In previous posts, I have shared with you the music of John Rutter. He had a special commission to write a song for an occasion in which the world would be looking for every moment to be perfect. What a responsibility!
I can only imagine the nights that he must have struggled over the exact song…a perfect song for this ceremony. The Queen would be there and everyone who could have managed to receive an invitation. This was the day! As with all his other music, he puts God’s words and love as the main focus of his composing. In this special event, he wanted God to be honored and for the world to receive a message of God’s tender care. Using Psalm 118, he expanded on a familiar gospel chorus…adding special words.
Finally, he finished his composition for the organ and voices of the choir boys and older singers. This special day would be at Westminster Abby, one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in the world.
I’m certain that at some point before the ceremony, Rutter had to present this song to His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton for approval. What if they decided it was NOT what they desired for their big day.., after all his work and prayers? Thankfully, this beautiful song was right on target and with a thumbs up…the rehearsals began!
You will notice that this song is not one of flowery love between a couple. It is about God’s love and the responsibility of the couple before God. The words are words of encouragement that God will be with them. He will be their defender and protector. Yet, they must also “praise Him.” They must be strong and put their trust in Him. We pray that this is what they are doing in life, for it was a ceremony before God… not to be taken lightly amidst the grandeur.
Here are the words, in part, to this special song, This is the Day by John Rutter. He used the Holy Scripture in many parts. (source: Musixmatch)
This is the day
The day which the Lord hath made
We will rejoice and be glad in it.This is the day
The day which the Lord hath made
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day.
O praise the Lord of heav’n: praise him in the height.
Praise him, all ye angels of His: praise Him, all His host.
Praise Him, sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars and light.
Let them praise the Name of the Lord.
For he shall give his angels charge
Over thee: to keep thee in all thy ways.
To keep thee in all thy ways…
The Lord himself is thy keeper
The Lord is thy defense upon thy right hand;
So that the sun shall not burn thee by day
Neither the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
Yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in:
From this time forth
From this time forth for evermore.
He shall defend thee
He shall defend thee under his wings...
Be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart,
Shall comfort thine heart…
Put thou thy trust in the Lord
Thy trust in the Lord.
What about your day? Each day God gives you is a special day and you too should rejoice and be glad in it. Thank Him today for your special day. It may be simple and plain…nothing royal…but it is YOUR DAY!
This day belongs to the Lord! Let’s celebrate and be glad today. Psalm 118:24
For your enjoyment, here is the beautiful music by John Rutter, THIS IS THE DAY. Turn on your sound.
What does music do to our souls? John Rutter, the composer whose music I shared in my previous blog, has a theory about music and especially the music sung by small or great choirs. Because we enjoy music that has beautiful harmony, Mr. Rutter thinks it is a lesson for all mankind…to be in harmony with one another.
What a desperate prayer this is for the world as we know it today. To even consider harmonious living in a time of destruction and cruelty is almost “asking for the moon.” Yet, this is what God wants from us and only through Him and the love He demonstrated for us through His Son will we have this glorious blessing of peace and harmony. We look for the day that our churches and community choirs will once again gather in fullness to sing His wonderful praises.
BRIEF HISTORY OF JOHN RUTTER: Born on 24 September 1945 in London, John Rutter is the son of an industrial chemist and his wife. He grew up living over the Globe pub on London’s Marylebone Road… As a chorister there, he took part in the first recording of Britten’s War Requiem… He then read music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the choir. While still an undergraduate he had his first compositions published, including the “Shepherd’s Pipe Carol” which he had written aged 18.
In 1981, Rutter founded his own choir, the Cambridge Singers, which he conducts, and with which he has made many recordings of sacred choral repertoire (including his own works)… He frequently conducts many choirs and orchestras around the world.
In 1980, he was made an honorary Fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and in 1988 a Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians. In 1996, the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred a Lambeth Doctorate of Music upon him in recognition of his contribution to church music.
Rutter’s compositions are chiefly choral, and include Christmas carols, anthems and extended works such as the Gloria, the Requiem and the Magnificat. In 2002, his setting of Psalm 150, commissioned for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, was performed at the Jubilee thanksgiving service in St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Similarly, he was commissioned to write a new anthem, This is the day, for the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011, performed at Westminster Abbey during the service. (Taken, in part, from a conversation with Bruce Duffie)
At the end of this blog, you will see the words, OLDER POSTS. In case you missed it, click on this to hear another of his beautiful musical pieces with words. It will be worth you while.
Listen to what he has to say about choral music and then below his message is one of his most excellent works of art. Tune your heart to be blessed.
Turn up your sound.
Turn up sound. THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU
Conducted by John Rutter Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, The Mark Thallander Foundation Choir Festival
This is a short blog to give you a rest from all the difficulties of life. Listening to and thinking about too much in the news with total negativity can make your mind, not only depressed, but filled with dread and doubt about our lives on planet earth. God has something better for you to think about…HIS LOVE ND HIS CREATION! The music is LOOK AT THE WORLD by the great Christian composer, John Rutter.
