Tag: musical instruments

The Death Experience

Death and Transfiguration is neither poem nor soliloquy. The hour of midnight had long struck when my thoughts asked the question, what is it like to die? I was alone, the background to my whimsical notions was Richard Strauss’s musical-poem, “Death and Transfiguration”.

Saint David’s Day – March 1

Saint David’s Day (Welsh: Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant or Dydd Gŵyl Dewi or the Feast of Saint David, is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on 1 March, the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD. The feast has been regularly celebrated since the canonisation of David in the 12th century, by Pope Callixtus II, though it is not a public holiday in the UK.

Alaaf! Carnival in Cologne

Carnival in Cologne is almost as old as the history of the city itself. But it has been celebrated in the organized fashion we know today for only about 190 years. The Greeks and the Romans celebrated joyous spring festivals in honor of Dionysus and Saturn with wine, women and song. The ancient Germans celebrated the winter solstice in order to pay homage to the gods and drive out the evil demons of winter. In later times, the Christians adopted these heathen customs. Lent, the period of fasting before Easter, was ushered in by carnival (carne vale = Farewell to meat!).

Musical Notes: John McCormack

I make no excuse for focusing on the European artistes of yesterday. They endure through the centuries. Perhaps younger generations will discover that true quality doesn’t need to be built on marketing and real talent doesn’t have a ‘sell by’ date on it.

Twelfth Night (holiday) – January 5

Twelfth Night (also known as Epiphany Eve) is a festival in some branches of Christianity that takes place on the last night of the Twelve Days of Christmas, marking the coming of the Epiphany. Different traditions mark the date of Twelfth Night as either 5 January or 6 January, depending on whether the counting begins on Christmas or 26 December.