Category Archives: (6) How Art Shaped Our Society & Us – 1750 AD to 1875 AD

Spotlight: War and Peace (1872 AD)- ranked #1 novel by Newsweek

war and peace

War and Peace  is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869. The work is epic in scale and is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. It is considered Tolstoy’s finest literary achievement, along with his other major prose work Anna Karenina (1873–1877).

War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events surrounding the French invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families.  Newsweek in 2009 ranked it first in its list of the Top 100 Books. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 20 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.

Tolstoy himself, somewhat enigmatically, said of War and Peace that it was “not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle”. Large sections of the work, especially in the later chapters, are philosophical discussion rather than narrative. He went on to elaborate that the best Russian literature does not conform to standard norms and hence hesitated to call War and Peace a novel.

War and Peace is well known as being one of the longest novels ever written, though not the longest. It is actually the seventh longest novel ever written in a Latin or Cyrillic based alphabet and is subdivided into four books or volumes, each with sub parts containing many chapters. It is 16th on Wikipedia’s list of the world’s longest novels.

The novel begins in the year 1805 during the reign of Tsar Alexander I and leads up to the 1812 French invasion of Russia by Napoleon. The era of Catherine the Great (1762–1796), when the royal court in Paris was the center of western European civilization, is still fresh in the minds of older people. Catherine, fluent in French and wishing to reshape Russia into a great European nation, made French the language of her royal court. For the next one hundred years, it became a social requirement for members of the Russian nobility to speak French and understand French culture. This historical and cultural context in the aristocracy is reflected in War and Peace. Catherine’s grandson, Alexander I, came to the throne in 1801 at the age of 24. In the novel, his mother, Marya Feodorovna, is the most powerful woman in the Russian court.

War and Peace has been produced in Television series, movies, operas, radio series and more over time and continues to be a powerful influence on our culture today.

Thanks for following – the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_and_Peace

Spotlight: The Palace Garnier – built 1875 AD

 

Palace Grandier1 Palace Grandier2

The Palais Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera.  Originally called the Salle des Capucines, but it soon became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. The theatre is also often referred to as the Opéra Garnier, and historically was known as the Opéra de Paris or simply the Opéra, as it was the primary home of the Paris Opera and its associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when the Opéra Bastille opened at the Place de la Bastille.

The Palais Garnier is “probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica.” This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and, especially, the novel’s subsequent adaptations in film and on stage. Another contributing factor is that among the buildings constructed in Paris during the Second Empire, besides being the most expensive, it has been described as the only one that is “unquestionably a masterpiece of the first rank.”

The Palais Garnier is a building of exceptional opulence. The style is monumental and considered typically Beaux-Arts, with use of axial symmetry in plan, and its exterior ornamentation. Its audience sits under a central chandelier which weighs more than six tons, and it has a huge stage with room to accommodate as many as 450 artists.

It is decorated with very elaborate multicolored marble friezes, columns, and lavish statuary, many of which portray deities of Greek mythology. Gilded galvanoplastic bronze busts of many of the great composers are located between the columns of the theatre’s front façade and depict from left to right: Rossini, Auber, Beethoven, Mozart, Spontini, Meyerbeer, and Halévy. On the left and right lateral returns of the front facade are busts of the librettists Eugène Scribe and Philippe Quinault, respectively.

The building inspired many other buildings over the following thirty years was its completion:

  • Several buildings in Poland were based on the design of the Palais Garnier. these include the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, built during 1893 and also the Warsaw Philharmony edifice in Warsaw, built between 1900 and 1901.
  • In the Ukraine, the influence of the Palais Garnier can be seen at the National Opera House of Ukraine in Kiev, built in 1901, Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Lviv, built between 1897 and 1900.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. is modelled after the Palais Garnier, most notably the facade and Great Hall.
  • The Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro (1909) was also modeled after Palais Garnier, particularly and Great Hall and stairs.
  • The Amazon Theatre in Manaus (Brazil) built from 1884 to 1896. The overview is very similar, though the decoration is more simple.
  • The Hanoi Opera House in Vietnam is considered to be a typical French colonial architectural monument in Vietnam, and it is also a small-scale replica of the Palais Garnier. TheSaigon Opera House is a smaller counterpart.

Thanks for following – the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palais_Garnier

Spotlight: 19th Century Best Selling Novel – Uncle Tom’s Cabin – do you know what it was about?

UncleTom

Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War, according to many.

Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Academy and an active abolitionist, featured the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th centuryand the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States; one million copies were sold in Great Britain. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called “the most popular novel of our day.”