FOR YOUR TOTAL ENJOYMENT AND REASSURANCE FROM BOYER WRITES
GOD BLESS YOU!
It is amazing that people who have been greatly blessed with a special gift can continue to use that gift even after they physically find it almost impossible. The determination, courage, and faith that it takes to continue…to press on regardless of the circumstances is inspiring indeed.
One of my favorite pieces of music by Beethoven is the part of the The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor “Quasi una fantas,” which we know as the Moonlight Sonata.
It was completed in 1801 and dedicated in 1802 to his pupil, the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi The piece is one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions for the piano, and it was a popular favorite even in his own day. Beethoven wrote the Moonlight Sonata in his early thirties, after he had finished with some commissioned work; there is no evidence that he was commissioned to write this sonata…The name “Moonlight Sonata” comes from remarks made by the German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab. In 1832, five years after Beethoven’s death, Rellstab likened the effect of the first movement to that of moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne. Within ten years, the name “Moonlight Sonata” (“Mondscheinsonate” in German) was being used in German and English publications. Later in the nineteenth century, the sonata was universally known by that name. (Wikipedia)
By the love letter Beethoven wrote to Giulietta, it was obvious that he was in love with her. However, it appears that her father objected to a marriage for the two. Beethoven was not rich enough nor had a position he considered suitable for his daughter. This great piano virtuoso would not have his love, for she eventually married another man.
Beethoven’s love letter to the Countess:
My Angel, My All, My Very Self,
Just a few words to-day, and only in pencil . . . Can our love endure otherwise than through sacrifices, through restraint in longing. Canst thou help not being wholly mine, can I, not being wholly thine. Oh! gaze at nature in all its beauty, and calmly accept the inevitable – love demands everything, and rightly so. Thus is it for me with thee, for thee with me, only thou so easily forgettest, that I must live for myself and for thee – were we wholly united thou wouldst feel this painful fact as little as I should . . .
Now for a quick change from without to within: we shall probably soon see each other, besides, to-day I cannot tell thee what has been passing through my mind during the past few days concerning my life – were our hearts closely united, I should not do things of this kind. My heart is full of the many things I have to say to thee – ah! – there are moments in which I feel that speech is powerless – cheer up – remain my true, my only treasure, my all !!! as I to thee. The gods must send the rest, what for us must be and ought to be.
The young Beethoven and a painting of Beethoven after his illnesses and the loss of his hearing. What could be more devastating than for a composer to not hear what he was playing…Yet, he continued to use the gift God gave him.
“Beethoven died in his apartment in Vienna, on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56, following a prolonged illness. Beethoven’s funeral was held three days later, and the procession was witnessed by a large crowd. He was originally buried in the cemetery at Wahring, although his remains were moved in 1888 to the Vienna Central Cemetery.”
In this short, dramatic movie clip, given in part here, Beethoven could hear nothing of what his genius and gift from God had allowed him to compose. The strings of the orchestra moved, but for Beethoven, where was no sound. The audience heard it, however…and finally, he was given the applause that he could at least see. He finally saw with his eyes their appreciation for his beautiful music.
Turn up sound and click link and then click the back arrow to return for a piano performance of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
PIANO PERFORMANCE OF THE MOONLIGHT SONATA: Arranged by Georgii Cherkin Classic FM Orchestra Conductor: Grigor Palikarov Soloist: Georgii Cherkin – piano
Boyer Writes presents Christmas music for your inspiration.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
The joy of great music and art are readily available. In a world over-powered by sound and fury, it would be good to rest our minds with music from some of the great composers and literary figures in history.
- History of the music, Ave Maria:
“The original words of Ave Maria (Hail Mary) were in English, being part of a poem called The Lady of the Lake, written in 1810 by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). The poem drew on the romance of the legend regarding the 5th century British leader King Arthur, but transferred it to Scott’s native Scotland. In 1825 during a holiday in Upper Austria, the composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828) set to music a prayer from the poem using a German translation by Adam Storck. Scored for piano and voice, it was first published in 1826 as “D839 Op 52 no 6.” Schubert called his piece “Ellens dritter Gesang” (Ellen’s third song) and it was written as a prayer to the Virgin Mary from a frightened girl, Ellen Douglas, who had been forced into hiding.The song cycle proved to be one of Schubert’s most financially successful works, the Austrian composer being paid by his publisher 20 pounds sterling, a sizable sum for a musical work in the 1820s. Though not written for liturgical services, the music proved to be inspirational to listeners, particularly Roman Catholics, and a Latin text was substituted to make it suitable for use in church. It is today most widely known in its Latin “Ave Maria” form.” (taken from Song Facts)
- Franz Schubert’s inspiration:
” Franz Schubert’s inspiration was the epic poem of Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake, written in 1810. The poem tells the fictional tale of 16th century Scottish clans at war with each other and in rebellion against the king. Schubert wrote a cycle of seven songs based on the story, using the German translation of the poem by Philip Adam Storck.
