Tag: European culture

Eva Perón the Soul of the People

Occasionally, a birthday crops up to give one pause for thought. The date is May 7, which is 70 years since the passing of a stellar star, Eva Peron (1919 – 1952), a diminutive figure of a woman who has frustrated left and right since she inspired belief in the power of women worldwide.

Could Hungary’s Viktor Orbán be the Saviour of Europe

The international press loudly proclaimed that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán would face his ‘toughest’ election fight ever, polls pointed to his potential defeat, and the EU withheld much-needed recovery funds from Hungary in the run-up to the election. Yet, Orbán not only prevailed but did so in a fashion that has left many in the Western media and political establishment in shock once again. Now, as the dust settles, what lessons can we take away from his historic win?

So, you thought classical musicians were pussies

How often do we relax to the quintessential melodies of Spain’s Isaac Albéniz (1860 – 1909). His Rapsodia Espanola, Sevilla and Granada, based on Catalan folk songs, are perhaps the better known of his compositions. These exquisite mind-bending melodies evoke the Spanish dream more than could any Goya painting; but what of the man behind the music?

Miss World is the oldest international beauty contest

In July 1951, in London, British TV presenter Eric Morley had the idea of organizing this event. Initially, it was a one-off competition for beautiful women in swimwear (it was supposed to promote a bikini outfit, which was later withdrawn from the competition), but it became an annual event attracting more and more enthusiasts of true female beauty.

MUSICAL NOTES: FRANZ LEHAR (1870 – 1948)

One of the most surprising discoveries for me was to learn that Franz Lehár, whose operas and waltzes match those of the Strauss family, lived in my own lifetime. Much as I love the melodies and waltzes from The Merry Widow and Wiener Frauen (Viennese Women) I was ignorant of the fact that he was a contemporary of The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

If X-rated Entertainment is Music to your Ears

If X-rated entertainment is music to your ears, then orchestral music may be just what you are looking for. Enthusiasts of television soaps would eat their hearts out if they knew what we classical fans have been enjoying for the last few hundred years. If I hint at the plot, you will understand why we’re still glued to our sets; the theatrical ones that are.

My Four Green Fields

Four Green Fields is a 1967 folk poem and song by Irish musician Tommy Makem, described as a hallowed Irish leave-us-alone-with-our-beauty ballad. Of Makem’s many compositions, it has become the most familiar and is part of the common repertoire of Irish folk musicians.