Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Happy Father's Day Classical Music Weekend Special

As you read this repeat post from last year's Father's Day Weekend, my wife [Sheralyn], my daughter [Ebony]  my son-in-law [John], and my precious granddaughter [Skye] and I will be on our great adventure up North.  I cannot, I must not, I will not give it away where we will be.  We will need our passports, eh!  :-)   

"Oh, my beloved father" is the translation of  "O mio babbino caro", one of the most beloved aria's from Giacomo Puccini's opera "Gianni Schicchi".  This melodic aria may be short in length, but it is long in beauty.

Tomorrow, Sunday June 17 is Father's Day.  I, along with my sister Susan, and my brother's Brad and Sandy, honor our Dad.  Our Dad, Pop, passed December 9, 2007.  He was a great Dad.  He was a great man.  He is in our thoughts and will be in our thoughts forever.  Sandy, Susan, Brad and I love you Dad, forever!

Happy Father's Day, Pop!
Rest in peace sweet Pop 
Together again with Reenie

Please turn up the volume and hear one of the most beautiful arias, sung by America's soprano, the legendary and beautiful, Renee Fleming.

Giacomo Puccini: "O Mio Babinno Caro", Renee Fleming - Soprano: 

Now, for this oldie but goodie song [that I am sure my Pop loved] that many [or probably most] of you younger Tales readers may never have heard of, "Oh, My Papa" written by Swiss composer Paul Burkhard and became famous in the English version sung by Eddie Fisher in 1954:

Johann Sebastian Bach
If you had to name the most important musician in the development of music, who has influenced musicians and composers in the Baroque, Classical, Romantic Eras and beyond, it would be the German Baroque musician, organist and composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.  J. S. Bach is the quintessential Baroque composer.  Young children taking music lessons, and especially classical music instructions will almost always begin with ideas and music from the Baroque period of music.  Bach was a very religious man whose music was influenced by his religious upbringing.  He was one of the most prolific composers of all time, and many consider him, because of his great compositions and his influence in the future development of music, the greatest of all the great composers. 

I am featuring J.S. Bach on this Father's Day weekend, because Bach was the father of many children, some of whom became significant musicians and composers.  Bach had a total of 20 children, only 10 of whom survived to become adults.  J.S. Bach had 7 children with his first wife, Maria Bach, who was his cousin.  When she died Bach married soprano Anna Magdalena Wilcke, with whom Bach had 13 children.

CPE Bach
Two of J.S. Bach's children with his first wife, Maria, had significant musical careers: Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and Carl Phillip Emanuel [CPE] Bach.  With his second wife, Anna Magdalena, three of their children had musical careers: Gottfried Heinrich, Johann Christoph Friedrich and Johann Christian Bach. 

As Susan, Brad, Sandy and I honor our father, and as I wish all dad's a very Happy Father's Day, I also wish A Happy Father's Day to maybe the greatest composer of them all, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy these great pieces by J.S. Bach:  The ultra beautiful "Air", the second movement of Bach's Orchestral Suite #3 in D-Major [transcribed as "Air on a G String"]; The first movement, Allegro Moderato of Brandenberg Concerto #3; the final movement of Brandenberg Concerto #2 in F-Major, Allegro Assai; and Bach's Cantata "Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring" from BWV 147.

J.S. Bach: Orchestral Suite #3 in D-Major, Movement 2, "Air on a G String":

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto #3 in G-Major, Movement 1, Allegro Moderato:

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto #2 in F-Major, Movement 3, Allegro Assai:

J.S. Bach:  Cantata BWV 147, "Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring":

 A Happy Father's Day to all!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Can This 'Today In Baseball History' Really Be Possible?

I was watching the Houston Astros broadcast vs. the evil Texas Rangers on Wednesday night, June 14, 2017, and they showed a "Today In Baseball History" as they always do. They showed a stat that happened on June 14, 1974 that I find hard to believe.  Nolan Ryan was pitching for the California Angels [now called the LA Angels of Anaheim] against the Boston Red Sox and look at this amazing "hard to believe" stat that is circled on the bottom of the following display. 

If this is true, Nolan Ryan [pitching in 13 innings] threw 235 pitches. Two hundred thirty five!  Today if a starter would throw 235 pitches in two games, you would have to question if the manager is overworking them. 

I just have one word for what Nolan Ryan did on "today in baseball history": Wow! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Presidential Greatness - Thirty One Years Ago Today

On this day, June 12, in 1987, President Ronald Reagan made one of the most significant speeches [which included one of the most memorable lines] in presidential history in West Berlin, Germany.  Even if you have heard this audio before and you know exactly the words President Reagan will say, it still gives you chills to anticipate the words and then the cheers from the freedom yearning crowd.

President Ronald Reagan [Feb. 6, 1911-June 5, 2004]
June 12, 1987: President Ronald Reagan speaks at the Brandenberg Gate in West Berlin [excerpt]: 

God Bless President Ronald Reagan!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Road Warriors

Now when you read the title of this post you might think I am talking about the World Champion Golden State Warriors.  No, I am not talking about the back to back NBA Champions, but I am talking about the MLB World Champion Houston Astros.

In baseball there is well known and stated truism that in order to be a good baseball team you must be able to split your games on the road [i.e., play .500 baseball] and have a good winning record at home.  You do those two things and you will be at least in the race to make the playoffs [winning division or wild card].

The last couple of years there have been some great teams that not only win at home but also play great baseball on the road.  But no one has been better on the road the last two years than the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros.

Just check out these stats from the 2017 season until this past weekend's games of all MLB teams on the road, and look at not just who is leading in every category but check out the difference between the Astros and every other MLB team.

Note: these stats are before the Astros 4 game sweep of the Texas Rangers over the weekend.

The 2017, 2018 Houston Astros are indeed "road warriors".

UPDATE (June 18, 2018):  I wrote this one day into the Astros 10 game road trip which they swept. So, now the Astros record in 2017-2018, on the road, is an incredible 82-39.  This means the last year and a half (MLB seasons) the Astros are playing .678 baseball ... on the road!