The heroine of the poem is Ellen Douglas who has fled with her exiled father to a mountain cave to escape the pursuit of a rebel chieftain. While in the cave, Ellen sings a song praying to the Virgin Mary for help, accompanied by the harper Allan-bane.
This is in part the original text of Sir Walter Scott:
Ave Maria ! maiden mild !
Listen to a maiden’s prayer !
Thou canst hear though from the wild,
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banished, outcast, and reviled—
Maiden ! hear a maiden’s prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child !
Ave Maria !” (Taken from the blog and harpist, Ann Sullivan)
Michael Lucarelli is a classical guitarist who has written compositions of his own. Having received his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Utah, he now teaches guitar there. His Master’s degree was from the University of Arizona. Born in Ohio, Lucarelli studied with Peruvian Guitarist Ricardo Linares.
- Performance Location:
Michael Lucarelli plays Franz Schuberts’s Ave Maria on classical guitar. Filmed at “the Cathedral of the Madeleine” in Salt Lake City Utah. The Cathedral of the Madeleine is a Roman Catholic church in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. It was completed in 1909 and currently serves as the cathedral, or mother church, of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. The cathedral was built under the direction of Lawrence Scanlan, the first bishop of Salt Lake. (Wikipedia)
For your listening pleasure, Boyer Writes brings you Ave Maria performed by Michael Lucarelli Turn up sound.
HE IS RISEN!
Somewhere around the world, it is now Easter Sunday morning. Christ is risen…risen indeed! The grave could not hold him. He walked among His disciples and followers, showing them the scars in His hands. Because of His Resurrection, those who love and believe on Him, will also have a resurrection. Hallelujah!
In services and performances around the world, when the Hallelujah chorus is sung, the audience stands. It is said that this tradition began when King George II, attending the London premiere of “Messiah” in March of 1743, was so moved by the “Hallelujah” that he stood up and if the king stands, everyone stands. One can understand why King George was moved because it is truly one of the great compositions of music.
Handel’s Messiah…Hallelujah Chorus
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
and of His Christ;
and He shall reign for ever and ever.
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Hallelujah! (Revelation 19) Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
and hath redeemed us to God by his blood,
to receive power, and riches,
and wisdom, and strength,
and honor,and glory, and blessing.
Blessing and honor, glory and power,
be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb,
For ever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 5)
The Choir of Wells Cathedral
Directed by Matthew Owens
Selections: ‘Hallelujah…Worthy is the Lamb That Was Slain… Amen
Each tells the story of the birth (Christmas), passion, death, and resurrection (Easter) of Jesus and of the eventual resurrection of humankind to the glory of Heaven.
Link to: Complete performance of Handel’s Messiah with great art of the Masters
CRUCIFIXUS by Antonio Lotti
Music and Art by the Masters for Good Friday
Antonio Lotti (5 January 1667 – 5 January 1740) was an Italian Baroque Composer.
Perhaps your Christmas was too involved and busy to settle back and listen to some of the world’s most beautiful music. Put down the phone; turn off the TV and enjoy the best of this Holy Season . This is your moment to listen and meditate on things beautiful while you sip a favorite beverage.
May God bless you in a special way in this New Year.
For your listening and viewing pleasure….below the seas.
“Largo” from Dvorak’s New World Symphony
Dearly Beloved is a film about the life of Ludwig van Beethoven who was born in 1770 in Germany. Part of his life was lived as a deaf composer who was the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras.
Still loved today, I find the following video most interesting as the Japanese have also “fallen in love” with the music of Beethoven. Maybe this is an understatement as we hear over 10,000 Japanese musicians perform.
Enjoy this presentation:
Criticism is often the hardest to take. It leaves a sting…that often does not leave our memories. At times, it moves us to press forward toward a better life, talent, or investigation of what could be…if only we were better.
Born in 1873, Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives Romanticism in Russian Classical music.
Criticism…or poor reports…changed Rachmaninoff’s life. The following gives an accounting of this:
“After the poor reception of his First Symphony, Rachmaninoff fell into a period of deep depression that lasted three years, during which he wrote almost nothing…. Sava Mamontov, a patron of the arts, offered Rachmaninoff the post of assistant conductor for the 1897–8 season and the cash-strapped composer accepted. …During this period he became engaged to fellow pianist Natalia Satina whom he had known since childhood and who was his first cousin. The Russian Orthodox Church and the girl’s parents both opposed their marriage and this thwarting of their plans only deepened Rachmaninoff’s depression.”
Here we see that opposition…and again criticism of one’s relationships by family or religious authorities makes life stressful. Rachmaninoff greatly admired Leo Tolstoy (Author of War and Peace) and was invited to an evening of music in the home of Yasnaya Polyana where Tolstoy was also invited.
“That evening, Rachmaninoff played one of his compositions, then accompanied Chaliapin in his song “Fate”, one of the pieces he had written after his First Symphony. At the end of the performance, Tolstoy took the composer aside and asked:
“Is such music needed by anyone? I must tell you how I dislike it all. Beethoven is nonsense, Pushkin and Lermontove also.. (The song “Fate” is based on the two opening measures of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.)
