Monday, September 23, 2019

Happy Birthday To Two Great Americans!

On this Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, I say:

Happy Birthday, Sheralyn!
I love you, Sheralyn!
Sheralyn, the fetching Mrs. B., is my love, my wife.  God has blessed me with such a wonderful wife, without who I would be lost in this world.  I did this tribute for her and Jermaine, the son we lost May 25, 2013: "Tribute to a special child. "Tribute To A Special Child"

I love you , Sheralyn!  I don't know what I have done to deserve such a wonderful blessing. I often wonder to myself, what was she thinking about.  :-)  

Sheralyn with some guy

Happy Birthday, Duane! 
Big Duane Patterson
Duane Patterson, is the producer of the Hugh Hewitt radio show, that is, the way Hugh tells it, if he only had a producer.   "Duane Patterson's New Life Journey" is a tribute to this courageous Christian man battling and defeating cancer.  As I stated in the post, cancer picked the wrong dude to mess with.  There is no doubt in my mind that Duane, with prayers to God and the wisdom God gave to Duane's  wonderful doctors in Germany and in this country, will completely defeat this cancer and will for decades will be the producer of the Hugh Hewitt Show.  

UPDATE: From Sept. 23, 2017: More than 5 years later [now in 2019, 7 years later], Duane has finished his treatment and the latest test results from his recent PET CT scan shows that Duane is virtually cancer free!  Thank you, Lord. 

I believe it is okay to say that Duane is celebrating the big 53.  Oh, and if you are wondering what birthday my wife is you think I'm crazy?  :-) 

Duane and "his Joy" Chrissie Ann Patterson

So, these two great Americans don't just share the same birth date, but also a strong unwavering Christian faith who have battled the road blocks in life with a self reliant, strong willed fervor.  

Because of their courage, their faith, and their patriotism, both my wife Sheralyn and my friend, Duane Patterson, are truly heroes of mine.

On this 23rd of September, I wish my wife Sheralyn and my friend Duane Patterson a very Happy Birthday and many more!  Sheralyn and Duane, have a great blessed day on this, your day. 


Happy Birthday Sheralyn!

Happy Birthday Duane!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Autumn Strings

As we enter the first week of Fall or Autumn, with the Autumnal Equinox on Monday, Sept. 23, 201, there is no better way to enter it than with the Baroque master of the seasons, the Italian virtuoso violinist and great composer, Antonio Vivaldi.  

Antonio Vivaldi [1678 - 1741]
Vivaldi's most famous work was his "Four Seasons", a set of 4 violin concertos, with each concerto representing one of the four seasons.  The "Four Seasons" were composed in 1725.

The season of Autumn was represented by his concerto #3 in his set.  The Autumn concerto was scored in F Major with the usual 3 movements: 1. Allegro, 2. Adagio Molto, and 3. Allegro. 

Please turn up the volume and enjoy this Baroque composer's Autumn concerto from the Four Seasons. 

Antonio Vivaldi: Four Seasons Concerto #3 in F Major, "Autumn":

As a bonus, here is a beautiful song by the 20th century Hungarian/French composer, Joseph Kosma. Once again, please turn up the volume and enjoy on this first week of fall.

Joseph Kosma: "Autumn Leaves" for orchestra:

And finally here is another bonus song for Autumn, composed by Jazz composer Vernon Duke, "Autumn in NY".  In this great version on You Tube the legendary greats, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong perform this beautiful song that I hope you will enjoy!  

Vernon Duke: "Autumn in NY" performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong:

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Andrea Bocelli - A Great Tenor, A Great Man

With the "Tales" and "Mrs. Tales" [i.e.,, me and my wife] on vacation this week [starting Monday Sept. 16, 2019]--Enjoy a best of the Tales: 

Houston Welcomes Andrea Bocelli  [Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2014]:

Tonight in the Toyota Center, Houston welcomes the beloved Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli for an evening of awesome music.  The fetching Mrs. B and I will be in attendance for this once in a lifetime event.  We can't wait.

Andrea Bocelli [born Sept. 22, 1958 - Lajatico, Italy]

I knew that the acclaimed tenor was blind but didn't know what happened and I learned this from the Life Site:

"Earlier this month [June 2010], a video was widely circulated showing the blind singer sitting at a piano, telling the story of his own birth.  He recounted how doctors had tried to convince his mother to abort him after she suffered an attack of appendicitis.  Doctors said that the child would be born with a disability.  Bocelli was born in 1958 to Alessandro and Edi Bocelli and was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma.  By age 12 he was completely blind.    He said that he had never wanted to talk about his blindness, “because really in my life are much more important things to tell: my life is a fairy tale, the story of a child who could not wait to go to Mass on Sundays because he would eventually be allowed to play a bit of the organ, who followed a dream and at one point that dream has come true.”  With the video story of his birth, he said, “I wanted to help, to comfort people who are in difficulties who sometimes just need to not feel abandoned: life is difficult, but you have to listen to them."

