Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mozart Brings Out The Beautiful Sound Of The Clarinet

W.A. Mozart
While the great Mozart was a child prodigy in piano and violin, he certainly could bring out the best of some of the other instruments in his compositions.  This was certainly true with the clarinet.  This is shown [heard] in Mozart's clarinet quintet in A Major.  Tell me you can listen to this wonderful piece and not love the clarinet.  Along with his clarinet concerto, Mozart's quintet for clarinet and strings is the most influential music for me having such a love for the clarinet [along with the piano, my two favorite instruments].

What a genius, what a gift from God was Mozart. 

Please turn up the sound and enjoy this wonderful chamber piece.

W.A. Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A Major, 1st movement, Allegro:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Like Baroque, Like Classical

Maybe the greatest composer ever, Johann Sebastian Bach, had a large musical family as he gave birth to four great musicians and composers, two by his first wife and two by his second wife. In my opinion, the best of those four was Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach whose mother was Maria Barbara Bach [J.S. Bach's first wife before she died].

Carl Philipp Emanuel was affectionately known as C.P. E. Bach.

While his father Johann Sebastian was the quintessential Baroque composer, C.P.E. Bach lived in the transition period between the late Baroque and early classical period's of music, known as the Rococo period.  While C.P.E. Bach was trained and influenced by his famous father in the Baroque style, the young C.P.E. Bach transitioned with most of his compositions tending more to the classical style.

He mostly used the harpsichord for his keyboard concertos which was the instrument used in the Baroque period, but as you will hear in the first video he also composed for the piano.

             Like father
J.S. Bach-Baroque composer
                                       Like son
C.P.E. Bach-Baroque/Classical Composer

I have two compositions from Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach which will show the transition of his music from the Baroque style of his father to the Classical style of Mozart and Haydn,   First, the final movement of an unusual double concerto of a harpsichord [the keyboard instrument used in the Baroque period] and the fortepiano [aka piano, the keyboard instrument used in the classical era].  Then the second video is the Allegro Assai movement of CPE Bach's Cello concerto in A Major.

Both of these pieces have a light pleasant quality, and both will remind you more of a composition you might hear from the great classical composers as opposed to the music you might hear from the great Baroque composers [the greatest of which was his Dad] with its polyphonic style. 

When I hear a piece of classical music for the first time, I like to guess the composer.  For just being a fan of classical music and not a professional or musically trained, I must admit that I am pretty good at guessing the composer.  Listening to both of these pieces, I would have guessed [and been wrong] that they were composed by the great classical composer, Franz Joseph "Papa" Haydn.  They both have the fun bright playful nature that you hear in a Haydn composition. 

Please turn up the volume, relax and enjoy some pleasant Bach, C.P.E., that is.

C.P.E. Bach: Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano in E Flat Major,Movement 3, Presto:

C.P.E. Bach: Cello Concerto in A-Major, Movement 3, Allegro Assai:

Now for a Tales special bonus video - as we heard the son, let's hear some beautiful music from his famous father, the great Johann Sebastian Bach.  When you hear this beautiful piece you do not want it to just want to hear more. 
Note:  it takes about 15 seconds for the audio to come on in the following video

Johann Sebastian Bach:  Orchestral Suite #3 in D-Major, 2nd movement, "Air on the g-string":

Friday, October 17, 2014

Three Sport Changing Events That Occurred In Houston

In Houston there is this local sports radio show on @SportsRadio610 called Mad Radio with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne.  They were discussing personal remembrances of Monday Night Football games and that brought to my mind of one of the greatest, if not the greatest Monday Night Football game that I had attended.  I then began thinking of how lucky I was to be there and it brought to my mind two other great sports events that occurred in Houston that I was also blessed to attend.

These three sporting events were not only three of the top sporting moments ever, they were all sport changing events and they all happened in the Houston Astrodome and I was there at all three of them.

#3: Tennis Exhibition challenge match called "The Battle of the Sexes" between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs Sept. 20, 1973:

This is one of my favorite moments because I remember being there with my Mom and Dad and I remember how my Mom, Reenie, was so excited to see Billie Jean King win.  Bobby Riggs was a retired professional tennis player who was also a showman, and in a friendly way would try to put down women's tennis saying even at his age, he would easily defeat any woman professional tennis player.  Billy Jean King took him up on it and the widely viewed exhibition took place in a packed Houston's Astrodome and a huge television audience.  Before this event, women's tennis took a clear secondary role to men's tennis [in importance and in monetary earnings].  This one event, in which Billie Jean King won, was one of the factors that helped change that disparity forever, and brought women's professional tennis into greater prominence.

#2: Houston Oilers vs. Miami Dolphins, Monday Night Football game on Nov. 20, 1978:

I attended this game with my Pop and brothers, another wonderful moment to remember.  Monday Night football was big when it first started, but this game really increased its popularity and TV viewing audience exponentially.   Howard Cosell, one of the Monday Night Football announcers at the time would call this the best Monday Night Football game ever.  This was a game between one of the top NFL teams, the Miami Dolphins coached by the legendary Don Shula and QB by Bob Griese, and an up and coming young Oiler team coached by the loved charismatic "cowboy", coach Bum Phillips.  This was the rookie year of the great running back Earl Campbell.  He would become so important to the Oilers success, the team was called lovingly by the fans, the Earlers.  Bum wore his usual blue cowboy hat and boots [that many of the fans also adopted], and the fans were all given light blue pom poms to wave during the game.  That made for a spectacular TV scene and the reason this was called "The Luv You Blue" game.   From that point forward these Oilers were called the luv you blue Oilers.  Earl Campbell would get 4 touchdowns, including a stirring 80 yard run to help the Oilers win 35-30.

