of the 17th century (also known as the Dutch Golden Age) will fall into one of four categories, a painter of portraits, landscapes, still-lifes, or genre. Dutch painting was highly specialized and rarely could an artist hope to achieve greatness in more than one area in a lifetime of painting. Jan van Goyen would be classified primarily as a landscape artist with an eye for the genre subjects of everyday life. He painted many of the canals in and around Den Haag as well as the villages surrounding countryside of Delft, Rotterdam, Leiden, and Gouda. Other popular Dutch landscape painters of the sixteenth and seventeenth century were Jacob van Ruisdael, Aelbert Cuyp, Hendrick Avercamp, Ludolf Backhuysen, Meindert Hobbema, Aert van der Neer.

Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2014/01/10

“January 10, 1927” by Rick Sanders

It is 1927. Fritz Lang‘s futuristic film Metropolis is released in Germany. Wikipedia says:

Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist epic science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang. The film was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, and starred Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel and Rudolf Klein-Rogge. A silent film, it was produced in the Babelsberg Studios by UFA.

Metropolis is regarded as a pioneer work of science fiction movies, being the first feature length movie of the genre.

Made in Germany during the Weimar Period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia, and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city’s ruler, and Maria, whose background is not fully explained in the film, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. Metropolis was filmed in 1925, at a cost of approximately five million Reichsmarks.[3] Thus, it was the most expensive film ever released up to that point.

Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/12/30

“December 30, 1904” by Rick Sanders

In 1904, Dmitry Kabalevsky, the Russian composer is born. He dies in 1987. Wikipedia includes the following:

Dmitri Borisovich Kabalevsky (Russian: Дми́трий Бори́сович Кабале́вский; 30 December [O.S. 17 December] 1904 – 18 February 1987) was a Russian composer.

He helped to set up the Union of Soviet Composers in Moscow and remained one of its leading figures. He was a prolific composer of piano music and chamber music; many of his piano works have been performed by Vladimir Horowitz. He is probably best known in the West for the “Comedians’ Galop” from The Comedians Suite, Op. 26 and his second piano concerto.

In general, Kabalevsky was not as adventurous as his contemporaries in terms of harmony and preferred a more conventional diatonicism, interlaced with chromaticism and major-minor interplay. Unlike fellow composer Sergei Prokofiev, he embraced the ideas of socialist realism, and his post-war works have been characterized as “popular, bland, and successful,”[4] though this judgement is attributed to many other composers of the time,[5] and some of Kabalevsky’s best-known “youth works” date from this era (the Violin Concerto, the First Cello Concerto).

Perhaps Kabalevsky’s most important contribution to the world of music-making is his consistent efforts to connect children to music. Not only did he write music specifically directed at bridging the gap between children’s technical skills and adult aesthetics, but during his lifetime he set up a pilot program of music education in twenty-five Soviet schools. Kabalevsky himself taught a class of seven-year-olds for a time, teaching them how to listen attentively and put their impressions into words. His writings on this subject were published in the United States in 1988 as Music and education: a composer writes about musical education.

Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/12/30

“December 30, 1678” by Rick Sanders

English: William Croft (1678-1727)

English: William Croft (1678-1727) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is 1678. William Croft is born. The English composer dies in 1727. Wikipedia adds:

Croft was born at the Manor House, Nether Ettington, Warwickshire. He was educated at the Chapel Royal, under the instruction of John Blow, and remained there until 1698. Two years after this departure, he became organist of St. Anne’s Church, Soho. In 1707, he took over the Chapel Royal’s “Master of the Children” post, which had been left vacant by the suicide of Jeremiah Clarke (one of Croft’s pupils in this capacity was Maurice Greene). The following year, Croft succeeded Blow (who had lately died) as organist of Westminster Abbey. He composed works for the funeral of Queen Anne (1714) and for the coronation of King George I (1715).

In 1724, Croft published Musica Sacra, a collection of church music, the first such collection to be printed in the form of a score. It contains a Burial Service, which may have been written for Queen Anne or for the Duke of Marlborough; it has been used at state funerals in the United Kingdom ever since. Shortly afterwards his health deteriorated, and he died while visiting Bath.

One of Croft’s most enduring pieces is the hymn tune “St Anne” written to the poem Our God, Our Help in Ages Past by Isaac Watts. Other composers subsequently incorporated the tune in their own works. Handel used it, for instance, in an anthem entitled O Praise the Lord. Bach‘s Fugue in E-flat major BWV 552 is often called the “St. Anne”, due to the similarity (coincidental in this case) of its subject to the hymn melody’s first phrase. Croft also wrote various violin sonatas, which are not nearly as often performed as is his religious music, but have been occasionally recorded.