As the guests were leaving, Tolstoy said:
‘Forgive me if I’ve hurt you by my comments’; and Rachmaninoff graciously replied: ‘How could I be hurt on my own account, if I was not hurt on Beethoven’s?’; but the criticism of the great author stung nevertheless.
The criticism did hurt and it was not long afterwards that Rachmaninoff began taking a course on auto-suggestive therapy from a psychologist. Finally he regained his confidence and over-came writer’s block. It was after this that he completed his Piano Concerto N. 2 in C minor, Op 18.
He immigrated to the United States where he gave over a thousand concerts. He was buried in New York state in 1943. He felt that he was “like a ghost wondering the world.” always looking backward to his beloved Russia. Under Stalin, his music was forbidden in Russia. Wars prevented his ever returning there.
Even after many performances of his 3rd Symphony , the critics once again criticized…”Does Rachmaninoff have a 3rd Symphony in him?” To Rachmaninoff, ” It was like cutting out pieces of my heart.”
After all the years of performing, composing….criticism still was difficult.
This writing is a shorten part of a great life, but may help us in understanding how much criticism works on the thoughts and perhaps even the soul. The video below is his memories of his beloved country of Russia made for his daughters. He describes the Orthodox Church; his alcoholic father, and the place that inspired his composing of such beautiful music as Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. (Give yourself time on this one which is not only the playing of his beautiful music, but the Russian culture and tragedy of war. )
Enjoy the thoughts of one of the great musicians and composers of our time…Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff
My fascination with the arts may rise from my creative side. I find those with extraordinary talents exciting and inspirational, which has led me to resurrect my piano lessons that I took when I was sent to a boarding school at age 10. ( It is painfully slow, but returning to some degree.)
Reading about the lives of famous artists, musicians, and the highly talented has also interested me. How often they wade through their talents plagued with demons of alcohol, self-doubt and even suicidal tendencies (the artists Jackson Pollack and Van Gogh as examples). In my writings, I often ask the reason why? Was it something in their early years or relationships. Sometimes there is no answer, but the appreciation for what they brought to this world is high in my mind.
This Sunday morning, I want to share with you Vladimir Horowitz … his music and his life.
“Vladimir Horowitz was born in Kiev, Ukraine. He was the youngest of four children of Samuil Horowitz and Sophia Bodik, who were assimilated Jews. Samuil was a well-to-do electrical engineer and a distributor of electric motors for German manufacturers. Horowitz’s grandfather Joachim was a merchant (and an arts-supporter), belonging to the 1st Guild. This status gave exemption from having to reside in the Pale of Settlement.
Horowitz was born in 1903, but in order to make him appear too young for military service so as not to risk damaging his hands, his father took a year off his son’s age by claiming he was born in 1904.
Horowitz received piano instruction from an early age, initially from his mother, who was herself a pianist. In 1912 he entered the Kiev Conservatory, where he was taught by Vladimir Puchalsky, Sergei Tarnowsky, and Felix Blumenfeld. His first solo recital was in Kharkiv in 1920.
Horowitz’s fame grew, and he soon began to tour Russia where he was often paid with bread, butter and chocolate rather than money, due to the country’s economic hardships. During the 1922–1923 season, he performed 23 concerts of eleven different programs in Petrograd alone.
Despite his early success as a pianist, Horowitz maintained that he wanted to be a composer, and undertook a career as a pianist only to help his family, who had lost their possessions in the Russian Revolution.
In December 1925, Horowitz crossed the border into the West, ostensibly to study with Artur Schnabel in Berlin. Privately intending not to return, the 22-year-old pianist had stuffed American dollars and British pound notes into his shoes to finance his initial concerts.” This was the beginning of a war-gift to the West.
The personal life of Horowitz was often one of depression and confusion about his sexual orientation and other matters. “In the 1940’s, he began seeing a psychiatrist. He underwent electroshock treatment during the 1960’s and 70’s. In 1982, Horowitz began using prescribed anti-depressant medications and he was drinking alcohol as well. Consequently, his playing underwent a perceptible decline during this period. The pianist’s 1983 performances in the United States and Japan were marred by memory lapses and a loss of physical control.
(At the latter, one Japanese critic likened Horowitz to a “precious antique vase that is cracked.”)
He stopped playing in public for the next two years. By 1985, Horowitz, no longer taking medication or drinking alcohol, returned to his concerts and recordings.”
This Russian Jew, who might have ended up as a casualty of war, had always wanted to return to his former homeland. Now, back in good form, this talented pianist and composer decided to do so.
“In 1986, Horowitz announced that he would return to the Soviet Union for the first time since 1925 to give recitals in Moscow and Leningrad. In the new atmosphere of communication and understanding between the USSR and the USA, these concerts were seen as events of political, as well as musical, significance. Most of the tickets for the Moscow concert were reserved for the Soviet elite and few sold to the general public. This resulted in a number of Moscow Conservatory students crashing the concert, which was audible to viewers of the internationally televised recital.”
Below is a video of his performance in Russia. One will notice the tears on some of the men and women in the audience. A person gave this comment about his performance in Russia (formerly USSR) and what the people may have been remembering during his performance as to the treatment of the Jews and others in Nazi camps , but also in Russian Siberia.
“The reason why we weep is that not only is he playing for the living but also the dead. The choice of Schuman’s Traumerei is not caprice. He is playing for all those who lost their lives due to the war. Those forced to flee with the loss of family, the ones sent to the gas chambers, the ones who starved to death, the ones who died in the hell of battle. He also is sending a message to the military leaders of the USSR and the US. – Remember!” We may add here that is a message to all the world…and those in power today.
The largest church in the United States and the longest church in the world may have a message in plain view to the thousands who walk by her door daily and to the visitors from all over the world who enter by her massive arches.
First, we will look at the third phase of the cathedral’s restoration: The Portal of Paradise, as the Cathedral’s central portal is called, was completed by master stone-carver Simon Verity between 1988 and 1997. The figures of the Portal reflect a modernism in their portions and features. … The frieze over the portal doors shows Jesus and below him is John the Divine with paper and quill. Flanking the doors are biblical figures. The most chilling of the Cathedrals’ modern stonework is the theme of John’s Revelation with sections showing the apocalypse including NYC engulfed by tidal waves and the Brooklyn Bridge cracked in half. The Twin Towers are also clearly shown.
What was St. John’s Revelation? St. John was the author of the biblical Book of the Revelation. To those who read this book, there is a promised blessing. What exactly is the blessing? One does not know except to perhaps make one wiser about reading the daily newspaper or remembering history.
St. John has a vision of things to come. When will these things come? No one knows. However, it may surprise some to know that The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine had stone carvers who knew this book and used their chisels to depict the accounts told by St. John as he was given his visions. One sculptured piece is surprising and chilling. ( See picture below)
It appears that the carvers also saw N.Y as being “Babylon the Great” spoken of in Revelation. This scene, carved on the west entrance of the cathedral, depicts New York as this city who gets completely destroyed by the wrath of God. The Book of Revelation mentions:
“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!
She has become a home for demons
and a haunt for every evil spirit,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
Book of Revelation 18
Was it a warning? Do we write this because we believe that this is a real interpretation concerning New York’s future? No, but we do believe in the truth and authority in the holy scriptures. It could, however, be a warning of what could happen? We do not know. Biblical scholars for generations have tried to interpret the book of Revelation. If it is indeed a warning to the present and future generations, perhaps this is the blessing promised…that we be warned and should do as the scripture below tells us in order to spare us.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
In being healed as a nation, God has promised His divine healing to all believers.
VIDEO: click here THE STORY BEHIND ST. JOHN CATHEDRAL IN NEW YORK CITY
There are many people who are alive today because the people of the United Kingdom took thousands of children into safe care. Most would never see their parents again. The agony of placing one’s little child or teenager on a train headed for an unknown family; trying to look brave; smiling; waving….but knowing that this was their only chance is hard to imagine.
“10,000 thousand, mainly European Jewish children fled to the UK when they were threatened by the Nazis in the run up the Second World War.The youngsters were evacuated between December 1938 and September 1939 as war clouds gathered over Europe and the Nazis began their systematic extermination of the Jews which culminated in the Holocaust.”
There are two videos that I am sharing today. Video 1 is the story of the survivors who express the deep emotions that they felt and at times the inability to admit to true feelings about their past. Some, who have children and grandchildren of their own today, know why they survived and are grateful for the kindness of non-Jewish and Jewish families in Great Britain who took them in. They finally know that they have a purpose to their lives.
Some survivors also worry that people of today will forget how hatred and intolerance can lead to another holocaust….a part of history we do not want to repeat. After viewing, with sound, the first video, be certain to see the second one on the children’s memorial in Israel, Yad Vashem.
Video 1:HISTORY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE TRAIN
Thousands of other children did not survive. They did not make it to the transportation or the short window of time that was open to their departure to Great Britain. These died with their parents in the concentration camps.
A visit to Yad Vashem Children’s Holocaust Memorial in Israel is one of the most moving displays of remembrance. The thousands of stars on the ceiling represent the names of each child being read aloud.
Video 2: Yad Vashem Children’s Holocaust Memorial
Along the coast of Harwich, UK, is a memorial plaque which says in part, “At 5:30 am on 2 Dec. 1938, the SS Prague docked at Parkeston Quay. On board were 196 children, the first arrival of what would become known as the kindertransport….” Not only did families meet this particular boat, but the Salvation Army put them in hostels. A number of the older children were carrying babies. Keep in mind that they had just traveled across the North Sea and then for some on to London by rail. This meant for some mothers and fathers that a baby was placed in the arms of a teenage child, who journeyed on by train and then boat….to have to turn away forever knowing it was their children’s only chance. The future for most of these heart-broken souls meant pending arrest…forced labor camps…gas chambers and death.
See pictures of Dedication of Kindertransport Memorial Plaque in Harwich, UK
Composing music in a time of turmoil and uncertainty was a difficult task that took courage and loyalty to preserving the sacred music of the Christian faith. It could mean being accused of treason and execution, depending on who was in power at the time.
The video below is a history of two of those composers, Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. They were caught between the Catholic and Protestant world of Henry VIII. Their efforts and what they left for the world is worth our understanding. A tour is interesting of many of the places where the music was composed and performed. Musicians will appreciate the study of the music and its beauty.
Sacred Music Composers William Byrd & Thomas Tallis: “Singing the Lord’s song in a strange land”
In the scheme of things, we are most small. I thought of this as I watched the early morning sky for the meteor showers predicted to occur this day. Perhaps you were watching also from a dark part of your yard….or in a fancy observatory like this one at right. Of course you were!
How vulnerable we are. Everything seems so far away. Yet, these words were read just a few days ago:
” A small asteroid that exploded over the San Francisco Bay Area on Oct. 17th, shaking houses with its sonic boom, might have scattered pieces of itself on the ground. That’s the conclusion of Peter Jenniskens of the NASA Ame Research Center.”
One never knows what may fall out of the sky from this vast universe where we live. Our lives are in His Hands and we hope the Hands are friendly. None the less, we gaze with amazement at what we don’t really understand completely. We ask the questions of millions throughout the ages:
What is out there? Are our loved ones that have left this life enjoying the mysteries of the universe? Will God take us by the hand and show us everything He has created? How really big is space?
Enough of my thoughts. Looking at my clock, it is 3:53 am. Everyone is asleep in my house except me. It is probably time to go back on the balcony and see if there is any movement in the sky. After all, there is much more to enjoy….more than politics which at this time we are all consumed with here in the USA. What a relief to know that when every vote is counted, the sky will not have completely fallen and life will continue.
This Sunday morning, it would be good also to hear something that reminds us of God’s creation. The Heavens are Telling…..
Just in case you are a sleepy head that could not think of being up at pre-dawn, this is what it was all about, ( If you are now listening to the music video, you can also click on the video below and hear both at the same time. Enjoy. )
Biography of a great musician: Vladimir Horowitz was born in Kiev, Ukraine. He was the youngest of four children. His mother was a pianist and gave him lessons. He then entered a conservatory of music in Kiev, being taught by Vladimir Puchalsky. He finally began to tour in Russia where he was often paid with food rather than money because of economic hard times. His family lost all their possessions in the Russian Revolution.
His decision to go to the West came in 1925. His intension was to study with Arthur Schnabel. He had no desire to return to his homeland, so he put American dollars and British pound notes in his shoes to pay his way.
In 1925, Horowitz made his first appearance outside his country in Berlin. Later, he played in Paris, London, and New York, where he gave his first debut in Carnegie Hall.
Horowitz, who was Jewish, married Wanda who was Catholic. Wanda knew no Russian and Horowitz knew very little Italian…therefore, they spoke French. Tragedy touched their lives when their child, Sonia, died of a drug overdose.
He sought medical help for depression and seemed to have difficulty with alcohol. One Japanese critic commented that Horowitz was ” a precious antique vase that is cracked.” He stopped playing in public for about two years. In 1986, he recovered from his dependency and returned to his life in concert.
For the first time since 1925, Horowitz returned to the Soviet Union to play. The concerts were as much political as musical and no tickets were sold to the general public…only the Soviet elite. Moscow Conservatory students protested, causing quite a disruption which was caught on TV.
President Reagan presented him with the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. After this, he continued to record his music until he died of a heart attack at the age of 86 in New York. Horowitz is buried in the Toscanini family tomb in Milan, Italy.
Enjoy your Sunday and the beginning of Fall.
A wonderful letter written by an admirer of Vladimir Horowitz..telling of the hours that he spent waiting in the cold of New York City to buy a ticket to hear the beautiful music of this genius. (Thank you, Robert, for your comment to Boyer Writes and this link:letter.html )
My last writing was about the landfills around the country seeing the death of pianos. Today I will share with you a very interesting story about a piano, a mother and father and a young boy. You decide if this was a born prodigy or if the parents desires to shape a child gave him this gift? What does this say to all people who are parenting these days?
Ariel Lanyi has grown up in Israel. His parents wanted him to be exposed to music from the first day of his birth. They did not want him to come home to a house without a piano, so they negotiated to buy one. Neither parent played the piano, but this little baby would grow up hearing music of the great masters from day one. Little did they know what this would do to his life.
The parents had confidence and the child had exposure. Maybe this is the answer to our educational problems in the USA. and perhaps around the world. The involved parent…the dedicated parent…the parent who cares may be the greatest gift a child can have in his or her life time. It may mean the difference between a child seeking acceptance outside the home…even for some a life of crime and violence or developing the God-given talents that he has been placed deep within his mind and heart. We might even say God-given and parent-given.
Not every family can afford to give a child the best of everything, but they can give of themselves and foster the talents that are there. At first Ariel taught himself to play the piano because it was there for him to reach before the age of three. Later he would have lessons. His father was amazed that Ariel knew at a very young age what key a piece of music was being played.
The video below will introduce you to a family that provided confidence as well as exposure to the world of music. This boy is now being called a prodigy or even a genius. He does not like those terms, but nevertheless believes that he may truly be a genius someday. I would guess that he will be and it started with a mother and father who said that they could not take him home to a house without a piano. Oh, for the family that would love to have one of those pianos in the landfills. (See previous writing for the full story.) It is also interesting to know that Ariel, who is now a teenager, also speaks fluently Hebrew, English and Russian.
After you view video 1, be sure to come back to video 2 to see Ariel perform on the piano.
VIEW VIDEO#1 “I WILL BE A GENIUS…BUT NOT YET.”
VIDEO#2 CONCERT BY ARIEL LANYI
Windsor Castle has stood for hundreds of years, dating back to the Dark Ages. It has seen kings and queens come and go…from the mad to the shy. It’s walls have witnessed civil war under King Charles I, who was beheaded, and many other amazing events.
The Castle was a birthplace to a number of monarchs, but was often used as a prison. King Edward III kept his prisoners in the Devil’s Tower or in the dungeons of the Curfew Tower. When executed, their bodies were hung from the Curfew Tower as a warning to others.
Names were given to some, such as “The Black King”, “The Virgin Queen”, ” The Mad King”and the “Witch Queen”
A few of the monarchs, some quite colorful, include:
- 1491 The notorious Dowager Queen of England, Joan of Navarre, was accused by her step son, Henry V, of witchcraft and necromancy (sorcery). She was found not guilty.
- Edward III established the Order of the Garter which is the oldest order of chivalry in the world.
- 1640 Civil War during Charles I, who was beheaded.
- Oliver Cromwell takes over and the monarchy is out!
- 1660 Charles II revived the glory of the monarchy. Founder of the Royal Society with commissions in art and science from Leonardo Da Vinci.
- George III, known as the mad king, but also founded the Royal Academy.
- George IV was self-indulgent, but loved the arts. He transformed the castle with Gothic statues, making Windsor into a truly medieval castle. During his reign, the French Revolution took place which gave him a chance to bring many French masterpieces to England. Britain also defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.
- Queen Victoria, the niece of George, was known as “The Widow of Windsor”
- George V renamed the royal family “The House of Windsor” in 1917.
VIDEO OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT CASTLES (starting with King George III) Under the present day monarch, Queen Elizabeth, a more modern view of Windsor, the effects of the fire in 1992 and the renovation, is shown.
Queen Mary’s Doll House, a miniature replica of the castle, is amazing.
During Lent, we are writing about Job, who was totally upright before God. Satan had something to prove to God:
- A believer will curse God under the right conditions.
- The body controls the spirit of man for it is weak.
- God does not really have the love of man for man will crumble under pressure.
Job was greatly suffering, but he was not making Satan’s accusations the truth. Even when his friends tried to tell him that it was no use and that something he had done was causing his misery, Job refused to curse his Maker. This did not mean that he was unable to express his emotions and even his discouragement. For Job wanted to know:
- How can a mortal be just before God? ( Job Chapters 9-10)
- How can one really speak to God for He is the Remover of mountains and Maker of the Universe?
- How can he, a mere man, understand these great things that God does?
- Who dares to speak to God and says “What are you doing?”
Job believes that though he is innocent, anything he would say would only condemn him. He also feels helpless in his suffering because he knows his days may be numbered. In fact, there is no contest! He is mortal and God is All Powerful.
Job says,” I loathe my life…I will speak to the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, Do not condemn me. let me know why you contend against me. Does it seem good to oppress the work of my hands and favor the schemes of the wicked?…remember that You have fashioned me…”
Why, why, why? This is the universal question. Often all we have in our faith is to lay it all out before God and plead with Him for mercy, especially when we don’t understand the circumstances. Deep, deep in our souls we have to believe that a time of testing is not what God truly wants…for He is a God of Love and Compassion. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is my whole heart God’s and His will or am I reserving a part for myself..plans.. or ambitions?
- Am I willing to give all my sorrows and mistakes to Christ?
- Regardless of any outcome, will my last breath be one of honor to the Maker of the universe?
Sit back and quietly surround yourself with a quiet spirit before God as you listen to the music below and contemplate your answers to the above questions.
When I spent time in Ukraine, I was most impressed with the love of music that surrounds Kiev and the people of this part of Europe. I sat in on music lessons for young adults at the Kiev School of Music. Their talents were incredible. Walk the streets and one will hear music coming from windows. The opera that I attended was probably the most beautiful that I have ever seen.
Who are the great composers whose music still lives long after their deaths? One of them is Chopin. His life was not a long one. Born in 1810 and being ill for some time, he died at the age of 39. A virtuoso of the piano. He was considered the “poet of the piano” and one of the great Romantic musicians.
The video that I have included in this writing is one on the life of Chopin and a young, modern man, James Rhodes, who set out to find information on the man whose music he loves to play. He wanted to know who influenced him and who put the song into Chopin. He needed to understand the background of this great Polish composer. This took him not only to Warsaw, Poland, but to Paris.
Russian rule in Poland changed Chopin’s life forever…never able to return, but filling his life and music with his memories of and his love for Warsaw. It is hard to imagine we are talking about Chopin as a very young man, much like James Rhodes. Chopin composed at the age of seven and wrote piano concertos at 17; fell in love at 19 but love was a hard part of his life. James Rhodes also feels that finding love is often difficult for most musicians…as it was for Chopin. From 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin, Baroness Dudevant, who wrote under the male pseudonym George Sand. She even dressed at times like a man. This writer spent a winter in Majorca at an abandoned Carthusian monastery which she describes in one of her books. Chopin was ill with tuberculosis at this time and she left him before his death. One can still visit the monastery today.
At age 21, Chopin went to Paris which was the cultural center of the world. He reached out to this “music paradise”and especially to those who sang for operas. He supported himself financially by sales of his compositions and as a piano teacher.
This video is about finding and living your passion. Reaching our dreams often takes research as history teaches it to us. How does history effect our own lives? Can we learn lessons from those who have already lived?
In music…instruments are often connected. Chopin found his inspiration for the piano from the human voice. The composer finds his own style. In the case of Chopin, his was one of delicate touch. He played late into the evening and sometimes the people in the saloons would hear him, knowing his great talent. “Fingers seemed to be brushed by an angel’s wing” as one writer expresses.
Set aside time to see this entire documentary…at least 30 minutes. I do not expect that all readers will have an interest, but for those who do have a passion for music…this is my written gift to you. Enjoy!
VIDEO OF JAMES RHODES AND THE LIFE OF CHOPIN
In Celebration of 200 writings
Saturday, Jan 21, 2012 Of all the writings in the past two years, the one that has been clicked on and written about the most is the writing about SS General Hans Kammler. I had people writing from South America saying they could do research in a museum there and another reader who said his grandfather had some involvement in this mysterious situation. Another had papers with the actual handwriting of the General. Perhaps we all just love a good mystery. I have included a link below that will give you the full writing (posted in Feb. 2010). Maybe you will have an idea why it generated such interest. If so, send me a comment.
( Reader comments are at the end of the writing…for your entertainment. )
SS General Hans Kammler
Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 Recently the movie came out called “War Horse”. This video is taken from a previous writing about a real American horse (Mongolian breed) who served in the Korean War.
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 Some words and video taken from :Uplifting and DelightfulPosted on February 11, 2011It occurred to me recently how important it is for our mental health to watch and to listen to things that are uplifting, delightful or inspiring. We can become bogged down in the media overload that gives our minds and hearts a feeling of depression, hopelessness, and regret… amidst world calamity. Not that this is unimportant, for it is…especially to those who are living through oppression and difficulties. None the less, life needs a balance…..
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 Our wonderful moonTuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 Mt. Fuji and the beautiful maple trees as photographed by N. Boyer (See more photography by Boyer by clicking on the abstract picture at right.) Enjoy these beautiful slides with music. Turn on the sound.
Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 Individuality and the “The Finger Print of God”
Video Sunday Jan.15, 2012
A CELEBRATION OF 200 WRITINGSThank you from Nancy Boyer, author of Boyer WritesIn 2009, I began a new venture….blogging. It was the beginning of becoming a writer, artist, designer, photographer, and most of all….the kindling of a new appreciation for great music, history, and those ordinary and extra-ordinary people who make up our world. My goal was to inspire; to challenge and to open up our thinking. It is my prayer that this has been accomplished.A I look back on my 200 writings, it is hard to choose my favorite. At the right of this page is a listing of categories that may help you to find your favorite subject and revisit some of the writings that have now spanned over two years.I have decided that the videos and pictures that were included have added much to making the writings come to life. Hearing the great orchestras of the world or the voices that can only be God given is a gift and technology has made this possible.We live in a world with great unrest and turmoil. We must from time to time rest our souls and see the beauty that is all around us. My writings may never have recognition as great writers in history, but they can be meaningful to those who are seeking something to challenge them to a better life and to their own importance in life.Especially recommended (under the category of Great Composers and the title “Courage and The New World“) is one of my personal favorites. As I listened to the music video, I found myself caught up in the beauty of this music born from the grief and loss in his life…and his reaching forth to a new life in America. Antonin Dvorak filled his soul as he penned The New World symphony music. I will also share with you a part of this writing that challenges each of us that there is much to find …to live…and to make ourselves an instrument of its truth:These words by Dvorák say it best:“The Music of the People is like a rare and lovely flower, growing amidst encroaching weeds. Thousands pass it…while others trample it under foot.Thus the chances are that it will perish before it is seen….by the discriminating spirit who will prize it above all else.The fact that no one has yet arisen to make the most of it…does not prove that nothing is there. “At this 200 celebration, I would love to hear from you and know who is following the writings, as you are able to do so. My email is: email@example.com You can also click on “Leave a comment” seen at the end of the writing. I will look forward to hearing from you. If you are not on our notification list of new writings, leave your email and we will be glad to add it.
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