Welcome to Houston, Andrea!

Please turn up the volume and enjoy.  If you are like me you may get tears to your eyes.
Andrea Bocelli and Heather Headley - "The Prayer":

Andrea Bocelli and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir - "The Lord's Prayer":

UPDATE [after the end of the concert]:  Here is what I wrote on my Facebook page after just coming back home from the concert: "wow, wow, what magnificence by Andrea Bocelli-beauty beyond belief --with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and chorus and Heather Headley and a magnificent soprano, I forgot her name, this was a concert for a lifetime. The Houston audience loved him with an uproarious ovation that had Andrea sing 5 encore songs. We wouldn't let him leave. The final encore song was the aria Nessun Dorma from Puccini's Turandot... here is a version I found on You Tube.--what a way to end this wonderful evening! Bravo, Andrea Bocelli!

In reply, a great friend from Oregon, Carolyn, @strongthought on twitter, said: "What a great night to witness! Certainly a Nessun Dorma (None shall sleep) concert!

My brother Brad replied on Facebook: "Wow your excitement and appreciation of Andrea's genius is palpable. So glad (And envious)"

Then I replied back to my brother in a comment I should have put near the top of my original comments: "Brad one thing besides his unbelievable voice was his love you could see- so often he displayed this genuine smile that warmed your heart. What a great man!"

Andrea Bocelli is a great, great tenor, but more importantly he is a great man! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

You Can Get It All From Classical Music

With the "Tales" and "Mrs. Tales" [i.e.,, me and my wife] on vacation this week [starting Monday Sept. 16, 2019]--Enjoy a best of the Tales: 

Some people like country music because of the different narratives of life it tells.  Some people like rock music for the sound, the beat and sometimes excitement it brings.  Some like pop music for a more light hearted mood. Some like blues music for the spiritual character and depiction of harsh realities of some life experiences.  Some like the Louisiana Cajun or Zydeco music for the upbeat fun nature that will put a smile on your face. Some people, like me, really love Motown music for its beautiful melodies and vocal harmonies. 

One of the reasons I love classical music, because you can get many of these same different moods somewhere in the classical genre. That mood won't be spoken with words but rather with the music delivered by the symphonic orchestra. What is more, you can not only get a variety of moods - happiness, sadness, serious, light hearted, pensive, etc. but you can get those different moods with also many times a beautiful melodic sound.  

Here are just a few of the numerous examples of the different moods you can get from classical music.

1.  The first example for those who want serious, thoughtful music, with at the same time a beautiful bold sound, we turn to the early 20th century British composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams and his "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

2.  Now for a fun light hearted piece we turn to the quintessential classical music composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his overture to the Marriage of Figaro.

W. A. Mozart:  Marriage of Figaro Overture

3.  Now if you like exciting, dramatic pieces we turn to the Romantic era German composer known mostly for his exciting dramatic operas, Richard Wagner.  One of the most exciting moments of Wagner's third opera , Die Walkure [Valkyrie], comes at the beginning of the third act, known as "The Ride of the Valkyries".

Richard Wagner: "Ride of the Valkyries" from Die Walkure Act 3:

4.  For a more romantic, relaxing, somewhat somber mood, we turn the the Adagio movement of the great Beethoven's "Emperor" piano concerto.  This is also beautiful music.  This video has Maestro Paavo Jarvi conducting and Helene Grimaud as soloist. 

L.V. Beethoven: Piano Concerto #5 in E-Flat Major, "The Emperor", movement #2, Adagio:

5.  For just some beautiful melodies there is no better composer to turn to than Felix Mendelssohn.  One of my favorites, which I have played many times on the Tales classical music weekends is Mendelssohn's beautiful Hebrides Overture [Fingal's Cave].

Felix Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture:

6.  The final example is a piece of music that is called a program piece, written specifically to tell a story through music, not words. One of the best examples is Maurice Ravel's orchestration of the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's "Picture at an Exhibition" which depicts walking through an art museum and depicting the different exhibits in that museum.  The walking through the museum is delivered by the main mesmerizing "promenade" theme [that you will hear open this program piece and throughout].  This is one of my favorite pieces of music.  

Maurice Ravel orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition":