Xanadu

October 21, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Poetry, WRITING & LITERATURE |
Portraits_of_Jade_Emperor_and_the_Heavenly_Kings

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (born 21 October 1772) I don’t blame the anonymous person from Porlock who interrupted S.T. at Ash Farm during the composition of Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment.  (It may have been an opium trip in any case.) But the point is that Coleridge’s ‘fragment’ is perfect and needs no further embellishment. Richard Holmes, in his insanely detailed biography of Coleridge (1989), observed “His myth of creativity contains both these elements, which like Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind”, implies both destruction and preservation of a poetic paradise…“Kubla Khan” is a pagan celebration of creative…

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The Screaming Skull

October 21, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC |
Sir_George_Solti_2_Allan_Warren

Sir Georg Solti was born today (21 October) in 1912. The screaming skull with the over-paced tempo came from the Max Reinhardt school of conducting… But his passion was for exactitude, and that’s what the greatest conductors exact from their orchestras. Whether they are beloved, feared, or roundly hated, is beside the point. They wring the great performances from their thoroughbreds – that is the point.

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The Guggenheim

October 21, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, TRAVEL, Ulalume |
(photo of the Guggenheim exterior by Vermonster)

(photo of the Guggenheim exterior by Vermonster)

21 October, 1959: The Guggenheim Museum opened to the public. Frank Lloyd Wright’s rather cramped exhibit spaces, commissioned by Solomon R. Guggenheim, certainly had ‘monumental dignity and great beauty,’ but were also as confining as the orchestra pit at the Sydney Opera House. In other words, a wonderful piece of art in itself, but of less than perfect utility. The art on the curving walls takes third or fourth place to the zany spaces created by the architect, thus breaking a principle canon of architecture: a public structure should be a servant, not a master. But it is still an inspiration that…

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Italy – The Grand Tour

October 20, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, TRAVEL, Ulalume |
Oil painting on canvas, A Grand Tour Group of Five Gentlemen in Rome, attributed to John Brown (Edinburgh 1752 - Leith 1787), inscribed: on the plinth of sculpture: CAVILLA / TOREM / LEONI ('mocker of the lion), circa 1773. Four travellers stand or sit under a tunnel-vaulted structure with a niche (in which one of them sits), with a view to a valley with two cypresses and some buildings, bounded by mountains behind; a cicerone indicates the Antique group of A Lion devouring a Horse on a plinth, closing the picture on the right, to another of them. The five men are: The Rt. Hon. John Staples MP (1736-1820), James Byres (1734-1817), Sir William Young, 2nd Bt, MP, FRS, FSA (1749-1815), Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton of Bolton Castle, PC, FSA (1746-1807), and Richard Griffin, 2nd Lord Braybrooke, Baron of Braybrooke MP, FSA (1751-1825).Another example is at Audley End (EH), Essex which is recorded as having been there since at lest 1836 and descended with the house's owners, the barons Braybrooks.

Oil painting on canvas, A Grand Tour Group of Five Gentlemen in Rome, attributed to John Brown (Edinburgh 1752 - Leith 1787), inscribed: on the plinth of sculpture: CAVILLA / TOREM / LEONI ('mocker of the lion), circa 1773. Four travellers stand or sit under a tunnel-vaulted structure with a niche (in which one of them sits), with a view to a valley with two cypresses and some buildings, bounded by mountains behind; a cicerone indicates the Antique group of A Lion devouring a Horse on a plinth, closing the picture on the right, to another of them. The five men are: The Rt. Hon. John Staples MP (1736-1820), James Byres (1734-1817), Sir William Young, 2nd Bt, MP, FRS, FSA (1749-1815), Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton of Bolton Castle, PC, FSA (1746-1807), and Richard Griffin, 2nd Lord Braybrooke, Baron of Braybrooke MP, FSA (1751-1825).Another example is at Audley End (EH), Essex which is recorded as having been there since at lest 1836 and descended with the house's owners, the barons Braybrooks.

Lecture by Robert Reason, Curator, Roche Museum, 19 October 2017 The Varnished Culture having among its burgeoning numbers a life member of the Dante Alighieri Society, we attended this lecture by Mr Reason, who had attended Rome and Naples under the auspices of the prestigious Attingham Trust Italian Art History Programme. It was an interesting, wide-ranging affair that provided a taste of the kind of Italianate antiquity that appealed to David Roche, presented in a manner akin to a whirlwind Women’s Weekly world discovery tour. Even the serene visage of the Capitoline Venus would be deranged: From Palazzos Nuovo of…

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La La Land / The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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(La La Land directed by Damien Chazelle) (2016) (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg directed by Jacques Demy) (1964) I’ve not been to Los Angeles for years but the town stays in the memory. It’s full of brand identification – Sunset Blvd., the Chinese Theatre, the film studios, the Roosevelt Hotel, the Beverly Wiltshire, The Viper Room…the beaches! The hills! The outlets! The orange smog! Emma Stone (the fresh-faced, bug-eyed lass from Birdman) is Mia, a waitress with dreams of stardom. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz bore par excellence, struggling away in obscurity. She has dud auditions; he has to play 80s horror-tunes at parties. Girl…

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