Monday, February 19, 2007

Beliebte Klavierwerke

I've always had some interest in classical music (I used to sit in front of the stereo in my room for hours, listening to the same records over and over, usually one called 'A Festival of Marches'), but recently, I've begun to explore in depth certain composers, particularly Chopin. This came as a result of 3 things:
1. The record player that used to be in my bedroom in Indiana is now in my dad's office at the church, and since I have lots of time there, I've been listening to lots of music, even some records that I'd never heard before, since we discovered some more we had and added them to the collection. Among these are some Chopin and Rachmaninoff records.
2. The last two times I went to the library, I decided to look through the classical CD's for Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Van Cliburn (a famous concert pianist who has played basically everything) CD's. The music is amazing, what with Rachmaninoff's power, Chopin's musical genius, Debussy's beautiful pieces, as well as Van Cliburn playing them all -and more- perfectly (although sometimes he didn't seem to play with a whole lot of emotion or feeling- just perform them with exactly the right timing, etc.).
3. Our church recently purchased a slightly used but simply amazing Clavinova. Having more than all the bells and whistles, it is a lot of fun to play on (or, should I say, with). Some of the pieces I heard from the library and on records are on it, and you can not only speed up, slow down, etc., a song as you're listening to it, but as it plays, red and green lights come on over the notes being played; you can even push a button that will stop the song and wait for you to play all of the notes beneath the lights that are on, and it will go to the next chord, etc. During either of these modes, you can see the Score to the song (since it's in MIDI format). When you record your own song on it, it's saved the same way.
A book entitled '50 Piano Greats' also came with the instrument, and since almost nobody uses it, I took the liberty of borrowing and practicing out of it. Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Scott Joplin, Schumann, Schubert, and many other composers are featured in the book; some pieces are fairly simple and easy, while others (mostly the Chopin pieces) are complicated and take a long time to sight-read.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I put in a link to Friedrich Nietzche quotes from They're very interesting, although mostly wrong- his absolute hate for God is laced throughout all of them. See what you think...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Belfry of Bruges

In the market-place of Bruges stands the belfry old and brown;
Thrice consumed and thrice rebuilded, still it watches o'er the town.

As the summer morn was breaking, on that lofty tower I stood,
And the world threw off the darkness, like the weeds of widowhood.

Thick with towns and hamlets studded, and with streams and vapors gray,
Like a shield embossed with silver, round and vast the landscape lay.

At my feet the city slumbered. From its chimneys, here and there,
Wreathes of snow-white smoke, ascending, vanished, ghost-like, into the air.

Not a sound rose from the city at that early morning hour,
But I heard a heart of iron beating in the ancient tower.

From their nests beneath the rafters sang the swallows wild and high;
And the world, beneath me sleeping, seemed more distant than the sky.

Then most musical and solemn, bringing back the olden times,
With their strange, unearthly changes rang the melancholy chimes,

Like the psalms from some old cloister, when the nuns sing in the choir;
And the great bell tolled among them, like the chanting of a friar.

Visions of the days departed, shadowy phantoms filled my brain;
They who live in history only seemed to walk the earth again;

All the foresters of Flanders,--mighty Baldwin Bras de Fer,
Lyderick du Bucq and Cressy, Philip, Guy du Dampierre.

I beheld the pageants splendid that adorned those days of old;
Stately dames, like queens attended, knights who bore the Fleece of Gold;

Lombard and Venetian merchants with deep-laden argosies;
Ministers from twenty nations; more than royal pomp and ease.

I beheld proud Maximilian, kneeling humbly on the ground;
I beheld the gentle Mary, hunting with her hawk and hound;

And her lighted bridal-chamber, where a duke slept with the queen,
And the armed guard around them, and the sword unsheathed between.

I beheld the Flemish weavers, with Namur and Juliers bold,
Marching homeward from the bloody battle of the Spurs of Gold;

Saw the fight at Minnewater, saw the White Hoods moving west,
Saw great Artevelde victorious scale the Golden Dragon's nest.

And again the whiskered Spaniard all the land with terror smote;
And again the wild alarm sounded from the tocsin's throat;

Till the bells of Ghent resounded o'er lagoons and dike of sand,
"I am Roland! I am Roland! There is victory in the land!"

Then the sound of drums aroused me. The awakened city's roar
Chased the phantoms I had summoned back into their graves once more.

Hours had passed away like minutes; and before I was aware,
Lo! The shadow of the belfry crossed the sun-illumined square.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, September 22, 2006


This is basically the opposite of the preceding one, 'Curfew.' Enjoy.

A Wind came up out of the sea,
And said, "O mists, make room for me."

It hailed the ships and cried, "Sail on,
Ye mariners, the night is gone."

And hurried landward far away,
Crying, "Awake! It is the day."

It said unto the forest, "Shout!
Hang all your leafy banners out!"

It touched the wood-bird's folded wing,
And said, "O bird, awake and sing."

And o'er the farms, "O chanticleer,
Your clarion blow; the day is near."

It whispered to the fields of corn,
"Bow down, and hail the coming morn."

It shouted through the belfry-tower,
"Awake, O bell! proclaim the hour."

It crossed the churchyard with a sigh,
And said, "Not yet! In quiet lie."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, September 18, 2006


Solemnly, mournfully,
Dealing its dole,
The Curfew Bell
Is beginning to toll.
Cover the embers,
And put out the light;
Toil comes with morning,
And rest with the night.
Dark grow the windows,
And quenched is the fire;
Sound fades into silence,-
All footsteps retire.
No voice in the chambers,
No sound in the hall!
Sleep and oblivion
Reign over all!
The book is completed,
And closed, like the day;
And the hand that has written it
Lays it away.
Dim grow its fancies;
Forgotten they lie;
Like coals in the ashes,
They harden and die.
Song sinks into silence,
The story is told,
The windows are darkened,
The hearth-stone is cold.
Darker and darker
The black shadows fall,
Sleep and oblivion
Reign over all.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Power and Grace

Originally uploaded by puppyman3.
Carl Brenders, again.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Originally uploaded by puppyman3.
A Monochromatic wolf study by Carl Brenders.