Sunday, 29 November 2015

Music on Sunday; Crooners

A crooner is an American epithet given to male singers of jazz standards, mostly from the Great American Songbook, either backed by a full orchestra, a big band or by a piano.

© KH

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Friday, 27 November 2015

Art on Friday; The Lady Of Shalott

There are a lot of paintings on the Lady of Shalott, but who was she? She was a mythical lady from the Arthurian period, locked away in a tower in Camelot and a topic for many a painting. Here the poem by Tennyson; and after that different paintings of the lady herself.

The Lady of Shalott (1832)

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Part I
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
       To many-tower'd Camelot;
The yellow-leaved waterlily
The green-sheathed daffodilly
Tremble in the water chilly
       Round about Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens shiver.
The sunbeam showers break and quiver
In the stream that runneth ever
By the island in the river
       Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
       The Lady of Shalott.

Underneath the bearded barley,
The reaper, reaping late and early,
Hears her ever chanting cheerly,
Like an angel, singing clearly,
       O'er the stream of Camelot.
Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, ' 'Tis the fairy,
       Lady of Shalott.'

The little isle is all inrail'd
With a rose-fence, and overtrail'd
With roses: by the marge unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken sail'd,
       Skimming down to Camelot.
A pearl garland winds her head:
She leaneth on a velvet bed,
Full royally apparelled,
       The Lady of Shalott.

Part II
No time hath she to sport and play:
A charmed web she weaves alway.
A curse is on her, if she stay
Her weaving, either night or day,
       To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be;
Therefore she weaveth steadily,
Therefore no other care hath she,
       The Lady of Shalott.

She lives with little joy or fear.
Over the water, running near,
The sheepbell tinkles in her ear.
Before her hangs a mirror clear,
       Reflecting tower'd Camelot.
And as the mazy web she whirls,
She sees the surly village churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls
       Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,
       Goes by to tower'd Camelot:
And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
       The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often thro' the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
       And music, came from Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead
Came two young lovers lately wed;
'I am half sick of shadows,' said
       The Lady of Shalott.

Part III
A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flam'd upon the brazen greaves
       Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
       Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
       As he rode down from Camelot:
And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
       Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn'd like one burning flame together,
       As he rode down from Camelot.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
       Moves over green Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
       As he rode down from Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flash'd into the crystal mirror,
'Tirra lirra, tirra lirra:'
       Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom
She made three paces thro' the room
She saw the water-flower bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
       She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
'The curse is come upon me,' cried
       The Lady of Shalott.

Part IV
In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
       Over tower'd Camelot;
Outside the isle a shallow boat
Beneath a willow lay afloat,
Below the carven stern she wrote,
       The Lady of Shalott.

A cloudwhite crown of pearl she dight,
All raimented in snowy white
That loosely flew (her zone in sight
Clasp'd with one blinding diamond bright)
       Her wide eyes fix'd on Camelot,
Though the squally east-wind keenly
Blew, with folded arms serenely
By the water stood the queenly
       Lady of Shalott.

With a steady stony glance—
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Beholding all his own mischance,
Mute, with a glassy countenance—
       She look'd down to Camelot.
It was the closing of the day:
She loos'd the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
       The Lady of Shalott.

As when to sailors while they roam,
By creeks and outfalls far from home,
Rising and dropping with the foam,
From dying swans wild warblings come,
       Blown shoreward; so to Camelot
Still as the boathead wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her chanting her deathsong,
       The Lady of Shalott.

A longdrawn carol, mournful, holy,
She chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her eyes were darken'd wholly,
And her smooth face sharpen'd slowly,
       Turn'd to tower'd Camelot:
For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
       The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden wall and gallery,
A pale, pale corpse she floated by,
Deadcold, between the houses high,
       Dead into tower'd Camelot.
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
To the planked wharfage came:
Below the stern they read her name,
       The Lady of Shalott.

They cross'd themselves, their stars they blest,
Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest.
There lay a parchment on her breast,
That puzzled more than all the rest,
       The wellfed wits at Camelot.
'The web was woven curiously,
The charm is broken utterly,
Draw near and fear not,—this is I,
       The Lady of Shalott.'
 The Lady of Shalott-John William Waterhouse
The lady of Shalott looking at Lancelot-John William Waterhouse

The Lady of Shalott-William Maw Egley

George Edward Robertson - The Lady Of Shalott
 Arthur Hughes-the Lady of Shalott

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows," Said the Lady of Shalott - Sidney Harold Meteyard
 I Am Half-Sick of Shadows," Said the Lady of Shalott-John William Waterhouse

© KH

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Treasures of Britain; cemeteries

Brookwood, Woking, Surrey

I don't know why but I'm crazy about old cemeteries. Especially those in Great Britain. The old (sometimes very old) gravestones tell each their very own story. The lovely statues, angels, crosses and others... I just don't know what it is that makes me want to go there everytime I'm across the canal. So today just some impressions of those lovely little gems.

