YouTube Video: Classical Music and Bizet

Dinner Topics for Friday

L’Arlesienne

Pearl Fishers Duet

From Wikipedia

bizetGeorges Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875), formally Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer, mainly of operas. In a career cut short by his early death, he achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, became one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertory.

During a brilliant student career at the Conservatoire de Paris, Bizet won many prizes, including the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1857. He was recognised as an outstanding pianist, though he chose not to capitalise on this skill and rarely performed in public. Returning to Paris after almost three years in Italy, he found that the main Parisian opera theatres preferred the established classical repertoire to the works of newcomers. His keyboard and orchestral compositions were likewise largely ignored; as a result, his career stalled, and he earned his living mainly by arranging and transcribing the music of others. Restless for success, he began many theatrical projects during the 1860s, most of which were abandoned. Neither of the two operas that reached the stage—Les pêcheurs de perles and La jolie fille de Perth—were immediately successful.

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, during which Bizet served in the National Guard, he had little success with his one-act opera Djamileh, though an orchestral suite derived from his incidental music to Alphonse Daudet‘s play L’Arlésienne was instantly popular. The production of Bizet’s final opera Carmen was delayed through fears that its themes of betrayal and murder would offend audiences. After its premiere on 3 March 1875, Bizet was convinced that the work was a failure; he died of a heart attack three months later, unaware that it would prove a spectacular and enduring success.

Bizet’s marriage to Geneviève Halévy was intermittently happy and produced one son. After his death, his work, apart from Carmen, was generally neglected. Manuscripts were given away or lost, and published versions of his works were frequently revised and adapted by other hands. He founded no school and had no obvious disciples or successors. After years of neglect, his works began to be performed more frequently in the 20th century. Later commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss to French musical theatre.

Read more about Bizet  from Wikipedia

 

 

Advertisements

YouTube Music: Classical Music and Franz Liszt

Dinner Topics for Friday

Listen to Hungarian Rhapsody by Franz Liszt

Franz_Liszt_1858Franz Liszt, T.O.S.F. Hungarian: Liszt Ferencz; October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886), in modern use Liszt Ferenc[n 1] from 1859 to 1867 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt,[n 2] was a 19th-century Hungarian[1][2][3] composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, teacher and Franciscan tertiary.

Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age, and in the 1840s he was considered by some to be perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. Liszt was also a well-known and influential composer, piano teacher and conductor. He was a benefactor to other composers, including Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.[4]

As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the “Neudeutsche Schule” (“New German School”). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.[5] He also played an important role in popularizing a wide array of music by transcribing it for piano.

Paganini

After attending an April 20, 1832, charity concert, for the victims of a Parisian cholera epidemic, by Niccolò Paganini,[14] Liszt became determined to become as great a virtuoso on the piano as Paganini was on the violin. Paris in the 1830s had become the nexus for pianistic activities, with dozens of pianists dedicated to perfection at the keyboard. Some, such as Sigismond Thalberg and Alexander Dreyschock, focused on specific aspects of technique (e.g. the “three-hand effect” and octaves, respectively). While it was called the “flying trapeze” school of piano playing, this generation also solved some of the most intractable problems of piano technique, raising the general level of performance to previously unimagined heights. Liszt’s strength and ability to stand out in this company was in mastering all the aspects of piano technique cultivated singly and assiduously by his rivals.[15]

In 1833 he made transcriptions of several works by Berlioz, including the Symphonie fantastique. His chief motive in doing so, especially with the Symphonie, was to help the poverty-stricken Berlioz, whose symphony remained unknown and unpublished. Liszt bore the expense of publishing the transcription himself and played it many times to help popularise the original score.[16] He was also forming a friendship with a third composer who influenced him, Frédéric Chopin; under his influence Liszt’s poetic and romantic side began to develop.[11]

Liszt in Weimar

In February 1847, Liszt played in Kiev. There he met the Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who was to become one of the most significant people in the rest of his life. She persuaded him to concentrate on composition, which meant giving up his career as a travelling virtuoso. After a tour of the Balkans, Turkey and Russia that summer, Liszt gave his final concert for pay at Elisavetgrad in September. He spent the winter with the princess at her estate in Woronince.[22] By retiring from the concert platform at 35, while still at the height of his powers, Liszt succeeded in keeping the legend of his playing untarnished.[23]

The following year, Liszt took up a long-standing invitation of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia to settle at Weimar, where he had been appointed Kapellmeister Extraordinaire in 1842, remaining there until 1861. During this period he acted as conductor at court concerts and on special occasions at the theatre. He gave lessons to a number of pianists, including the great virtuoso Hans von Bülow, who married Liszt’s daughter Cosima in 1857 (years later, she would marry Richard Wagner). He also wrote articles championing Berlioz and Wagner. Finally, Liszt had ample time to compose and during the next 12 years revised or produced those orchestral and choral pieces upon which his reputation as a composer mainly rested. His efforts on behalf of Wagner, who was then an exile in Switzerland, culminated in the first performance of Lohengrin in 1850.

Princess Carolyne lived with Liszt during his years in Weimar. She eventually wished to marry Liszt, but since she had been previously married and her husband, Russian military officer Prince Nikolaus zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg (1812–1864), was still alive, she had to convince the Roman Catholic authorities that her marriage to him had been invalid. After huge efforts and a monstrously intricate process, she was temporarily successful (September 1860). It was planned that the couple would marry in Rome, on October 22, 1861, Liszt’s 50th birthday. Liszt having arrived in Rome on October 21, 1861, the Princess nevertheless declined, by the late evening, to marry him. It appears that both her husband and the Tsar of Russia had managed to quash permission for the marriage at the Vatican. The Russian government also impounded her several estates in the Polish Ukraine, which made her later marriage to anybody unfeasible.[24]

Read more about Franz Liszt

 

 

YouTube Video: Classical Music and Verdi

Dinner Topics for Friday

The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. ~Isaiah 11:9

Triumphal March from “Aida”

From Wikipedia

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. Musically, he was part of European Romanticism, and was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture – such as “La donna è mobile” from Rigoletto, “Va, pensiero” (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the “Grand March” from Aida.

Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves

Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard opera repertoire a century and a half after their composition.

Early life

Verdi was born the son of Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto, then in the Département Taro which was a part of the First French Empire after the annexation of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza. The baptismal register, on 11 October lists him as being “born yesterday”, but since days were often considered to begin at sunset, this could have meant either 9 or 10 October. The next day, he was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church in Latin as Joseph Fortuninus Franciscus. The day after that (Tuesday), Verdi’s father took his newborn the three miles to Busseto, where the baby was recorded as Joseph Fortunin François; the clerk wrote in French. “So it happened that for the civil and temporal world Verdi was born a Frenchman.”[1]

When he was still a child, Verdi’s parents moved from Piacenza to Busseto, where the future composer’s education was greatly facilitated by visits to the large library belonging to the local Jesuit school. Also in Busseto, Verdi was given his first lessons in composition.

Verdi went to Milan when he was twenty to continue his studies. He took private lessons in counterpoint while attending operatic performances, as well as concerts of, specifically, German music. Milan’s beaumonde association convinced him that he should pursue a career as a theatre composer. During the mid 1830s, he attended the Salotto Maffei salons in Milan, hosted by Clara Maffei.

Returning to Busseto, he became the town music master and, with the support of Antonio Barezzi, a local merchant and music lover who had long supported Verdi’s musical ambitions in Milan, Verdi gave his first public performance at Barezzi’s home in 1830.

Because he loved Verdi’s music, Barezzi invited Verdi to be his daughter Margherita’s music teacher, and the two soon fell deeply in love. They were married on 4 May 1836 and Margherita gave birth to two children, Virginia Maria Luigia (26 March 1837 – 12 August 1838) and Icilio Romano (11 July 1838 – 22 October 1839). Both died in infancy while Verdi was working on his first opera and, shortly afterwards, Margherita died of encephalitis[2][3] on 18 June 1840, aged only 26.[4] Verdi adored his wife and children, and he was devastated by their untimely deaths.

Middle years

Sometime in the mid-1840s, after the death of Margherita Barezzi, Verdi began an affair with Giuseppina Strepponi, a soprano in the twilight of her career.[7] Their cohabitation before marriage was regarded as scandalous in some of the places they lived, but Verdi and Giuseppina married on 29 August 1859 at Collonges-sous-Salève, near Geneva.[8] While living in Busseto with Strepponi, Verdi bought an estate two miles from the town in 1848. Initially, his parents lived there, but, after his mother’s death in 1851, he made the Villa Verdi at Sant’Agata in Villanova sull’Arda his home until his death.

As the “galley years” were drawing to a close, Verdi created one of his greatest masterpieces, Rigoletto, which premiered in Venice in 1851. Based on a play by Victor Hugo (Le roi s’amuse), the libretto had to undergo substantial revisions in order to satisfy the epoch’s censorship, and the composer was on the verge of giving it all up a number of times. The opera quickly became a great success.

With Rigoletto, Verdi sets up his original idea of musical drama as a cocktail of heterogeneous elements, embodying social and cultural complexity, and beginning from a distinctive mixture of comedy and tragedy. Rigoletto’s musical range includes band-music such as the first scene or the song La donna è mobile, Italian melody such as the famous quartet “Bella figlia dell’amore”, chamber music such as the duet between Rigoletto and Sparafucile and powerful and concise declamatos often based on key-notes like the C and C# notes in Rigoletto and Monterone’s upper register.

There followed the second and third of the three major operas of Verdi’s “middle period”: in 1853 Il Trovatore was produced in Rome and La traviata in Venice. The latter was based on Alexandre Dumas, fils‘ play The Lady of the Camellias, and became the most popular of all Verdi’s operas, placing first in the Operabase list of most performed operas worldwide.[9]

Later compositions

VerdiBetween 1855 and 1867, an outpouring of great Verdi operas followed, among them such repertory staples as Un ballo in maschera (1859), La forza del destino (commissioned by the Imperial Theatre of Saint Petersburg for 1861 but not performed until 1862), and a revised version of Macbeth (1865). Other somewhat less often performed include Les vêpres siciliennes (1855) and Don Carlos (1867), both commissioned by the Paris Opera and initially given in French. Today, these latter two operas are most often performed in their revised Italian versions. Simon Boccanegra followed in 1857. Verdi’s grand opera, Aida, is sometimes thought to have been commissioned for the celebration of the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, but, according to one major critic,[10] Verdi turned down the Khedive’s invitation to write an “ode” for the new opera house he was planning to inaugurate as part of the canal opening festivities. The opera house actually opened with a production of Rigoletto. Later in 1869/70, the organizers again approached Verdi (this time with the idea of writing an opera), but he again turned them down. When they warned him that they would ask Charles Gounod instead and then threatened to engage Richard Wagner‘s services, Verdi began to show considerable interest, and agreements were signed in June 1870.

Verdi and Wagner, who were the leaders of their respective schools of music, seemed to resent each other greatly. They never met. Verdi’s comments on Wagner and his music are few and hardly benevolent (“He invariably chooses, unnecessarily, the untrodden path, attempting to fly where a rational person would walk with better results”), but at least one of them is kind: upon learning of Wagner’s death, Verdi lamented, “Sad, sad, sad! … a name that will leave a most powerful impression on the history of art.”[11] Of Wagner’s comments on Verdi, only one is well-known. After listening to Verdi’s Requiem, the German, prolific and eloquent in his comments on some other composers, stated, “It would be best not to say anything.”

Final years and death

Otello, based on William Shakespeare‘s play, with a libretto written by the younger composer of Mefistofele, Arrigo Boito, premiered in Milan in 1887. Its music is “continuous” and cannot easily be divided into separate “numbers” to be performed in concert. Some[who?] feel that although masterfully orchestrated, it lacks the melodic lustre so characteristic of Verdi’s earlier, great, operas, while many critics consider it Verdi’s greatest tragic opera, containing some of his most beautiful, expressive music and some of his richest characterizations. In addition, it lacks a prelude, something Verdi listeners are not accustomed to. Arturo Toscanini performed as cellist in the orchestra at the world premiere and began his friendship with Verdi (a composer he revered as highly as Beethoven).

Verdi’s statue in the Piazza G. Verdi, Busseto

Verdi’s last opera, Falstaff, whose libretto was also by Boito, was based on Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor and Victor Hugo‘s subsequent translation. It was an international success and is one of the supreme comic operas which shows Verdi’s genius as a contrapuntist.

Verdi was initially buried in Milan’s Cimitero Monumentale. A month later, his body was moved to the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, a rest home for retired musicians that Verdi had established. In October 1894, the French government awarded him the Grand-Croix de la Legion d’honneur.[citation needed] He was the first musician to receive the Grand-Croix.[citation needed]

He was an agnostic. Toscanini, in a taped interview, described him as “an atheist”, but “agnostic” is probably the most accurate description. His second wife, Giuseppina Strepponi, described him as “a man of little faith”. [15]

Complete article

Stress Management, Classical Music, and Dvorak New World Symphony

Dinner Topics for Friday

For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. ~John Winthrop

Listen to New World Symphony

 

Dvorak_1868Antonín Leopold Dvořák  DVOR-zhahk or / Czech:  September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer. Following the nationalist example of Bedřich Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed features of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia (then parts of the Austrian Empire and now constituting the Czech Republic). Dvořák’s own style has been described as ‘the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them’.[1]

Born in Nelahozeves, Dvořák displayed his musical gifts at an early age. His first surviving work, Forget-Me-Not Polka in C (Polka pomněnka) was written possibly as early as 1854.[2]He graduated from the organ school in Prague in 1859.[3] In the 1860s, he played as a violist in the Bohemian Provisional Theater Orchestra and taught piano lessons. In 1873, he married Anna Čermáková, and left the orchestra to pursue another career as a church organist. He wrote several compositions during this period. Dvořák’s music attracted the interest of Johannes Brahms, who assisted his career; he was also supported by the critic Eduard Hanslick.

After the premiere of his cantata Stabat Mater (1880), Dvořák visited the United Kingdom and became popular there; his Seventh Symphony was written for London. After a brief conducting stint in Russia in 1890, Dvořák was appointed as a professor at the Prague Conservatory in 1891. In 1892, Dvořák moved to the United States and became the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City, where he also composed. However, a salary dispute, along with increasing recognition in Europe and an onset of homesickness made him decide to return to Bohemia. From 1895 until his death, he composed mainly operatic and chamber music. At his death, he left several unfinished works.

Among Dvořák’s best known works are his New World Symphony, the “American” String Quartet, the opera Rusalka and his Cello Concerto in B minor. Among his smaller works, the seventh Humoresque and the song ‘Songs my mother taught me‘ are also widely performed and recorded. He composed operas, choral music, a wide variety of chamber music, concerti and many other orchestral and vocal and instrumental pieces. He has been described as ‘arguably the most versatile…composer of his time’.[4]

Read more

 

Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter: Biblical Worldview

Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter:

Biblical Worldview

September  2017

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics!

NEWS ALERT! MASSIVE IDENTITY THEFT IN AMERICA!

It’s a crisis! Millions of young Americans, many of their parents, even some grandparents, are missing vital elements of their identity.

Deep, wide, and long investigation has revealed that keys of American core identity have been subtly removed over a period of many years. Graduates of high schools and colleges nationwide respond with a blank stare when asked who they are as American citizens. They have no idea why they are here or where they are headed.

What’s missing?

Not only have Americans themselves been robbed, but there is something missing from our culture, entertainment, schools, government, and society itself.

We are awash in mediocre, utterly forgettable, morally bankrupt idols, such as pirates, “Despicable Me,” Maleficent, and glorifying wimpiness. Missing from literature and entertainment are the fresh, uplifting stories with decent admirable characters.

Roger Scruton laments, “Beauty is vanishing from our world because we live as if it does not matter.”

Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.

Missing is the Biblical Worldview upon which America was founded. Missing in action are the true epic heroes who light up the corridors of history with their shining and noble deeds.

What is an epic hero? An epic hero is someone of truly righteous character, who, through just and courageous actions, puts God, family, and country before his selfish and immediate interests and saves his people, prevailing in the mortal and spiritual battle of good vs. evil.

Historians of integrity trace records back to the root cause of this crisis: the removal of the birthright of American citizens. In other words, the biblical foundation of western civilization has been stolen and sold to the enemy.

Who stole it?

Fifty years ago, a handful of judges, using power that did not belong to them, seized the American birthright of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and sold it to the enemy of our souls. What have we received in return? Death, bondage, and misery.

What is to be done?

Therefore my people are gone into acaptivity, because they have no bknowledge.~ Isaiah 5:13

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” ~Thomas Jefferson

Educate, Educate, Educate.

Truth is the most powerful weapon in the world.

This month our theme is Biblical Worldview. Though banned from entertainment, schools, government, and public discourse, Judeo-Christian scriptures can still be used in our homes. We as parents and grandparents hold the keys to unlock the bondage of godless ignorance into which our children have been thrust. Like Rebekah of old, we can wrest the birthright from the unrighteous and misguided hands of the world and restore it to our families, to bless our posterity for generations to come.

And it can be as simple as teaching Bible truths to our families every night at the dinner table.

Highlights

Thanks for visiting. Come often, stay late.

Blessing Our Families with the Biblical Worldview Culture,

Christine Davidson

News and Updates:

Notes on Critical Thinking (Defining Moments and History Facts):

Due to repeated falsehoods which are taught in many schools, confusion can be overwhelming. Therefore, we will be giving more emphasis on defining worldly ideas and reporting true history, even if it requires some repetition.

Transmit a Legacy of Faith and Freedom to Your Children and Grandchildren

In the next few months, we are developing the Birthright Academy. We are seeing the effects of decades of secularism which started in the schools, and from thence have invaded our government and our culture. Today’s college students will be tomorrow’s leaders. We cannot leave the teaching of our youth to the public schools and colleges. By then it will be too late.  If we want to preserve our Judeo-Christian values and culture of liberty, we will need to start serious teaching to the middle school and high school youth, so they will be prepared when they get on their own in college. This is the purpose of the Birthright Academy—to instill the Biblical Worldview into the rising generation, preparing Epic Heroes to lead our nation.

So from now on, we are sharpening the focus of Western Culture Dinner Topics on what matters most— to continually define and defend Judeo-Christian values, more about Israel, our spiritual  brother in the house of Israel,  to provide truth in journalism, and to know true history, so as not to be deceived.

Coming! Birthright Cultural Academy

A four-year home study course in the Biblical Worldview for high school age young adults, to prepare them for college, based on the Birthright literature series. Topics will include:

  • Church and State, Freedom vs. Tyranny
  • Creation Story, sacredness of life, scientific method
  • Moral compass, Bible as epic literature, archetypes
  • Truth in Journalism, history

As Joshua Benamoz  taught us,

Battered but not beaten, Western Culture wins the day!

Stronger than ever, Western Culture’s here to stay!

New Parenting Resource!

Life Lessons from Biblical Big Picture

Critical thinking skills are taught in very few public schools anymore. Some of the best resources for character education and critical thinking are found in literary fiction. Using the historical novel, Birthright, by C.A. Davidson, as a platform, parents can teach their families vital critical thinking skills and Life Lessons from the Biblical big picture.

Topics include:

  • Truth–
    • How to Know What is True
    • Discerning Right and Wrong
  • Scientific Method (Empiricism) and Academic Freedom
  • Life Lessons from Historical patterns and literary symbolism

NEW PAGE!

Western Culture Center:

Under the Ceiba tree, meet the memorable characters from Birthright  join the Crusaders’ Council, with our motto—

Battered but not beaten, Western Culture wins the day!

Stronger than ever, Western Culture’s here to stay!

Knowing that truth matters and ideas have consequences, come meet with us in the arena of ideas at Nobles’ Western Culture Center as we work together to restore Judeo-Christian values to their rightful place in our society.

 

Stress Relief Tip of the Month: Be Yourself! 

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs of Christ. Romans 8: 16, 17

Jesus and Children Don’t try to be somebody you’re not, and don’t try to change your spouse or child into someone you think they should be. Maybe a friend or relative is successful in what they do, but that doesn’t mean you have to do what they do. And don’t worry about what everyone else thinks you should do. The best thing to do is to follow the example of Jesus, and seek His guidance for you, then be yourself, and let others be themselves, too.

Theme Quotes for September: Biblical Worldview

 

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16

Never permit yourself to become a weak link in the chain of your generations. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

As we pursue the journey of life, let us learn the language of the Spirit. ~Thomas S. Monson

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”–Ronald Reagan

Now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. ~Alma 37:47

Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. ~Doctrine and Covenants 6:36

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” ~Thomas Jefferson

A Battle We Must Win. “We are engaged in a battle with the world. In the past, the world competed for our children’s energy and time. Today, it fights for their identity and mind. Many loud and prominent voices are trying to define who our children are and what they should believe. We cannot let society give our family a makeover in the image of the world. We must win this battle. Everything depends on it.”~ Bradley D. Foster

We have lost our moral compass completely, and, unless we find it, we’re going to lose our civilization. ~John Rhys-Davies (Gimli in Lord of the Rings)

“Rise from your knees and from your lethargy or you will be crying over your children every day.” ~Beata Szydło, Prime minister of Poland

This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity.” We must therefore drag the ancient virtue of courage out from under the silt of oblivion. There is no free, prestigious and honorable Europe without the lifeblood of nations and the wisdom of two thousand years of Christianity. ~Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary

“I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph. So, together, let us all fight like the Poles – for family, for freedom, for country, and for God. ~President Donald Trump

The West is superior to the rest of the world in every significant way, we should aggressively back our allies over our enemies, and the guiding principle of our foreign policy should always be America’s interests. No apologies. No equivocation. No doubt. ~Kurt Schlichter

September Preview

The Western Culture Dinner Topic Theme for September: Biblical Worldview

Featured Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Teaching Peace

Defining Moment: Biblical worldview

Famous Birthdays: Lafayette, Dvorak, William McGuffey, Henry Von Mises

  • Bible Symbolism: Threshing Wheat, and Threshing the Nations with the Spirit
  • Constitution Series 9: Divine Law vs. Big Government
  • Character Education: William McGuffey’s legacy
  • Critical Thinking: Defining fascism and socialism
  • Culture Wars: Why Western Values are Superior
    • Arts that express Biblical truths
  • Faith: Defending the Faith
    • Let the Holy Spirit Guide
    • A Standard for the Nations
  • Hillsdale Imprimis: The Demise of Journalistic Standards, Part 2
  • History: Constitution Day
    • How Socialism and Fascism both stemmed from the Left
    • To defend America, Know Your History
  • Stress Relief Tip: Be Yourself
  • Truth in Journalism: Reporting news blacked out or straightening out news twisted by the mainstream media
    • The truth about the Southern Poverty Law Center

And as always—current events, updates, cultural enrichment, great cartoons, and analysis

Please Vote for our Site and help us reach more readers. Do you enjoy this web site? If you do, please consider voting at the link in the right-hand sidebar beneath the Follow button. If we can be listed in the Top Sites at “Christians Unite!”—we can reach more people who think like you do. You can vote more than once—any time you appreciate a post with Christian content. This keeps us up toward the top 10 so we get referrals.

Thank you for your support.

 PLEASE VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS.

Ongoing

1. Does it all seem too complicated to train your Children for the Future? Here’s How to Keep it Simple!

Everyone has to eat dinner, right?

Nothing like a fascinating dinner table conversation to teach the Biblical worldview in a comfortable setting. And it’s so much easier to explain what you stand for when it’s a way of life.  Just follow this blog.  Every day, you get two dinner topics to choose from. Follow me here, at  Epicworld Dinner Topics.

 

Even if you do it once a week to begin with, it’s a great start. Congratulate yourself. Out of small and simple things, great  things come to pass. Do not be weary in well-doing.

 

 P.S. Don’t Forget the Stress Relief Tips every month!

2. Parents, You Can Educate Yourself, for Free, from the convenience of your own Home!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”–Ronald Reagan

New Resource: Take this online course from Hillsdale College!

History 102: American Heritage, From Colonial Settlement to the Reagan Revolution

Recommended Readings

The U.S. Constitution is the key to securing liberty for all Americans — yet very few know exactly what it says, and what freedoms it protects. Hillsdale College is dedicating this year to educating millions of Americans about this critical document. That’s why the College is offering its most popular course, American Heritage,  for free, when you sign up now, and receive first lesson by email. 

3. Study the U.S. Constitution!

It is the last remaining safeguard of our precious freedoms! A good way to do this is to study the monthly Constitution series from The 5,000 Year Leap. To access this series of posts, type US Constitution Series in this site’s search bar. Also, look for posts that refer to the Constitution in current events. This month Constitution series #9: Divine Law vs. Big Government

Stress Management, Classical Music, and Pachelbel Canon

Dinner Topics for Friday

  keyoldTrust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. ~Proverbs 3:5

Pachelbel Canon in D Major

From Wikipedia

musicnotesJohann Pachelbel (German pronunciation: [ˈjoːhɑn ˈpaxəlbɛl]; baptised September 1, 1653 – buried March 9, 1706)[1] was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.[2]

Pachelbel’s music enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D, as well as the Chaconne in F minor, the Toccata in E minor for organ, and the Hexachordum Apollinis, a set of keyboard variations.[3]

Pachelbel’s music was influenced by southern German composers, such as Johann Jakob Froberger and Johann Kaspar Kerll, Italians such as Girolamo Frescobaldi and Alessandro Poglietti, French composers, and the composers of the Nuremberg tradition. He preferred a lucid, uncomplicated contrapuntal style that emphasized melodic and harmonic clarity. His music is less virtuosic and less adventurous harmonically than that of Dieterich Buxtehude, although, like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with different ensembles and instrumental combinations in his chamber music and, most importantly, his vocal music, much of which features exceptionally rich instrumentation. Pachelbel explored many variation forms and associated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.

Posthumous influence

One of the last middle Baroque composers, Pachelbel did not have any considerable influence on most of the famous late Baroque composers, such as George Frideric Handel, Domenico Scarlatti or Georg Philipp Telemann. He did influence Johann Sebastian Bach indirectly; the young Johann Sebastian was tutored by his older brother Johann Christoph Bach, who studied with Pachelbel, but although J.S. Bach’s early chorales and chorale variations borrow from Pachelbel’s music, the style of northern German composers, such as Georg Böhm, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Johann Adam Reincken, played a more important role in the development of Bach’s talent.

Pachelbel was the last great composer of the Nuremberg tradition and the last important southern German composer. Pachelbel’s influence was mostly limited to his pupils, most notably Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Heinrich Buttstett, Andreas Nicolaus Vetter, and two of Pachelbel’s sons, Wilhelm Hieronymus and Charles Theodore. The latter became one of the first European composers to take up residence in the American colonies and so Pachelbel influenced, although indirectly and only to a certain degree, the American church music of the era. Composer, musicologist and writer Johann Gottfried Walther is probably the most famous of the composers influenced by Pachelbel – he is, in fact, referred to as the “second Pachelbel” in Mattheson‘s Grundlage einer Ehrenpforte.[20]

As the Baroque style went out of fashion during the 18th century, the majority of Baroque and pre-Baroque composers were virtually forgotten. Local organists in Nuremberg and Erfurt knew Pachelbel’s music and occasionally performed it, but the public and the majority of composers and performers did not pay much attention to Pachelbel and his contemporaries. In the first half of the 19th century, some organ works by Pachelbel were published and several musicologists started considering him an important composer, particularly Philipp Spitta, who was one of the first researchers to trace Pachelbel’s role in the development of Baroque keyboard music. Much of Pachelbel’s work was published in the early 20th century in the Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich series, but it was not until the rise of interest in early Baroque music in the middle of the 20th century and the advent of historically-informed performance practice and associated research that Pachelbel’s works began to be studied extensively and again performed more frequently.

Popularity of the Canon in D

Pachelbel’s Canon in D major, a piece of chamber music scored for three violins and basso continuo and originally paired with a gigue in the same key, experienced a tremendous surge in popularity during the 1970s. This is believed to be due to a recording by Jean-François Paillard in 1970, which made it a universally recognized cultural item. Its visibility was greatly increased by its choice as the theme song for the popular film Ordinary People. Now one of the most recognized and famous baroque compositions, it has in recent years become extremely popular for use in weddings,[citation needed] rivalling that of Wagner‘s Bridal Chorus.

Read More

 

Stress Management, Classical Music, and Debussy YouTube Music

Dinner Topics for Friday

keyoldBe still, and know that I am God. ~Psalms 46:10

 

 

debussyClaude-Achille Debussy (French pronunciation: [klod aʃil dəbysi])[1] (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions.[2] In France, he was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903.[3] A crucial figure in the transition to the modern era in Western music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers.

His music is noted for its sensory component and for not often forming around one key or pitch. Often Debussy’s work reflected the activities or turbulence in his own life. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.[4]

Continued

Stress Management, Classical Music, and Enesco

Dinner Topics for Friday

Romanian Rhapsody

 

Stress Management, Classical Music, and Enesco

Enescu24George Enescu known in France as Georges Enesco; 19 August 1881, Liveni – 4 May 1955, Paris) was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher.

Enescu was born in the village of Liveni (later renamed “George Enescu” in his honor), Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County. He showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical composition at the age of five.[1] Shortly thereafter, his father presented him to the professor and composer Eduard Caudella. At the age of seven, he entered the Vienna Conservatory, where he studied with Joseph Hellmesberger, Jr., Robert Fuchs, and Sigismund Bachrich. He graduated before his 13th birthday, earning the silver medal. In his Viennese concerts young Enescu played works by Brahms, Sarasate and Mendelssohn. In 1895 he went to Paris to continue his studies. He studied violin with Martin Pierre Marsick, harmony with André Gedalge, and composition with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré.

Many of Enescu’s works were influenced by Romanian folk music, his most popular compositions being the two Romanian Rhapsodies (1901-2), the opera Œdipe (1936), and the suites for orchestra.[citation needed] He also wrote five symphonies (two of them unfinished), a symphonic poem Vox maris, and much chamber music (three sonatas for violin and piano, two for cello and piano, a piano trio, two string quartets and two piano quartets, a wind decet (French, “dixtuor”), an octet for strings, a piano quintet, and a chamber symphony for twelve solo instruments). A young Ravi Shankar recalled in the 1960s how Enescu, who had developed a deep interest in Oriental music, rehearsed with Shankar’s brother Uday Shankar and his musicians. Around the same time, Enescu took the young Yehudi Menuhin to the Colonial Exhibition in Paris, where he introduced him to the Gamelan Orchestra from Indonesia.[

More about Enescu

 

Gallery

Judeo-Christian Culture: Stress Relief Ideas, Survival Guide for Hard Times

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Judeo-Christian Culture: Stress Relief Ideas—Your 9-Point Survival Guide for Hard Times By David Dickson Hang in there! Better days ahead. Accidentally ripping your brand-new shirt or losing your math homework is one thing. Losing a loved one is quite another. … Continue reading

Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter: Foundation of Faith

Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter:

Foundation of Faith

August  2017

Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics! 

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? In the 70s, there was a popular song by that title.

Nowadays there are many people wandering the streets, who think they know the answer to that question. But they are very angry all the time, so I suspect they don’t really know what it’s all about, and are therefore very frustrated. Or perhaps, deep down, they do know what it’s all about, but do not want to face the truth.

Then, there is a legion of young adults, who are so self-absorbed—so imprisoned in the pretty lock-box, AKA a “smart phone”—that any glimmer of light from Life’s big picture does not even reach their peripheral  vision. So narrow is the world of this self-imposed digital prison, that its inmates don’t even know there is a window to their future.

What’s it all about? The poor things don’t even know to ask the question, let alone seek its answer.

“It’s not about you.” These words are often spoken to the spoiled, to the selfish, to the control freaks. Yes, it’s true. People like that need to get their minds off themselves. But I would suggest amending that statement:

“It’s not ONLY about you.” Because you are not alone.

 First of all, it’s about God. After all, He created you and me. He has a plan for us, which is the key to our happiness, because He is our Heavenly Father, and He loves us. To Him, it is very much about you. It’s about your choices, and actions. If you are a parent or grandparent, it’s about what you do to teach your children and grandchildren to build a foundation of faith—that is, God’s plan for them. If you are a son or daughter, it’s about learning how to follow the guideposts along the road of life. Those guideposts are also known as The Ten Commandments. If you obey those, you will avoid so many “fiery swamps”, “pits of despair,” and “cliffs of insanity.”[1]  You will be well on the path to happiness. And you will never be alone. You will be more in tune with your Heavenly Father’s will; therefore you will have the Holy Spirit as your companion. And God will raise up friends who will help you.

Why are we here? This is another question answered by God’s plan.

Some people blame all our problems on Adam and Eve. Come on. Is that fair? They were only human. They made mistakes, just like we do. God knew we would make mistakes. That’s all part of His Plan. That’s why He sent His Son.

Choices have consequences. The consequence of our First Parents’ choice to eat the  fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was to gain ability to know good from evil. So Heavenly Father sent them from Eden, not because He was angry, but because they needed to experience the inevitable consequence of every choice. He also sent them out of His presence, to learn how to distinguish good from evil in the great proving grounds called mortality, and to learn how to walk by faith.

So that’s why we are hereto choose right over wrong, of our own free will. God will force no man or woman to heaven. But we needn’t worry about being punished for the sins of Adam and Eve. Only our own mistakes. That is enough. But we must own those, not blame them on Eve, or anyone else. This accepting of responsibility is called repentance. That’s all we have to do—simply repent, and our beloved Savior does the rest.

compass liahonaOur merciful Heavenly Father did not send His first children into the wilderness without preparing them.   Nor does He expect us to make our epic journey of life without help. We can set our course using the guidebook, or the Bible, which shows the path taken by our noble ancestors. We can gather our daily bread from the scriptures. And we have a built-in compass called our conscience.

These are the bricks for our foundation of faith, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone.

And that’s what it’s all about.

Your epic quest begins at birth

To find your purpose here on earth.

Along the way your heart will learn

How good from evil to discern.

Moments in time will come to define

Trials of your soul, to test and refine.

 

Discover things that will be treasured,

Perhaps not always in money measured—

Gems of knowledge, virtue, truth,

Eternal standards for families and youth—

To strengthen, protect, and to prepare

A way to escape the enemy’s snare.

 

The journey of life demands your part—

Courage, faith, and a willing heart.

You need not fall, though you may stumble,

For angels fail not to help the humble.

Your lone small flame may not seem bright,

Yet it reveals the way to greater light.

 

Day by day, big and little—

Answers await life’s every riddle.

Just when you think you can’t continue,

You’ll find the epic hero within you.

Honor and virtue will be your choice.

Return home triumphant, and rejoice.

~C.A.Davidson

Highlights

Thanks for visiting. Come often, stay late.

Keeping firm and steadfast in the faith,

Christine Davidson

News and Updates:

Notes on Critical Thinking (Defining Moments and History Facts):

Due to repeated falsehoods which are taught in many schools, confusion can be overwhelming. Therefore, we will be giving more emphasis on defining worldly ideas and reporting true history, even if it requires some repetition.

Transmit a Legacy of Faith and Freedom to Your Children and Grandchildren

In the next few months, we are developing the Birthright Academy. We are seeing the effects of decades of secularism which started in the schools, and from thence have invaded our government and our culture. Today’s college students will be tomorrow’s leaders. We cannot leave the teaching of our youth to the public schools and colleges. By then it will be too late.  If we want to preserve our Judeo-Christian values and culture of liberty, we will need to start serious teaching to the middle school and high school youth, so they will be prepared when they get on their own in college. This is the purpose of the Birthright Academy—to instill the Biblical Worldview into the rising generation, preparing Epic Heroes to lead our nation.

So from now on, we are sharpening the focus of Western Culture Dinner Topics on what matters most— to continually define and defend Judeo-Christian values, more about Israel, our spiritual  brother in the house of Israel,  to provide truth in journalism, and to know true history, so as not to be deceived.

Coming! Birthright Cultural Academy

A four-year home study course in the Biblical Worldview for high school age young adults, to prepare them for college, based on the Birthright literature series. Topics will include:

  • Church and State, Freedom vs. Tyranny
  • Creation Story, sacredness of life, scientific method
  • Moral compass, Bible as epic literature, archetypes
  • Truth in Journalism, history

As Joshua Benamoz  taught us,

Battered but not beaten, Western Culture wins the day!

Stronger than ever, Western Culture’s here to stay!

New Parenting Resource!

Life Lessons from Biblical Big Picture

Critical thinking skills are taught in very few public schools anymore. Some of the best resources for character education and critical thinking are found in literary fiction. Using the historical novel, Birthright, by C.A. Davidson, as a platform, parents can teach their families vital critical thinking skills and Life Lessons from the Biblical big picture.

Topics include:

  • Truth–
    • How to Know What is True
    • Discerning Right and Wrong
  • Scientific Method (Empiricism) and Academic Freedom
  • Life Lessons from Historical patterns and literary symbolism

NEW PAGE!

Western Culture Center:

300-year-old Ceiba tree

Under the Ceiba tree, meet the memorable characters from Birthright  join the Crusaders’ Council, with our motto—

Battered but not beaten, Western Culture wins the day!

Stronger than ever, Western Culture’s here to stay!

Knowing that truth matters and ideas have consequences, come meet with us in the arena of ideas at Nobles’ Western Culture Center as we work together to restore Judeo-Christian values to their rightful place in our society.

 

Stress Relief Tip: In God We Trust

You can rely on the Word of God. The commandments of God are like signposts along the road of life. They keep you out of the danger zones. Moral relativism undermines justice, thus threatening the peace of civilized society. The commandments of God are the foundation of Western Civilization.

Moral absolutes provide us with “internal government”. If everyone restrains themselves, then we maintain civilization. Keep the commandments, in this there is safety and peace.

Theme Quotes for August: Foundation of Faith

Be still, and know that I am God. ~Psalm 46:10

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. ~Psalm 61:2

He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. ~Psalm 62:6-8

…O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:. Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power; which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. ~Psalm 65:5-7

When we speak of faith—the faith that can move mountains—we are not speaking of faith in general but of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. ~Russell M. Nelson

Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. [2]Yet so many people look only to their bank balance for peace or to fellow human beings for models to follow. ~Russell M. Nelson

We might each ask ourselves, where is our faith? Is it in a team? Is it in a brand? Is it in a celebrity? Even the best teams can fail. Celebrities can fade. There is only One in whom your faith is always safe, and that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. And you need to let your faith show! ~Russell M. Nelson

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. ~Helaman 5:12

And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God. ~Alma 31:6

[I]f ye will nourish the word. . .it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life. And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, … Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering. . .  ~Alma 32:41-43

And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son. ~Alma 33:11

August Preview

The Western Culture Dinner Topic Theme for August: Foundation of Faith

Featured Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Teaching Courage

Defining Moment: Correcting a Leftist’s misguided view on Capitalism

Famous Birthdays: Raoul Wallenberg, Enesco, Jedediah Morse, William Wilberforce, Debussy, Mother Theresa, John Locke

  • Constitution Series 8: Unalienable rights come from God
  • Critical Thinking: Truth about Nazism; why Left accusations are false
    • Kids need Truth, Not Fantasies
  • Culture Wars: 5 Reasons Transgender Accommodations Are Not Compatible with Military Realities
    • 9 Point Survival Guide for Hard Times
    • AFA Christian News
  • Faith: Foundations of Faith
    • Small Acts of Faith
    • Sabbath, Drop by Drop
  • Hillsdale Imprimis: The Demise of Journalistic Standards, Part 1
  • History: How Environmentalist Predictions Have Been Wrong
    • Key Facts about Slavery that the Left Conveniently Ignores
    • The True Story of the Statue of Liberty
  • Stress Relief Tip: Trust in God
  • Truth Matters: Reporting news blacked out by the mainstream media

And as always—current events, updates, cultural enrichment, great cartoons, and analysis

Please Vote for our Site and help us reach more readers. Do you enjoy this web site? If you do, please consider voting at the link in the right-hand sidebar beneath the Follow button. If we can be listed in the Top Sites at “Christians Unite!”—we can reach more people who think like you do. You can vote more than once—any time you appreciate a post with Christian content. This keeps us up toward the top 10 so we get referrals.

Thank you for your support.

 PLEASE VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS.

Ongoing

1. Does it all seem too complicated to train your Children for the Future? Here’s How to Keep it Simple!

Everyone has to eat dinner, right?

Nothing like a fascinating dinner table conversation to teach the Biblical worldview in a comfortable setting. And it’s so much easier to explain what you stand for when it’s a way of life.  Just follow this blog.  Every day, you get two dinner topics to choose from. Follow me here, at  Epicworld Dinner Topics.

Even if you do it once a week to begin with, it’s a great start. Congratulate yourself. Out of small and simple things, great  things come to pass. Do not be weary in well-doing.

 P.S. Don’t Forget the Stress Relief Tips every month!

2. Parents, You Can Educate Yourself, for Free, from the convenience of your own Home!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”–Ronald Reagan

New Resource: Take this online course from Hillsdale College!

Coming!

A four-year home study course in the Biblical Worldview for high school age young adults, to prepare them for college, based on the Birthright literature series. Topics will include:

  • Church and State, Freedom vs. Tyranny
  • Creation Story, sacredness of life, scientific method
  • Moral compass, Bible as epic literature, archetypes
  • Truth in Journalism, history

History 102: American Heritage, From Colonial Settlement to the Reagan Revolution

Recommended Readings

The U.S. Constitution is the key to securing liberty for all Americans — yet very few know exactly what it says, and what freedoms it protects. Hillsdale College is dedicating this year to educating millions of Americans about this critical document. That’s why the College is offering its most popular course, American Heritage,  for free, when you sign up now, and receive first lesson by email. 

3. Study the U.S. Constitution!

It is the last remaining safeguard of our precious freedoms! A good way to do this is to study the monthly Constitution series from The 5,000 Year Leap. To access this series of posts, type US Constitution Series in this site’s search bar. Also, look for posts that refer to the Constitution in current events. This month Constitution series #8: Unalienable rights come from God

[1] Princess Bride, the movie

[2] Doctrine and Covenants 6:36