The book and the plays it inspired helped popularize a number of stereotypes about black people. These include the affectionate, dark-skinned “mammy”; the “pickaninny” stereotype of black children; and the “Uncle Tom”, or dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress.

Uncle Tom, the title character, was initially seen as a noble, long-suffering Christian slave. In more recent years, however, his name has become an epithet directed towards African-Americans who are accused of selling out to whites. Stowe intended Tom to be a “noble hero” and praiseworthy person.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is dominated by a single theme: the evil and immorality of slavery. While Stowe weaves other subthemes throughout her text, such as the moral authority of motherhood and the redeeming possibilities offered by Christianity, she emphasizes the connections between these and the horrors of slavery.  One way Stowe showed the evil of slavery was how this “peculiar institution” forcibly separated families from each other.

Stowe’s puritanical religious beliefs show up in the novel’s final, overarching theme – the exploration of the nature of Christianity and how she feels Christian theology is fundamentally incompatible with slavery.  Because Christian themes play such a large role in Uncle Tom’s Cabin—and because of Stowe’s frequent use of direct authorial interjections on religion and faith—the novel often takes the “form of a sermon.”

Uncle Tom’s Cabin has exerted an influence equaled by few other novels in history. Upon publication, Uncle Tom’s Cabin ignited a firestorm of protest from defenders of slavery (who created a number of books in response to the novel) while the book elicited praise from abolitionists. As a best-seller, the novel heavily influenced later protest literature.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin outraged people in the American South. The novel was also roundly criticized by slavery supporters.

Acclaimed Southern novelist William Gilmore Simms declared the work utterly false, while others called the novel criminal and slanderous. Reactions ranged from a bookseller in Mobile, Alabama, who was forced to leave town for selling the novel to threatening letters sent to Stowe (including a package containing a slave’s severed ear). Many Southern writers, like Simms, soon wrote their own books in opposition to Stowe’s novel.

Literary significance and criticism

As the first widely read political novel in the United States, Uncle Tom’s Cabin greatly influenced development of not only American literature but also protest literature in general. Later books which owe a large debt to Uncle Tom’s Cabin include The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

Despite this undisputed significance, Uncle Tom’s Cabin has been called “a blend of children’s fable and propaganda.” The novel has also been dismissed by a number of literary critics as “merely a sentimental novel.”

Modern scholars and readers have criticized the book for what are seen as condescending racist descriptions of the book’s black characters, especially with regard to the characters’ appearances, speech, and behavior, as well as the passive nature of Uncle Tom in accepting his fate.  As a result, the book (along with illustrations from the book and associated stage productions) played a major role in permanently ingraining these stereotypes into the American psyche.

Even though Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century, far more Americans of that time saw the story as a stage play or musical than read the book, Eric Lott, in his book Uncle Tomitudes: Racial Melodrama and Modes of Production, estimates that at least three million people saw these plays, ten times the book’s first-year sales.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin has been adapted several times as a film. Most of these movies were created during the silent film era (Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the most-filmed book of that time period). Because of the continuing popularity of both the book and “Tom” shows, audiences were already familiar with the characters and the plot, making it easier for the film to be understood without spoken words. There has been no Hollywood treatment since the end of the silent era.

For several decades after the end of the silent film era, the subject matter of Stowe’s novel was judged too sensitive for further film interpretation. In 1946, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer considered filming the story but ceased production after protests led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The most recent film version was a television broadcast in 1987, directed by Stan Lathan and adapted by John Gay. It starred Avery Brooks,Phylicia Rashad, Edward Woodward, Jenny Lewis, Samuel L. Jackson and Endyia Kinney.

A number of animated cartoons were produced, including the Bugs Bunny cartoon Southern Fried Rabbit (1953), in which Bugs disguises himself as Uncle Tom and sings My Old Kentucky Home in order to cross the Mason-Dixon line; Uncle Tom’s Bungalow (1937), a Warner Brothers cartoon supervised by Tex Avery; Eliza on Ice (1944), one of the earliest Mighty Mouse cartoons produced by Paul Terry; and Uncle Tom’s Cabaña (1947), an eight-minute cartoon directed by Tex Avery.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin has influenced numerous movies, including Birth of a Nation. This controversial 1915 film set the dramatic climax in a slave cabin similar to that of Uncle Tom, where several white Southerners unite with their former enemy (Yankee soldiers) to defend, according to the film’s caption, their “Aryan birthright.”

Other movies influenced by or making use of Uncle Tom’s Cabin include Dimples (a 1936 Shirley Temple film), Uncle Tom’s Uncle, (a 1926 Our Gang episode),its 1932 remake Spanky, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I (in which a ballet called “Small House of Uncle Thomas” is performed in traditional Siamese style), and Gangs of New York (in which Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis’s characters attend an imagined wartime adaptation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin).

