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Posts Tagged ‘Handel

“If a book is new, it smells great. If a book is old, it smells even better”*…

 

It’s official. Science has decided that old books smell “smoky,” “earthy,” and more than anything, “woody.”

That’s based on findings released today by Cecilia Bembibre and Matija Strlič, researchers at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, who have been working to capture, analyze, and catalog historic and culturally important scents. The scientists collected the responses of visitors to St Paul’s Cathedral’s Dean and Chapter library in London, asking them to describe the smell and later compiling the results in a document they’re calling the Historic Book Odour Wheel…

 Take a whiff at “The Odor ‘Wheel’ Decoding the Smell of Old Books.”

* Ray Bradbury

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As we breathe it in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1749 that George Frideric Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks— or Fireworks Music, as it’s commonly known — premiered in a specially-constructed theater in St. James park in London.

The display was not as successful as the music itself: the weather was rainy, and in the middle of the show the pavilion caught fire.

The ill-fated site of the premiere

source (and larger version)

Written by LW

April 27, 2017 at 1:01 am

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

As the regular resort to allergy meds testifies, Spring is upon us; and with it, thoughts of Summer and the sea…

Thankfully, the prudent folks at SimplyBeach have shared “The 15 Deadliest Beach Creatures.”  Given the presence of the predators featured there, one simply can’t be too cautious.  Consider, for example,

The Marble Cone snail shell looks beautiful but the sea creature inside is deadlier than any other possible beach inhabitant listed here. One drop of venom could kill 20 or more people. Found in warm, tropical salt water, if you find one, don’t touch it.  A sting immediately begins showing symptoms or the onset may be days later. The intense pain, numbness, swelling and tingling-feeling can result, in severe cases, muscle paralysis, respiration shut down and vision changes or death. It is fortunate that only 30 people have been killed by envenomation because there is still no anti-venom available.  (source)

As we replan and rebook for the mountains, we might recall that it was this date in 1742 that George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah (often incorrectly called The Messiah) made its world-premiere in Dublin.  The version debuted then was composed in in the summer 1741.  But Handel revised his masterpiece repeatedly; the version with which modern listeners are familiar was first performed in 1754.  (In fact, a version orchestrated by Mozart in 1789 was the most frequently heard until the mid-twentieth century, and the return of the “historically-informed” performance.)

George Frideric Handel

Loving Godzilla, 17 syllables at a time…

From SamuraiFrog, an arresting (and very amusing) collection of Godzilla Haiku.

“Monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy, they are not evil by choice; that is their tragedy”
Ishiro Honda (Kurosawa friend, Toho director, and creator of Godzilla)

Honda on the set of the original Godzilla

As we rethink our attraction to urban centers, we might compose a birthday rhyme for Torquato Tasso, the 16th Century Italian poet; he was born on this date in 1544.  Though Tasso was a giant in his own time– he died in 1595, a few days before the Pope was to crown him “King of the Poets”– he had fallen out the core of the Western Canon by the end of the 19th century.  Still, he resonates in the poems (Spencer, Milton, Byron), plays (Goethe), madrigals (Monteverdi), operas (Lully, Vivaldi, Handel, Haydn, Rossini, Dvorak) , and art work (Tintoretto, the Carracci, Guercino, Pietro da Cortona, Domenichino, Van Dyck, Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Tiepolo, Fragonard, Delacroix) that his life and work inspired.

Tasso

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