#1:  University of Houston Cougars vs. UCLA Bruins, Jan. 20, 1968 called "The Game of the Century":

This game changed college basketball forever.  I attended this game [in the upper deck] with my brothers and Pop. What a wonderful moment.  This was one of the first prime time televised game in, at the time, the biggest venue [50,000 seat] ever to see a college basketball game [or any basketball game for that matter].   The NCAA tournament was no where close to the popularity it has now. In fact many times you had to watch the games on tape delay-many weren't even shown live.  Before this game, the NIT was just a slight notch below the NCAA tournament.  This game changed all of that.  It would make prime time televised  college basketball a fixture in America.  It was one of the factors making the NCAA tournament, one of the greatest events in college sports.  After this game, it was obvious college basketball could be played in bigger arenas than were available at that time. 

This game featured the number one and two rated teams in the NCAA.  The number one ranked team and defending national champion, UCLA Bruins with Lou Alcindor [later to become Kareem Abdul Jabbar] vs. the number two ranked [and also undefeated] team, the University of Houston Cougars. [my team] with the Big E, Elvin Hayes.  UCLA had a long winning streak for its second straight year and this team coached by the legendary John Wooden, was considered by many sports pundits, as unbeatable.  The University of Houston Cougars were coached by the great Guy V. Lewis. 

What a blessing to have been at all three of those sport changing events and made even greater so because I was with my Mom and Pop in one of the events and with my Pop and brothers in the other two.  Those great remembrances with my family make my heart warm with thankfulness.  Love you Mom and Pop as you are in my heart forever.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Greg Abbott Lays Down The Law To The Houston Mayor

God Bless the next governor of Texas, Atty General of Texas Greg Abbott, who minced no words in his ruling against the City of Houston's illegal subpoena's issued to some of the Christian pastors in Houston.

Greg Abbott, the next Governor of Texas
This from the office of the Attorney General of Texas website:
"AUSTIN -- Attorney General Abbott today asked that the Houston City Attorney to immediately withdraw the subpoenas sent last month to several Houston-area pastors seeking sermons, notes and other information."

"In his letter to the city attorney, Attorney General Abbott said, “Whether you intend it to be so or not, your action is a direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment. The people of Houston and their religious leaders must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious affairs are beyond the reach of the government.”

In Greg Abbott's letter addressed to the city of Houston Attorney, David Feldman, he laid down the law in this strongly worded directive:
 "Your office has demanded that four Houston pastors hand over to the city government many of their private papers, including their sermons.  Whether you intend it to be so or not, your action is a direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment.  The people of Houston and their religious leaders must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious affairs are beyond the reach of the government.  Nothing short of an immediate reversal by your office will provide that security.  I call on you to withdraw the subpoenas without further delay."

Here is how the letter ends:
"I urge you to demonstrate the City’s commitment to religious liberty and to true diversity of belief by unilaterally withdrawing these subpoenas immediately.  Your stated intention to wait for further court proceedings falls woefully short of the urgent action needed to reassure the people of Houston that their government respects their freedom of religion and does not punish those who oppose city policies on religious grounds.
Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas"

To read the entire letter that Atty General Greg Abbott sent to the city attorney, please click here.

This great Attorney General of Texas, Greg Abbott, will in a few weeks become the next great governor or Texas, when he crushes the sad Democrat Wendy Davis in the November election.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hugh Hewitt: "I Cannot Believe This Is Happening In America"

Hugh Hewitt
Hugh Hewitt on the Hugh Hewitt show on Tuesday afternoon announced some breaking news from Fox News' Todd Starnes of an outrageous action happening in my city of Houston, initiated by our Mayor Annise Parker.  This is the first that I had heard of this and it was confirmed to me by my wife when she came home from work, as she already was aware of the news and was outraged like Hugh.

Hugh read the story from Fox News web site, "The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding that a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity, or criticism about Annise Parker."   "Any failure to reply to the subpoenas could mean that the ministers will be held in contempt of court."  It must be noted that Annise Parker is the city's first openly lesbian mayor.

Annise "Vladimir" Parker
This is an unbelievable outrageous attack on freedom of speech and religion. 

Turn over any criticism of the mayor?  What?  Is this United States of America or Castro's Cuba or the old Soviet Union or as Hugh quipped the old KGB Vladimir Putin.[as Hugh now calls our Mayor, Vladimir Parker]

I agree totally with Hugh who gave a strong necessary rant on this unconstitutional attack by our mayor as he rightly called her that "idiot" mayor.  Hugh said "I cannot believe this is happening in America."  I agree with Hugh, with one caveat.  I would add, before the presidency of Barack Obama, I could not envision this ever happening in America.

Thankfully there are great Americans like Hugh's good friend, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and the Alliance For Freedom' lawyers who are in support of the pastors opposing this unconstitutional action by our mayor.  I ask, as did Hugh Hewitt for everyone to go to their web site here, and donate money to help them defend our freedom in this case and  against similar cases of attacks on religion and freedom of speech.

To read the breaking story by Todd Starnes in Fox News please click: "City  of Houston Demands Pastors Turn Over Sermons".

Please listen to this great rant by Hugh on the outrageous action happening in our great, beautiful city of Houston from our Mayor Annise Parker.  I obtained this audio from going to the Hughniverse and downloading the podcast.  I would highly recommend all to join the Hughniverse to listen to any or all of Hugh Hewitt's broadcasts.

Hugh Hewitt On The Hugh Hewitt Radio Show, Tuesday, October 14, 2014: