Posts Tagged ‘Puccini’

Puccini inspired by Dutch nursery rhymes? (Klap eens in de handjes)

August 27, 2019

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As a very young child  my mother and her sister, ‘Agnus’, used to sing typical little musical ditties to us. I still remember many of them and of late they seem to have made a return to my brain. I hope this isn’t the beginning of brain-loss, or worse dementia, and will cling to the life-craft that it might well be due to our iPhone transmitted musical soirees that we are now having instead of the nauseating diets of dreadful news on the TV. I mean, how many more times do we have to hear that sending war ships and surveillance aircraft to the Straits of Iran (Hormuz) are part of a ‘de-escalation’ of tension in the Middle East?  And, not to forget the images of the burning jungles of the Amazon?

With Helvi’s arms needing daily exercises to return to previous levels of usage, including bringing food to mouth or other functions normal for hands and arms, we thought that listening to hours of wonderful music might help. All I have to do is type in ‘Pavarotti’,  push an app on the iPhone, and voila, wonderful singing of operas. One piece we particularly like is Puccini’s,  ‘Oh mio Bambino Caro’ sang by Maria Callas in 1965.

 

Isn’t this sublime singing? The odd thing is that I feel Puccini could well have been inspired by those traditional Dutch nursery rhymes dating back hundreds of years and handed over from generation to generation. I sang the same Dutch songs to my grandsons and they still remember. The song they remember most is ‘Klap eens in je handjes’. Here it is, and it almost brings me to tears taking me back to those good times when we were sung ( helping verb, otherwise ‘sang’) to by our parents and when we ended up teaching them to our kids and now us to the grandchildren.

Now tell me, listening to this old Dutch children’s rhyme can you hear Puccini’s Oh Mio Bambino too or am I going cuckoo? Is there still hope for me and should I eat more Tofu?

Is this the new Tosca or Weiner’s wiener?

July 28, 2013

tosca1Is this the new Tosca?
The romantic tragedy and passion of Puccini’s Tosca is palpable. She, who sacrificed herself to the man she hated in order to save the man she loved. Could it be any more beautiful and yet also be so tragic? In fact when it comes to love, perhaps they are the same. The tearstained upturned faces of so many, more likely from women than men, feature thickly in operas, paintings and leather-bound books that litter our history like so many autumnal leaves in Finnish Forests or so many tears having seeped down into the deepest oceans. Tosca was no ordinary woman. She made grown men weep.

One wonders if the beauty and tragedy of unrequited love has waned and if so, can we blame sexting? Of late this new form of romance has taken a strange twist. A potential mayor of New York has confessed of having sent many pictures of him-self to suitors of the opposite sex. Leaving behind the morals of his conjugal state and our urge to judge others let’s just stick to the subject of modern romance. Is sexting a new form of seeking romance and is it a kind of natural progression from the days of Puccini or Tolstoy? After all no one goes around sticking knives into people whilst singing in Italian like they used to. While unbridled womanizing still has free rein as proven by Mr Weiner in New York, none still happens to involve carriages with galloping horses over Russian tundra.

The one thing still shared between those former strategies of romance and the present is the age old matter of ‘vengeance’, always vengeance. No tale of romance could exist without retribution ‘vengeance is mine’ could be written on many a tombstone resting under the countless Elm trees of history. It descends on the hapless victims like the sword of Damocles with no escape.

Poor Mr Strauss- Kahn, a future president now being described as nothing more than ‘a rutting chimpanzee’ only knows too well the vengeance of unforgiving amoureuses still circling the carcasses of his previous stature. Even so, he is hesitantly and ever so slowly recovering and was seen last week at the Cannes festival with a new love tugging at his arms. Those DNA spots on the hotel carpet receding and the maid happy with a settlement.

However, the New York future mayoral attempts at romance through texting explicit photos of him-self seem to have brought is to a completely new level. The past always involved the complete features of the persons. This was the way people made up their minds about any possible entanglement and involvement. The visual prospect was one of many that people consciously or otherwise helped to make up decisions, often foolishly so, but, what the heck, that’s love for you. However, just to see pictures of genitalia seems to have done away with that form of initial introduction.

I fail to see what criteria one could possibly surmise from such limited pictorial imagery. Is the photo of Mr Anthony Weiner’s penis sent to one of his suitors an indication of his determination in achieving an outcome for the rubbish collection from the Streets of NY or a push in lowering parking fees? I don’t see that but then again I don’t have photo of his penis either. Women also send intimate pictures of themselves to future lovers and again, I fail to see how one can possibly scan anything out of looking at their private parts. What can you possibly scrounge from a vaginal photo? Can she reverse park or is she good at making gravy? The mind boggles.

A politician’s worst nightmare came out in Canada when a Twitter account showed up a politician’s penis. A spokesperson defended this by saying his BlackBerry went off in his pocket and later on confused the issue even further by saying that it was somebody else’s penis. He was a candidate for parliament and lost by over 500 votes. People are unforgiving and remember ‘vengeance’ is still around.

We have yet to see if Mr Weiner will survive his weiner.