Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The World Needs To Speak Out Against Inhumanity In Venezuela

Hat Tip:  My Facebook friend, Liss Kron, an American great patriot and human rights advocate who was born in [and loves] Venezuela. At the end of this post I have a request from Liss Kron as she put on her Facebook page. 

From February and then updated in May of 2014 I posted on 'The Tales': "Human Rights Violations Intensify In Venezuela"Things have not gotten better for the people of Venezuela since I wrote that post and indeed they may have gotten even worse under the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro.  

Pro Democracy protests in Venezuela on Oct. 26, 2016
Here are just a few of the headlines these last few years that are very upsetting for all supporting freedom for the people of Venezuela: 

Feb. 27, 2015 - Miami Herald:  "On Senate floor, Marco Rubio blasts 'horrifying, human-rights catastrophe that is Venezuela"

Nov. 1, 2016 -Miami Herald:  "Venezuela’s Maduro destroying last vestiges of democracy"

Jan. 12, 2017 - VOA News:  "Venezuela Arrests Anti-Maduro Politicians in Sweep"

March 18, 2017 - PJ Media:  "Venezuela Responds to Bread Shortage ... By Arresting Bakers and Seizing Bakeries"

April 21, 2017 - France 24:  "Three Weeks of Violence in Venezuela"  [which has claimed 20 lives]

April 21, 2017 - Miami Herald:  "Venezuela’s Maduro is rightly blamed for deaths of anti-government protesters"

April 22, 2017 - Euro News:  "Silent March [in Caracas] For People Killed In Venezuela Protests"
Silent peaceful march in Caracas, Venezuela On April 20
I have done many posts in the past years about the immoral 'deafening' silence in the world [especially from world and religious leaders] about the tragedy Christians are facing from the Islamic extremists -burning of churches, violence against Christians, etc., especially in the Middle East and Africa.  I now sadly see this same silence in wake of the inhumanity the Venezuelan people are facing.  I am hoping, on both fronts, it ends.  I criticized president Obama numerous times about not speaking out, and now I am asking and hoping president Trump will soon speak out for the people of Venezuela.  I am also asking all other world leaders and religious leaders to speak out.

Liss Kron, shared this message on her Facebook page: "I want to invite my fellow Americans to write our senators and congressmen to put pressure on the Venezuelan government to allow our constitutional freedom. There are many ways Congress can put pressure on the Venezuelan dictator. An oil embargo is the most effective. We finance a dictator who takes freedom in our hemisphere when we buy oil from Venezuela. Venezuela is one of the largest suppliers of oil to the United States. Venezuelan’s dictator uses the money from the sale of the country’s oil to finance his totalitarianism. The United States has always been a leader in the free world. This country has always promoted and pressured dictators who are enemies of US interests. This country has always stood for those who are being killed by dictators. The Venezuelan people are desperate. They are hungry, for there are shortages. There is also a shortage of medicine. People are losing their lives because there is no medicine to treat them. The dictator and his police are killing people to intimidate the population into submission. Please write your congressman and president Trump and ask them to take action against this brutal dictator."

Liss asked me to share her page to help the Venezuela people if you can:  Helping Venezuela.com

Let us be silent no more.  May God Bless the Venezuelan people.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Haydn's 'Philosopher'

Repeat post of this peaceful piece for hopefully a peaceful, blessed Sunday morning, Haydn's Symphony #22, "The Philospher".
    Franz Joseph Haydn [1732-1809]
As I have stated before on my classical posts 'Papa' Haydn, the father of the classical symphony, composed so many symphonies, 104 to be exact, that many were given names as it would be easier to distinguish the more well known ones by a name than a number.  This early symphony of his, #22, was given the name [probably not by Haydn himself but from some musicologist] of 'the philosopher', I speculate after hearing, from it's meditative peaceful first movement.  In fact, when I heard this movement I thought of this:  
    Rodin's 'The Thinker'
Haydn's relatively short 'Philosopher' Symphony in E-Flat Major is in four movements:  1. Adagio  2. Presto  3. Minuet-Trio  4. Presto

On this video from UniMi, on You Tube, I have no idea why there is applause between movements, but this is a nice performance by Orchestra UniMi, John Axelrod, conductor. 

F.J. Haydn: Symphony #22 in E-Flat Major, The Philosopher:

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Key Is The Key To The Mood

Repeat post from Oct of 2013 with a couple of changes

I remember when my daughter Ebony had her classical piano music lessons her teacher, Yelena Kurinets [a great classical music piano teacher], when introducing a new piece, would first play part or the entire piece to my daughter.  The first thing she would ask Ebony was to give a description of the piece, i.e., the mood of the piece.  She would ask my daughter to state if the piece was happy, playful, fun, exciting, sad, dramatic, scary, or some other descriptive word.  She wanted her to learn the mood of the piece in order to know how to play the piece.  What later became obvious was that pieces had a certain flavor according to the key of the piecePieces that were in a major key, like C-Major, E-Major, etc. were almost always bright happy pieces.  
Pieces that were in a minor key, like D-minor, E flat-minor, etc., were almost always more dramatic and sometimes darker pieces than those with a major key.

