Elton John spoke for many people when he said: ‘I regard all pop music as irrelevant in the sense that people in 200 years won‘t be listening to what is being written and played today. I think they will be listening to Beethoven.’
I have nothing against the Welsh. After all, as man and boy, I was blissfully happy in this beautiful land of someone else’s father. But not everyone agrees. Their most famous lyricist, Dylan Thomas once said, ‘Land of my Fathers? They are welcome to it.’
The British chart-topping 1960s folk singer Donovan was the only pop star poet to receive France’s most prestigious cultural award awarded to him personally by the French Government. The hippy era singer of poetic-style ballads once won the heart of nations and clearly won French hearts too.
European culture offers a feast of quality music that accompanies the more discerning on a journey from womb to tomb. Perhaps these suggestions will inspire you to explore and enjoy the finest music created by Europe’s most gifted musicians over centuries. Do feel free to YouTube or purchase any of the following titles that will familiarise you with music that will continue to enhance your life. Think of each track as a glass of sublime aphrodisiacal wine. I think you will return again and again.
Throughout Europe there is rising ethnic-identity awareness, a cultural revolution that rejects the multi-cultural sub-culture not of Europe’s own. Renewed enthusiasm for national identity expressed through music perhaps lies behind the recent craze for Portugal’s Queen of Fado, Amalia Rodrigues (1920 ~ 1999). The blues singer‘s fame once eclipsed that of the iconic French soul-singing waif Edith Piaf and that of Nana Mouskouri of Greece.
Fabulous Neuschwanstein: How the King of Bavaria dedicated the castle to Wagner and inspired Disney.
We are accustomed to believe that kings erected fabulous castles for their lovers, favourites or wives. However, Neuschwanstein Castle, perhaps the most famous castle in Germany, featured on the screensaver of Disney cartoons, was dedicated by the last Bavarian King Ludwig to the great composer Richard Wagner.
Many great Europeans truly believed that their pens, as they composed, were guided by a divine spirit. Great musicians were quite clear in their belief that their works were the creation of a divine force, which we place under the blanket term, God.
The history of the Oberammergau Passion Play begins in 1633. In the midst of the Thirty Years’ War, after months of suffering and dying from the plague, the people of Oberammergau pledged to act out the »play of the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ« once every 10 years.
Stephen Foster was America’s first great professional songwriter. He was the ninth child of William and Eliza Foster — arriving on earth July 4, 1826, as America was celebrating 50 years as a nation.
Sublime Dreams of Living Machines. Part I. Not so long ago, a short video of a truly uncanny dulcimer-playing wind-up automaton made for Marie Antoinette in 1784 appeared online. The queen was no stranger to extravagance, we know, but why this machine, this wonderful human-like machine, which must have taxed the greatest artisans and mechanics of her time? What was its appeal?