Thanks for following – the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Tom%27s_Cabin

Spotlight: Richard Wagner (1813-1883) – renowned German composer, theatre director, conductor, and truth-seeker

Richard Wagner

Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionized opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”), by which he sought to synthesize the poetic, visual, musical, and dramatic arts with music subsidiary to drama.  Wagner realized these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).

His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.

Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features. It was here that the Ring and Parsifal received their premieres and where his most important stage works continue to be performed in an annual festival run by his descendants.

The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century; their influence spread beyond composition into conducting, philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre.

Wagner’s influence on literature and philosophy is significant. Barry Millington has commented:

[Wagner’s] protean abundance meant that he could inspire the use of literary motif in many a novel employing interior monologue; … the Symbolists saw him as a mystic hierophant; the Decadents found many a frisson in his work.

Thanks for following—the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wagner

 

Spotlight: Pride and Prejudice – UK’s 2nd most-loved books ever – written by whom?

Pride-Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London.

Though the story is set at the turn of the 19th century, it retains a fascination for modern readers continuing near the top of lists of “most loved books” such as The Big Read.  It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen’s memorable characters or themes. To date, the book has sold some 20 million copies worldwide.

As Anna Quindlen wrote,

Pride and Prejudice is also about that thing that all great novels consider—the search for self. And it is the first great novel that teaches us this search is as surely undertaken in the drawing room making small talk as in the pursuit of a great white whale or the public punishment of adultery.

Pride and Prejudice, like most of Jane Austen’s works, employs the narrative technique of free indirect speech. This has been defined as “the free representation of a character’s speech, by which one means, not words actually spoken by a character, but the words that typify the character’s thoughts, or the way the character would think or speak, if she thought or spoke”.  By using narrative that adopts the tone and vocabulary of a particular character (in this case, that of Elizabeth), Austen invites the reader to follow events from Elizabeth’s viewpoint, sharing her prejudices and misapprehensions. “The learning curve, while undergone by both protagonists, is disclosed to us solely through Elizabeth’s point of view and her free indirect speech is essential … for it is through it that we remain caught, if not stuck, within Elizabeth’s misprisions.”

The poet W. H. Auden wrote of Austen in 1937:

You could not shock her more than she shocks me,
Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass.
It makes me most uncomfortable to see
An English spinster of the middle class
Describe the amorous effects of ‘brass’,
Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety
The economic basis of society

Cultural Impact:

In 2003 the BBC conducted the largest ever poll for the “UK’s Best-Loved Book” in which Pride and Prejudice came second, behind The Lord of the Rings.

In a 2008 survey of more than 15,000 Australian readers, Pride and Prejudice came first in a list of the 101 best books ever written

Pride and Prejudice has engendered numerous adaptations. Some of the notable film versions include that of 1940 starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier (based in part on Helen Jerome’s 1936 stage adaptation) and that of 2005 starring Keira Knightley (in an Oscar-nominated performance) and Matthew Macfadyen. Notable television versions include two by the BBC: the popular 1995 version starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and a 1980 version starring Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul. A 1936 stage version was created by Helen Jerome played at the St. James’s Theatre in London, starring Celia Johnson and Hugh Williams. First Impressions was a 1959 Broadway musical version starring Polly Bergen, Farley Granger, and Hermione Gingold. In 1995, a musical concept album was written by Bernard J. Taylor, with Peter Karrie in the role of Mr Darcy and Claire Moore in the role of Elizabeth Bennet. A new stage production, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, The New Musical, was presented in concert on 21 October 2008 in Rochester, New York, with Colin Donnell as Darcy. A web series created by Hank Green and Pemberly Digital, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, also ran from April 2012 until March 2013. The LBD won an Emmy in the 2013 awards ceremony for Original Interactive Program.

Thanks for following – eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride_and_Prejudice

Spotlight: an iconic oil painting of our most admired leader – President George Washington

lansdowne

The Lansdowne portrait is an iconic oil-on-canvas portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The portrait was commissioned in April 1796 by Senator William Bingham of Pennsylvania—one of the wealthiest men in the U.S. at the time. The portrait measures 8 by 5 feet and was given as a gift of appreciation to British Prime Minister, William Petty FitzMaurice. Petty-FitzMaurice was an American sympathizer who supported independence of the colonies in Parliament. He succeeded in securing peace with America during his term as Prime Minister of Great Britain. The Lansdowne portrait was completed in the fall of that year by American artist Gilbert Stuart, who made several other portraits of George Washington, and many others of prominent American revolutionaries. The painting shows Washington (then at 64 years old) renouncing a third term as U.S. President. It is currently on permanent display at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. Replicas painted by Stuart are on display in the East Room of the White House, the Old State House in Hartford, Connecticut, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum. Additional copies painted by other artists are displayed in the U.S. House Chamber and the Rayburn room of the Capitol.