Croft’s Funeral Anthem was played at Handel’s funeral.

Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/12/28

“December 28, 1973” by Rick Sanders

Agelaius phoeniceus

Agelaius phoeniceus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is 1973. The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States. Wikipedia adds:

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 7 U.S.C. § 136, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.) is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation.” The U.S. Supreme Court found that “the plain intent of Congress in enacting” the ESA “was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost.”[1] The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/12/27

“Lonely” by Rick Sanders

Loneliness can be a good time to reflect on your relationship with God. Because we are not really lonely. God is with us all the time if we just focus on His Word and better understand what it says.

Since most do not read the Word, they do not know they have a relationship with God. Their aloneness seems to be there, but the facts are that God is ever-present.

God is in the smallest things that are all around us. God tries to be a big part of our life if we understand His power. Yet, most of us do not have the slightest idea of what God can do for us. Thus, we can feel a real sense of aloneness during those times we can be said to be sad.

So, if you are lonely, what are you thinking about – God and you or just you yourself.

Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/12/27

“December 27, 1901” by Rick Sanders

Marlene Dietrich cor 06

Marlene Dietrich cor 06 (Photo credit: Luiz Fernando / Sonia Maria)

In 1901, Marlene Dietrich is born. The German-American actress and singer dies in 1992. From Wikipedia we learn:

Marie Magdalene “Marlene” Dietrich (German pronunciation: [maɐˈleːnə ˈdiːtʁɪç]; 27 December 1901 – 6 May 1992)was a German-born American actress and singer.

Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as “Lola-Lola” in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and provided her a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US. Hollywood films such as Shanghai Express and Desire capitalized on her glamour and exotic looks, cementing her stardom and making her one of the highest-paid actresses of the era. Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in 1939, and throughout World War II she was a high-profile frontline entertainer. Although she still made occasional films in the post-war years, Dietrich spent most of the 1950s to the 1970s touring the world as a successful show performer.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth-greatest female star of all time.

Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/12/26

“December 26, 1883” by Rick Sanders

Portrait of the painter Maurice Utrillo

Portrait of the painter Maurice Utrillo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

La Rue Norvins à Montmartre, oil on board pain...

La Rue Norvins à Montmartre, oil on board painting by Maurice Utrillo, c. 1910 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is 1883. Maurice Utrillo is born. The French painter dies in 1955.

Maurice Utrillo was born in Paris on December 26, 1883. His mother was model and artist Suzanne Valadon and Maurice was given his name by Spanish art critic, Miguel Utrillo. An alcoholic, Utrillo began painting as therapy and his preferred subjects were the deteriorating houses and streets of Montmartre. Utrillo was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1928. He died in 1955 on November 5th.

Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/12/19

“December 19, 1825” by Rick Sanders

English: Taken from http://www.montagnanabooks...

English: Taken from http://www.montagnanabooks.com/Bristow.gif – due to its age it’s in the public domain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1825, George Frederick Bristow, the American composer is born. He dies in 1898. Wikipedia adds:

Bristow was born into a musical family in Brooklyn, New York. His father, William, a well-respected conductor, pianist, and clarinetist, gave his son lessons in piano, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and violin. George joined the first violin section of the New York Philharmonic Society Orchestra in 1843 at the age of seventeen, and remained there until 1879. The New York Philharmonic’s records indicate that he was concertmaster between 1850 and 1853.

In the 1850s, Bristow became conductor of two choral organizations, the New York Harmonic Society and the Mendelssohn Union (and later several church choirs). In 1854, he began his long career as a music educator in the public schools of New York.

Throughout his life, Bristow was a champion of American music and a nationalist in his choice of texts. The amount and quality of his choral music, although mostly ignored by Grove’s, makes Bristow a historically important choral composer.

Bristow’s compositional output is divided in three periods: his early years, during which most of the compositions are instrumental; the middle period beginning in 1852, during which he wrote more than forty works, several of them lengthy and imposing; and the late period, beginning in 1879 with Bristow’s resignation from the New York Philharmonic. Of the 135 compositions listed in Rogers’ dissertation on Bristow’s music, one-third are choral or vocal. Seven of his choral works are choral/orchestral pieces, and twenty-seven compositions are smaller pieces, most of which were composed for church choirs that he led. Both the short sacred works and the large choral/orchestral compositions are evenly divided between the middle and late periods.

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