Sunday, 28 September 2014

Music on Sunday; beautiful film soundtracks

I love watching films but what would films be whithout music. So here are some classical film soundtracks; even better with headphones on.

One of my favorite films: the Time Traveler's wife

Loved this movie!

And because I really am a Trekkie at heart and a Cumberbatch fan: (and the music is so good for this film)

© KH

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

History; Richard III - War of the Roses

King Richard III

History, I love it, always have especially British history. I love reading historical novels and curently I'm reading about the War of the Roses- Stormbird by Conn Iggulden. 
My favorite actor Benedict Cumberbatch is as we speak busy playing Richard III for the BBC for the Hollow Crown series. 

 Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III

But who was Richard III and what is the War of the Roses? 

War of the Roses

Maybe this family tree clarifies it better. 

In the opening battle of England's War of the Roses, the Yorkists defeat King Henry VI's Lancastrian forces at St. Albans, 20 miles northwest of London. Many Lancastrian nobles perished, including Edmund Beaufort, the duke of Somerset, and the king was forced to submit to the rule of his cousin, Richard of York. The dynastic struggle between the House of York, whose badge was a white rose, and the House of Lancaster, later associated with a red rose, would stretch on for 30 years.
Both families, closely related, claimed the throne through descent from the sons of Edward III, the king of England from 1327 to 1377. The first Lancastrian king was Henry IV in 1399, and rebellion and lawlessness were rife during his reign. His son, Henry V, was more successful and won major victories in the Hundred Years War against France. His son and successor, Henry VI, had few kingly qualities and lost most of the French land his father had conquered. At home, chaos prevailed and lords with private armies challenged Henry VI's authority. At times, his ambitious queen, Margaret of Anjou, effectively controlled the crown.

 Margaret d'Anjou

In 1453, Henry lapsed into insanity, and in 1454 Parliament appointed Richard, duke of York, as protector of the realm. Henry and York's grandfathers were the fourth and third sons of Edward III, respectively. When Henry recovered in late 1454, he dismissed York and restored the authority of Margaret, who saw York as a threat to the succession of their son, Prince Edward. York raised an army of 3,000 men, and in May the Yorkists marched to London. On May 22, 1455, York met Henry's forces at St. Albans while on the northern road to the capital. The bloody encounter lasted less than an hour, and the Yorkists carried the day. The duke of Somerset, Margaret's great ally, was killed, and Henry was captured by the Yorkists.
After the battle, Richard again was made English protector, but in 1456 Margaret regained the upper hand. An uneasy peace was broken in 1459, and in 1460 the Lancastrians were defeated, and York was granted the right to ascend to the throne upon Henry's death. The Lancastrians then gathered forces in northern England and in December 1460 surprised and killed York outside his castle near Wakefield.
York's son Edward reached London before Margaret and was proclaimed King Edward IV. In March 1461, Edward won a decisive victory against the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton, the bloodiest of the war. Henry, Margaret, and their son fled to Scotland, and the first phase of the war was over.

Yorkist rivalry would later lead to the overthrow of Edward in 1470 and the restoration of Henry VI. The next year, Edward returned from exile in the Netherlands, defeated Margaret's forces, killed her son, and imprisoned Henry in the Tower of London, where he was murdered. Edward IV then ruled uninterrupted until his death in 1483. His eldest son was proclaimed Edward V, but Edward IV's brother, Richard III, seized the crown and imprisoned Edward and his younger brother in the Tower of London, where they disappeared, probably murdered. In 1485, Richard III was defeated and killed by Lancastrians led by Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

Henry Tudor was proclaimed King Henry VII, the first Tudor king. Henry was the grandson of Catherine of Valois, the widow of Henry V, and Owen Tudor. In 1486, he married Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth of York, thereby uniting the Yorkist and Lancastrian claims. This event is seen as marking the end of the War of Roses; although some Yorkists supported in 1487 an unsuccessful rebellion against Henry, led by Lambert Simnel. The War of Roses left little mark on the common English people but severely thinned the ranks of the English nobility.


© KH

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Music on Sunday; Brahms


It's time for some classical music again; this time Johannes Brahms 
I grew up with (among others) classical music. My parents listened to that a lot. I can still hear my dad whistle with some pieces (I do that now too :) )  As a kid I didn't care for it much but now I'm older (hopefully wiser as well ;) ) I love it! It's soothing and relaxing I think. So from time to time I will post classical music as well here.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do; 

This conductor is fascinating to watch;

If you feel like listening for a little more than 45 min: 

© KH

Friday, 19 September 2014

Art on Friday; Pointillism

Georges Seurat and a detail from one of his pointillist paintings, “La Parade de Cirque” (1889)

Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form an image. Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism. The term "Pointillism" was first coined by art critics in the late 1880s to ridicule the works of these artists, and is now used without its earlier mocking connotation. The technique is also known as Divisionism. The movement Seurat began with this technique is known as Neo-Impressionism.

 Vincent van Gogh-selfportrait

Paul Signac-Femmes au puits

Henri-Edmund Cross-The Pink Cloud

Charles Angrand-Path in the country

George Seurat-A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 

 Paul Signac-the windmills at Overschie

© KH

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wordless Wednesday, Scottish Castles

Eilean Donan Castle

Castle Stalker

Edinburgh Castle

 Stirling Castle

 Stonehaven Castle

 Glamis Castle

 Cawdor Castle

 Dunrobin Castle

 Castle Stuart

 Inverary Castle

© KH

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Music on Sunday; Yes for Scotland 

With only four days away from the referendum even I'm getting excited and I'm not Scottish (sadly enough) But for centuries the Scots have fought their way to Independance now and why not! If your heart is in that country (and if you have followed my blog for some time you know mine is) you just know there's no other way than independance for Scotland. So today's blog is about the love for a country and it's music, it's heritage. You just have to say YES!

© KH

Friday, 12 September 2014

Art on Friday; Henry Raeburn

Sir Henry Raeburn self portrait

I've bought a book about the Scottish painter Henry Raeburn the other day called : 'The Makers of British Art'.
Unfortunatelly it's pictures are in black and white but still a lovely book about Sir Henry Raeburn's works and life.

Here a few of his wonderful portraits ; 

 Margaret Moncrieff 

Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch  or
The Skating Minister

Niel Gow, 1727 - 1807. Violinist and composer

 Sir Walter Scott and his dogs

 The Macnab 
 Francis Macnab 16th chief of the Clan Macnab (1734-1816)

Boy and rabbit

Girl sketching

© KH

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wordless Wednesday; 10 impressive places to visit around the world

Dallol Volcanic acid pool, Ethiopia

Nigardsbreen Ice Cave,Norway

Fingal’s Cave Staffa Island,Scotland

Badlands National Park,South-Dakota

Badwater Salt Flats,California USA

Hraunfossar Waterfalls,H├║safell Iceland

Fernando De Noronha,Brazil

Thor’s Well,Oregon USA

Baatara Gorge Waterfall Tannourine,Lebanon

Ben Bulben County Sligo,Ireland

© KH