In 2001, The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation committed $30 million to buy the painting and created a permanent home for it at the National Portrait Gallery where it had previously been on anonymous loan.

Thanks for following—the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lansdowne_portrait

Spotlight: Age of Enlightenment spawned artistic masterpieces, which spawned the “Declaration of Independence” along with this sacred document.

Declaration of the rights of man

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789 AD) is a fundamental document of the French Revolution and in the history of human rights—defining the individual and collective rights of all the estates of the realm as universal. Influenced by the doctrine of “natural right”, the rights of man are held to be universal: valid at all times and in every place, pertaining to human nature itself.

The concepts in the Declaration come from the philosophical and political duties of the Enlightenment Era, such as individualism, the social contract as theorized by the French philosopher Rousseau, and the separation of powers espoused by the Baron de Montesquieu. As can be seen in the texts, the French declaration is heavily influenced by the political philosophy of the Enlightenment, and by Enlightenment principles of human rights, some of which it shares with the U.S. Declaration of Independence which preceded it (4 July 1776). During the creation of the French Declaration, Thomas Jefferson – primary author of the U.S. Declaration of Independence – was in France as a U.S. diplomat and was in correspondence with members of the French National Constituent Assembly. The authorship and the people who influenced its content were the same people who took part in shaping both documents.

This Declaration is in the spirit of what has come to be called “secular natural law”, which does not base itself on religious doctrine or authority but with traditional natural law theory.

This Declaration defines a single set of individual and collective rights for all men. Influenced by the doctrine of natural rights, these rights are held to be universal and valid in all times and places. For example, “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.” They have certain natural rights to property, to liberty and to life. According to this theory the role of government is to recognize and secure these rights. Furthermore government should be carried on by elected representatives

The Declaration is introduced by a preamble describing the fundamental characteristics of the rights which are qualified as being “natural, unalienable and sacred” and consisting of “simple and incontestable principles” on which citizens could base their demands. In the second article, “the natural and imprescriptible rights of man” are defined as “liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression”. It called for the destruction of aristocratic privileges by proclaiming an end to exemptions from taxation, freedom and equal rights for all human beings (referred to as “Men”), and access to public office based on talent. The monarchy was restricted, and all citizens were to have the right to take part in the legislative process. Freedom of speech and press were declared, and arbitrary arrests outlawed

The declaration has also influenced and inspired rights-based liberal democracy throughout the world. It was translated as soon as 1793–94 by Colombian Antonio Nariño, who published it despite the Inquisition and was sentenced to be imprisoned for ten years for doing so. In 2003, the document was listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World register.

Thanks for following – the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_the_Rights_of_Man_and_of_the_Citizen

Spotlight: President Thomas Jefferson lived at this beautiful, artistic estate?

Monticello_real_nickel

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who – after inheriting quite a large amount of land from his father – started building Monticello when he was twenty-six years old. Located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in the Piedmont region, the estate/plantation was originally 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) with extensive cultivation of tobacco and mixed crops, with labor by slaves. What started as a mainly tobacco plantation switched over to a wheat plantation later in Jefferson’s life.

The house, which Jefferson designed, was based on the neoclassical principles described in the books of the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. He reworked it through much of his presidency to include design elements popular in late eighteenth-century Europe. It contains many of his own design solutions. The house is situated on the summit of an 850-foot (260 m)-high peak in the Southwest Mountains south of the Rivanna Gap. Monticello means “little mount” in Italian. The plantation at full operations included numerous outbuildings for specialized functions, a nailery, and quarters for domestic slaves along Mulberry Row near the house; gardens for flowers, produce, and Jefferson’s experiments in plant breeding; plus tobacco fields and mixed crops. Cabins for field slaves were located further from the mansion.

At Jefferson’s direction, he was buried on the grounds, an area now designated as the Monticello Cemetery, which is owned by the Monticello Association, a lineage society of his descendants through Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson. After Jefferson’s death, his daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph sold the property. After other owners, in 1834 it was bought by Uriah P. Levy, a commodore in the U.S. Navy, who admired Jefferson and spent his own money to preserve the property. His nephew Jefferson Monroe Levy took over the property in 1879; he also invested considerable money to restore and preserve it. He held it until 1923, when he sold it to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which operates it as a house museum and educational institution. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark. In 1987 Monticello and the nearby University of Virginia, also designed by Jefferson, were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Monticello’s image has appeared on U.S. currency and postage stamps. An image of the west front of Monticello by Felix Schlag has been featured on the reverse of the nickel minted since 1938 (with a brief interruption in 2004 and 2005, when designs of the Westward Journey series appeared instead).

Monticello also appeared on the reverse of the two-dollar bill from 1928 to 1966, when the bill was discontinued. The current bill was introduced in 1976 and retains Jefferson’s portrait on the obverse but replaced Monticello on the reverse with an engraved modified reproduction of John Trumbull’s painting Declaration of Independence. The gift shop at Monticello hands out two-dollar bills as change.

So be sure to visit the Monticello the next time you visit Virginia!

Thanks for following – the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monticello

Spotlight: Bach, Brahm, and ‘who’ was among the Big Three Bs of classical music (hint…he lost his hearing)?

beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), a German composer and pianist, was a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras of Western art music.  He still remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time. His best known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 concertos for piano, 32 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets.

Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and Christian Gottlob Neefe.  During his first 22 years in Bonn, Beethoven intended to study with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and befriended Joseph Haydn. Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792 and began studying with Haydn, quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death in 1827.

As early as 1801, Beethoven wrote to friends describing his hearing-loss symptoms and the difficulties they caused in both professional and social settings.  Beethoven, on the advice of his doctor, lived in the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna, from April to October 1802 in an attempt to come to terms with his hearing loss. There he wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter to his brothers which records his thoughts of suicide due to his growing deafness and records his resolution to continue living for and through his art.

Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of classical music; he is occasionally referred to as one of the “three Bs” (along with Bach and Brahms) who epitomize that tradition. He was also a pivotal figure in the transition from the 18th century musical classicism to 19th century romanticism, and his influence on subsequent generations of composers was profound. His music features twice on the Voyager Golden Record, a phonograph record containing a broad sample of the images, common sounds, languages, and music of Earth, sent into outer space with the two Voyager probes.

Various movies and television miniseries have portrayed this iconic figure.

Thanks for following – the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beethoven

Spotlight: Mozart – a closer look at the GENIUS composer

mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791 AD), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era.

Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons.

Mozart learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and passionate. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamberoperatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence on subsequent Western art music is profound; Beethoven composed his own early works in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote that “posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years.”

Mozart had great influence on composers of later generations. Ever since the surge in his reputation after his death, studying his scores has been a standard part of the training of classical musicians.

Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart’s junior by fifteen years, was deeply influenced by his work, with which he was acquainted as a teenager. Some of Beethoven’s works have direct models in comparable works by Mozart, and he wrote cadenzas (WoO 58) to Mozart’s D minor piano concerto K. 466.

A number of composers have paid homage to Mozart by writing sets of variations on his themes. Beethoven wrote four such sets (Op. 66, WoO 28, WoO 40, WoO 46). Others include Frédéric Chopin’s Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni (1827); Max Reger’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart (1914), based on the variation theme in the piano sonata K. 331;] Fernando Sor’s Introduction and Variations on a Theme by Mozart (1821); and Mikhail Glinka’s Variations on a Theme from Mozart’s Opera Die Zauberflöte (1822). Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote his Orchestral Suite No. 4 in G, “Mozartiana” (1887), as a tribute to Mozart.

Thanks for following – eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart

Spotlight: Voltaire’s famous satire, Candide, originally censored – just like Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, Alice in Wonderland, and many others. Why?

Candide

Candide—a French satire first published in 1759 AD by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment—begins with a young man, Candide, who lives a sheltered life in a Utopian world and becomes indoctrinated with ‘Leibniz Optimism’ by his mentor, Pangloss. The story then describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide’s slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes by rejecting ‘Leibniz Optimism’ outright, and advocates a deeply practical precept, “we must cultivate our garden”, instead of the ‘Leibniz Optimism’— “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.”

The novel is characterized by a sarcastic tone and an erratic, fantastical, and fast-moving plot. It parodies many adventure and romance cliches, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years’ War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.  As philosophers of Voltaire’s day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.

As expected by Voltaire, Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naivete. However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it. Today, Candide is recognized as Voltaire’s magnum opus and is often listed as part of the Western canon—it is arguably taught more than any other work of French literature.

Candide is the most widely read of Voltaire’s many works, and it is considered one of the great achievements of Western literature. As the only work of Voltaire which has remained popular up to the present day, Candide is listed in Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. It is included in the Encyclopedia Britannica collection Great Books of the Western World.

Thanks for following – the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candide