Iona Abbey, Scotland
Duncan, the Scottish king murdered by Macbeth in 1140, is reputed to be buried here, along with 47 other Scottish kings and a number of Scottish saints. 

 Angels at the Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol

 Highgate cemetery London

Highgate Cemetery London

 Grave of Dante Gabriel Rossetti; All Saints Birchington, Kent

I've been here, a grave not befitting of a King... sad
King Arthur's grave, Glastonburry Abbey

St Cuthbert's Churchyard Edinburgh

St Cuthberth's Edinburgh

St Paul's Cathedral London

St Paul's Cathedral, London

© KH

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Music on Sunday; Powerful Classical pieces

It's been awhile since I've posted Classical music; this week I was listening a lot to classical music again so for this Sunday some of the music I listened too; Enjoy.

© KH

Friday, 20 November 2015

Art on Friday; James Collinson

James Collinson 1825–1881 was one of the original members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) in 1848, but he left it in 1850 because he felt it was incompatible with his Roman Catholic faith and in 1852 began training to be a Roman Catholic priest. Another change of heart followed, and in 1854 he returned to painting.

 The empty purse

Home again

landscape with a windmill

Mother and child by a Stile, with Culver Cliff, Isle of Wight, in the Distance

 Holy Family


The Renunciation of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary

 To Let

© KH

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Treasures of Britain; Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey is England’s most beautiful ruin. Deliberately built in a remote valley by Cistercian monks, it was originally a virtually self-sufficient community.
Like 839 other monasteries, friaries and nunneries, Rievaulx was suppressed by Henry VIII in the 1530s, but its remote position meant that much of its stonework still stands. It is easy to forget what a big role monasteries played in medieval society, and the Cistercian houses of Yorkshire were responsible for developing a style of building with pointed arches that we call Gothic.
This spread to become the dominant architectural style of Britain for 300 years.

 © KH

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Thou shalt not kill

After the terrorist attacks on Paris last Friday everyone is talking about it. What to do, how to react, can we still go out and do the things we love like going to concerts and games? Last night the football match Germany-the Netherlands was cancelled because of a threat. Is it still safe? Most people even the ones who have lost loved ones are saying they are not letting IS terrorise them further, they will not respond in hate.

Those terrorist say they do this out of God's name. God has made mankind in his image, if you believe this kind of thing. There would never be any kind of God who would allow his image to be shot to pieces simply because some choose to interpret what is written in some book ages ago, in an other way as other people.
Whether you read the Bible, Koran or Torah, in all of them it says;
Thou shalt not kill.
So how can they justify these killings for themselves? How can they live with themselves? How is it that in their minds the 'thou shalt not kill' has turned into 'thou can kill the ones that have another believe?' God or Allah or Jaweh or whatever you would call your god, would sit there on his cloud shaking his head saying he had not meant it like this.

The Pope has asked everyone to pray for the victems and their families. You see a lot 'Pray for Paris' signs. Of course everyone's thoughts are with Paris, or with Lebanon for that matter where IS have killed a lot of people as well the day before the Paris killings. But is it going to stop the terrorism? Is the bombing on Syria going to stop it? Is an eye for an eye stopping it?
What I'm afraid of is that the Muslims already living here are going to get the blame while they're not the ones to blame! That the refugees are being blamed while they were fleeing from IS for this very reason!
I'm hoping that the people will unite against terrorism and against hate. That finally we will show them they can hurt us but they cannot break us.
The Dalai Lama put it this way; 'So let us work for peace within our families and society, and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments," he said.
Well put. Let's try to not give in to hate and focus only on peace. We are one people. One world.

Or as this man put it on the death of his wife;

© KH

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Music on Sunday; Paris

When I was a child I grew up with French chansons. It was the 70s and they were more on the radio, my parents liked them and played them more. Other songs came more 'in fashion' here and you only heard an occasional French song but not as much.
But after Friday's attacks on Paris it just seemed appropriate to dedicate my Music on Sunday blog to Paris; French and English songs about the city of light;

the very first song I can recall as a child;

© KH

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Quotes and Pics 204, Peace...

I already made some quotes for today, but after last nights horrible events in Paris I made some new ones this morning.. My thoughts are in Paris...

© KH