The great composers of classical music would put a piece in a certain key to portray the mood they wanted. So, for the most part, if they would want the piece to give a bright, happy feeling to it, they would use a Major key.   And for the most part if they wanted a piece to portray a darker and or dramatic mood, they would use a minor key. 

Note: while a classical music piece is scored in a certain key, sometimes it would change during the piece or in the middle movement of a piece, but almost always the piece will start in the key noted and will end in the key noted.

I will give you examples from two of my favorite composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn, to show how the key of the piece of music helps determine the mood of the piece. 

W.A. Mozart [1756-1791]
The quintessential classical composer W. A. Mozart, composed 27 piano concertos, most of then truly great piano concertos.  You will hear how a Mozart piano concerto in the key of C-Major and one in the key of C-minor have two different moods.

Mozart's piano concerto #25 in C-Major displays a bright happy character.  The third movement, allegro, displays that mood, aided by it's major key.

Then in the second video, in the opening movement of Mozart's piano concerto #24 in C-minor, you will get a completely different flavor.   Mozart uses the minor key to portray an undeniable dramatic, serious mood in contrast to the concerto you hear in C-Major.

Note:  Those familiar with Mozart's C-minor concerto will notice a different cadenza [that begins just before the 11 minute mark] used by the soloist than is usually played.  I believe Mozart did not actually write a cadenza for this C-minor concerto and the one usually played is the one that was written by his student, Johann Nepomuk Hummel.  I am not sure who wrote the cadenza played in this video. 

So, Mozart uses the keys of C-Major and C-minor in two different piano concertos to give two very different moods to the concertos.
Felix Mendelssohn [1809-1847]
From Felix Mendelssohn, I have two beautiful melodic movements from two of his symphonies, one in a major key and one in a minor key, to demonstrate how the key can help determine the mood of the piece:  Symphony #4 in A-Major, known as the "Italian" and his symphony #3 in A-minor, known as the "Scottish".

You can hear immediately the playful happy character in the first movement, Allegro vivace, of Mendelssohn's Symphony in A-Major.

Then from the first movement, Andante con moto - Allegro un poco agitato, of Mendelssohn's Symphony in A-minor you will notice a complete different mood, one of drama, thoughtfulness and seriousness.  

Both of these symphonies are representative of the beautiful melodic nature that all of Mendelssohn's works contain, but with a different mood that their keys help to develop. 

As I say always, please turn up the volume and enjoy this great music from Mozart and Mendelssohn with two of the pieces in major keys and two in minor keys and hear how the keys are the key to the mood.

W.A. Mozart:  Piano Concerto #25 in C-Major, Movement 3, Allegretto: [bright playful mood]

W.A. Mozart: Piano Concerto #24 in C-minor, Movement 1, Allegro: [very dramatic - tense]

Felix Mendelssohn:  Symphony #4 in A-Major-"Italian", Movement 1, Allegro Vivace: [bright - positive]

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony #3 in A-minor-"Scottish", movement 1, Andante con moto - Allegro un poco agitato:  [dramatic - pensive - bold]

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Whatever Happened to...?

Baby Jane [I know, I know that one is too easy-for us old movie buffs]

Cartoons and newsreels before the feature movie at a theater

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"

Phone booths

Outdoor movies

Breaking with a hammer and eating coconuts 

My Space

Cell phones


Kodak cameras

Doctors making house calls 

Baseball cards in bubble gum package


Collecting coins

Roller Derby 

Jai alai [in Las Vegas]

Vinyl records

8-track tapes



Traffic cops

Occupy Wall Street

The tea party

Sarah Palin

Kellyanne Conway

Jesse Jackson [thank goodness hasn't shown up in a while] 

"Tastes great, less filling"

"Hey kid, catch" [mean Joe Greene's jersey]

An inside the park home run [I used to think no hitters occurred less frequently]

Stealing home - or even an attempt to steal home [the one thing I have never seen in person at the ballpark]

Cuckoo clocks

"You the man"  "No, you the man"

Moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Real hot meals on airplanes


The nurse in elementary school "painting" your throat when it's sore

The milk man

Dry ice being delivered to your house

Friday night fights of the week - by Gillette [boxing]

Black Jack gum

Teaberry gum

All day suckers [lollipops] 

Baseball double headers [real ones-two for the price of one, not these day night deals]

Chocolate phosphates 

Drugstore diners [in the back of the store where you could get the best hamburgers]

Sightings of UFO's 

and last but not least, whatever happened to: 
"Whatever happened to" lists?

With the events of today [April 19, 2017] we may add to the list in a couple of years - Whatever happened to Bill O'Reilly?