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Topics - kleines c

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News and Current Affairs / Kicking out racism
« on: September 25, 2012, 06:58:27 am »
Success to football, irrespective of class or creed!

The Plastic Arts / Stirling Prize 2012
« on: September 21, 2012, 05:04:03 am »
Greetings from kleines c.  In what is a first in the Stirling Prize's history, the public will have the chance to hear directly from the architects about how their buildings were conceived and the design and building process behind them.  The architects include David Chipperfield, who will talk about what inspired his vision for the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield. Guests will also hear from Philip Johnson from Populous, the firm behind the Olympic stadium. The debate will take place at RIBA in Portland Place, London, at 18:30 (BST) on Tuesday 25 September 2012, and I commend it to everyone reading R3OK. The full list of six shortlisted buildings and architects is:

a. The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire by David Chipperfield Architects

b. London Olympic Stadium by Populous

c. The Lyric Theatre, Belfast by O'Donnell + Tuomey

d. Maggie's Centre, Gartnavel, Glasgow by OMA

e. New Court, London by OMA with Allies and Morrison

f. Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge by Stanton Williams

The winner will be announced at a special event in Manchester on Saturday 13 October 2012.

Amongst other new buildings in the United Kingdom (UK) which did not make the 2012 shortlist, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is impressive.

Any other preferences?

Cooking / Thyme and salt grilled salmon with gooseberry sauce
« on: September 18, 2012, 02:34:21 am »
Greetings from kleines c.  It is time to cook.  Join us all for dinner, eh no bull and Morticia!,40.msg131312.html#msg131312

It should be delicious! ;)

Television / Masters of Money
« on: September 17, 2012, 10:19:43 pm »
Adam Smith?

You?  Sir Mervyn King?  Ben 'Helicopter' Bernanke?  What about John Maynard Keynes?

The Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, studied at John Maynard Keynes's old college in Cambridge in the sixties, a time when "Keynesian" economics was in the ascendant, but about to come under attack from monetarist economists such as Milton Friedman.  Has Sir Mervyn remained a King's man, or even a Keynes's man ever since?  The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street might have become jealous when her current Guv gave the BBC's economics editor Stephanie Flanders an extended interview in February 2012 for the BBC Two television programme 'Masters of Money', a documentary series about the lives and economic thinking of Keynes, Friedrich Hayek and Karl Marx.  In the interview in the link below, Sir Mervyn comments on each man's contribution to economic history and the relevance of their ideas to recent events.  He also says that the last few years have given him a deeper understanding of some of Keynes's writing about the 1930s.  Before the financial crisis of 2008, Sir Mervyn says, he had struggled to comprehend how policy makers had allowed the economic disasters of the interwar years to take place; now he understands all too well.

Below, watch John Maynard Keynes versus

Radio / Leeds International Piano Competition Finals
« on: September 14, 2012, 05:05:22 am »
'Please don't shoot the pianist; he is doing his best.'

Piano Season on the BBC is a six-week celebration of the piano and its music, on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Four (television).

Petroc Trelawny presents live on BBC Radio 3 from the final night of the 17th Leeds International Piano Competition, from Leeds Town Hall, and the culmination of this year's competition.

The Finalists' Story is to be broadcast on BBC Four.

And here is a recording of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 (1939):

While in a bar in Leadville, Colorado, one night in 1881, "with the miners and the female friends of the miners," Oscar Wilde noticed the sign "Please don't shoot the pianist; he is doing his best." Back in England, now touring his "Impressions of America," Wilde recalled all this with delight:

"I was struck with this recognition of the fact that bad art merits the penalty of death, and I felt that in this remote city, where the aesthetic applications of the revolver were clearly established in the case of music, my apostolic task would be much simplified, as indeed it was."

In 2012, bad art does not necessarily merit the penalty of death, although plenty of crimes do still carry such a penalty, and not only in America.  This weekend, six gifted young pianists still continue to play the piano in Leeds.  It is arguably good art, played well.  No crime in that, Oscar!  Wild!  Any preferences? 

Radio / Tamburlaine
« on: September 13, 2012, 04:35:37 am »

'Tamburlaine the Great' is a play in two parts by Christopher Marlowe.

" . . . we'll lead you to the stately tent of war,
Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine
Threatening the world with high astounding terms,
And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword."

(Christopher Marlowe)

In these words, Christopher Marlowe fixed forever the European image of Tamburlaine, still a legendary force in Elizabethan England. A couple of hundred years earlier, around 1400, the real Tamerlane had become the ruler of all the Mongol lands except China. The heart of his empire was the region we now know as the "stans" - Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan - that huge area in central Asia that has always had a tumultuous history, where empires build, crumble, fade away - until another empire rises and the cycle begins again. As the American Empire begins to crumble at the beginning of the twenty-first century, are China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, amongst many other powers, all jostling to take America's place in Asia? Central Asia is a region that has inevitably always had two faces - one looking towards China in the east and the other to Turkey and Iran in the west. Samarkand, Tamerlane's capital, was a major city on the great Silk Road that linked these two worlds, and much of this complex cultural and religious history is embodied in a small jade cup in the British Museum, that belonged to Tamerlane's astronomer grandson, the Timurid emperor, Ulugh Beg. The cup's handle is a splendid, sinister, Chinese dragon. It has got its back paws firmly planted on the under side of the bowl, while its mouth and webbed front paws cling to the edge at the top. The style of the handle may be Chinese, but the inscription carved into the cup, which you see as you lift it to your lips, is in Arabic script. It reads "Ulugh Beg Kuragan". Kuragan is a title that means literally "royal son-in-law" and it was used by Tamurlane, and by Ulugh Beg. They had both married princesses of the house of Genghis Khan, and so by calling themselves son-in-law, they declared themselves the heirs to the universal sovereignty of Genghis Khan's Mongol Empire. Like all new dynasties, the Timurid's wanted to appropriate the authority of their predecessors.

Christopher Marlowe's 'Tamburlaine' is loosely based on the life of the Central Asian emperor, Timur "the lame". Written in 1587 or 1588, the play is a milestone in Elizabethan public drama; it marks a turning away from the clumsy language and loose plotting of the earlier Tudor dramatists, and a new interest in fresh and vivid language, memorable action, and intellectual complexity. Along with Thomas Kyd's 'The Spanish Tragedy', it may be considered the first popular success of London's public stage. As for more recent performance on stage, the Royal National Theatre (NT) production in 1976 featured Albert Finney in the title role; this production opened the new Olivier Theatre on London's South Bank. Peter Hall directed. This production is generally considered the most successful of the rare modern productions. In 1993, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) performed an award-winning production of the play, with Antony Sher as Tamburlaine and Tracy-Ann Oberman as Olympia. Jeff Dailey directed both parts of the play, uncut, at the American Theatre of Actors in New York City. He presented Part I in 1997 and Part II in 2003, both in the outdoor theatre located in the courtyard of 314 West 54th Street. Avery Brooks played the lead role in a production of the play for the Shakespeare Theatre Company. The play ran from October 28, 2007 to January 6, 2008 and was directed by Michael Kahn. While the play has been revived periodically over the past century, the obstacles it presents—a large cast and an actor capable of performing in such a challenging role chief among them—have prevented more widespread performance. In general, the modern playgoer may still echo FP Wilson's question, asked at mid-century, "How many of us can boast that we are more than readers of Tamburlaine?"
In November 2005, a production of 'Tamburlaine' at the Barbican Arts Centre in London was accused of deferring to Muslim sensibilities by amending a section of the play in which the title character burns the Quran and excoriates the prophet Muhammad. The sequence was changed so that Tamburlaine instead defiles books representing all religious texts. The director denied censoring the play, stating that the change was a "purely artistic" decision "to focus the play away from anti-Turkish pantomime to an existential epic".  This weekend, Drama on 3 broadcasts a new radio production of Christopher Marlowe's sixteenth century play about the growth to tyrannical power of a Scythian shepherd. 'Tamburlaine' is a classic drama said to have changed the course of British drama and to have influenced the young William Shakespeare. This is the first in a series of three plays from BBC Radio 3 which portray the ruthlessness and dilemmas of absolute rule.

Con O'Neill takes the title role in the radio production as Tamburlaine the Great.  Will Con be greater still?  Due to unprecedented demand from around the world, everyone reading R3OK is cordially invited to listen live to 'Tamburlaine' at 20:30 (BST) on Sunday, 16 September 2012. Join us all online, or better still, even off!  Three cheers from kleines c (tea)!

The Plastic Arts / Rococo to Revolution
« on: September 12, 2012, 01:13:47 pm »

The Revolution of 1789 dramatically changed France, both politically and socially, not least for Marie Antoinette of Austria; Rococo excess was swept away by republican values based on ancient Rome.  What can portraits from this turbulent time tell us?

And what can we learn about the resulting new world order from David's portrait of Jacobus Blauw – curiously dated ‘Year IV’?

What a Revolution!

Literature and Poetry / Seamus
« on: September 12, 2012, 02:40:55 am »

Inspired by the display 'On Paper: Portraits of Writers', poet and script-writer David Harsent discusses the work of Seamus Heaney at 19:00 (BST) on Thursday 13 September 2012 in the Ondaatje Wing Theatre of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG). David will focus on a number of poems that highlight Seamus's unique gift for writing.  I commend both Seamus and David to everyone reading R3OK.

As for "the greatest poet of our age", if not Seamus, could it still be you?

Literature and Poetry / The Idiot
« on: September 11, 2012, 07:56:37 am »
Am I the idiot?

"From holy fools to fallen women, via scenes of high social drama in middle class drawing rooms, Dostoevsky's 'The Idiot' (1869) raises 'the good life' as an existential question that everybody must answer for themselves.  Written whilst the author was on the run from his creditors, the novel has been read as both an over-the-top melodrama, and as a profound exploration of the ambiguity of goodness."

The "idiot" of the title is a penniless young Russian aristocrat returning to St Petersburg from Europe, where he has been brought up. Prince Myshkin is eccentric, childlike and (like Dostoevsky) epileptic: his naive directness makes him the object of mockery, adoration and fear in almost equal measure. He gets hopelessly entangled in the financial and emotional affairs of a variety of people in the capital - the superior but troubled Epanchin family, the nouveau riche Rogozhin (a profoundly disturbed character, as we gradually discover) and the magnetic Nastasya Filippovna, an independent and wealthy young woman with a past. When Myshkin unexpectedly comes in to a fortune, all this is further complicated by an army of hangers-on trying to relieve him of his money.

Rogozhin is obsessed by Nastasya, who is almost as obsessed by Myshkin. Myshkin dithers between trying to save her from Rogozhin and settling for a more conventional romance with Aglaya Epanchina. Although he has first been represented to us as a kind of Christ-figure, selfless, forgiving and compassionate, we realise with alarm as the book goes on that Myshkin's lack of self-awareness is increasingly destructive for those around. He turns out to be almost a parody of Christ. The book ends with murder and insanity and no resolution in sight.

Along with a lot of sharp satire of social snobbery in St Petersburg and the opportunistic greed of some who use egalitarian rhetoric, Rowan Williams argues that the book seems to say that not even unselfconscious human goodness is safe (for the "good" person or for those around them) in a world of egotism and delusion. The best gift we can expect is a sort of shocked humility at the degree of self-deception we are capable of. We are on the way to Dostoevsky's picture in the last novels of a salvation that can only come, by way of love, towards the fully conscious act of self-sacrifice (not a naive and generalised charity) embodied in Christ, with all that this means in terms of questioning mercilessly our own images and self-images of the good and the holy.  Are we all, too, the idiot?

Radio / Enough
« on: September 10, 2012, 01:30:12 pm »
What is the good life?

"Night Waves returns from its summer break this evening bursting with vigour and ready to try its teeth on one of philosophy's most fundamental questions - what is the good life? All four of this week's programmes will be grappling with subject but in tonight's opening discussion Philip Dodd and his guests consider how an idea that began with Aristotle as an ethical quest can have evolved in the 21st century into unbridled consumerism.  Philip will be joined in the studio by the commentators Robert Skidelsky, Owen Jones and Jamie Whyte, the classicist, Edith Hall , the philosopher, Mark Vernon and the Benedictine Monk, Father Bede Hill."

When Socrates asked the question "How should man live?", Plato and Aristotle answered that man should live a life of virtue. Plato claimed there were four great virtues: prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude. The Christian Church added three more: faith, hope and love. But where does the motivation for virtue come from? Do we need rules to tell us how to behave or can we rely on our feelings of compassion and empathy towards other human beings? Shakespeare’s Iago says “Virtue! A fig! ‘tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners.

John Ruskin "excoriated nineteenth-century Britons for being wealth-obsessed". He said to them, "You are a parcel of thieves." In 'Unto This Last' (1862), he called on them to seek to be wealthy in terms of virtue, not in terms of riches - "to be wealthy in kindness, curiosity, sensitivity, humility, godliness and intelligence’. He said ’That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is the richest, who has also the widest helpful influence over others.’ Ruskin believed in a hierarchical social structure. He wrote "I was, and my father was before me, a violent Tory of the old school." He believed in duties and responsibilities to, and under, God, and whilst he sought to improve the conditions of the poor, he opposed attempts to level social differences and sought to resolve social inequalities by abandoning capitalism in favour of a co-operative structure of society based on obedience and benevolent philanthropy, rooted in the agricultural economy. Today, his ideas and concerns are widely recognised as having anticipated interest in environmentalism, sustainability and craft.  This is enough?

Cooking / Tea
« on: September 08, 2012, 06:34:01 am »
Join us all for Sunday afternoon tea!

I have made a Highland Crowdie cheesecake mousse with summer fruit jelly and berries for everyone reading R3OK.  Here is the recipe online:

It is time to celebrate!  Three cheers from kleines c (giant tea party)!

Suggestions / Musical dialogue
« on: September 02, 2012, 11:58:51 am »
Greetings from kleines c.  If I may quote you directly, increpatio:

" ... Sounds like a fine idea to me.

I would be reluctant to host music on the server here (for copyright reasons).  There is nothing whatsoever stopping someone from formally setting up a thread and establishing rules there that each post should contain only links to musical works (or works on youtube, for convenience), and that there should be some effort at dialogue between posts.",2347.msg86621.html#msg86621

Over the last couple of years, I have been pondering the nature of dialogue: "a musical composition for two or more parts suggestive of a conversation."

Of course, a musical dialogue need not only exist between musicians.  I suspect that music itself can be usefully considered as a dialogue between performer and listener.  The Proms, for example, can be considered as a musical dialogue going back to 1895.  The first Proms concert took place on 10 August 1895, and here is the programme:

The Last Night of the Proms 2012 is, in a sense, a continuation and culmination of this ongoing musical dialogue.  Moreover, the BBC has gone to great lengths to allow as many people as possible to take part in the dialogue, both online and off.

So to start off this thread, I shall follow increpatio's suggestion.  Even if this particular thread ultimately becomes an online musical monologue, let us begin it with something potentially more inclusive: all the music of the Last Night of the Proms 2012.  Here is the programme from the Royal Albert Hall, although the Proms in the Park(s) around the country had even more!

Mark Simpson
sparks (c2 mins)
BBC Commission, World Premiere

Towards a New Life (6 mins)

Songs of Farewell (18 mins)

Un ballo in maschera – ‘Forse la soglia attinse … Ma se m’è forza perderti’ (5 mins)

Werther – ‘Pourquoi me réveiller?’ (3 mins)

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor (25 mins)

Tosca – ‘E lucevan le stelle’ (3 mins)

Turandot – ‘Nessun dorma’ (3 mins)


John Williams
Olympic Fanfare and Theme (5 mins)

Overture 'Carnival' (9 mins)

The Gadfly – Romance (6 mins)

The Toast of New Orleans – ‘Be my love’ (3 mins)

Granada (3 mins)

Carousel – ‘You’ll never walk alone’ (4 mins)

Henry Wood
Fantasia on British Sea-Songs (20 mins)

Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major ('Land of Hope and Glory') (8 mins)

Parry, orch. Elgar
Jerusalem (4 mins)

The National Anthem (2 mins)

If anyone reading R3OK wishes to continue this particular musical dialogue, please feel free ...

The Meet Up board / Skate
« on: August 27, 2012, 01:11:13 pm »
Seasons' greetings from kleines c.  Due to unprecedented demand from around the world, everyone reading R3OK is cordially invited to come skating at Somerset House from 10:00 (GMT) on Friday 16 November 2012.   If you cannot make it to Somerset House in person, here is the ice rink online!

In particular, the incredible increpatio, Morticia, oliver sudden, perfect wagnerite and everyone else reading R3OK are cordially invited to join us at Somerset House at 20:00 (GMT) on Thursday 3 January 2013. If you do not wish to skate, however, there are plenty of other things to do!

There are currently three exhibitions which you can visit simultaneously. In the Terrace Rooms & Courtyard Rooms, you can see a free exhibition of 'Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour'.

Writing in 'The Guardian', Sean O'Hagan argues that an exciting new London exhibition pits Henri Cartier-Bresson, famous for eschewing colour in his photography, against some of the best colour photographers of our time. This exhibition mischievously raises more questions than it answers, but the richness of the colour photographs certainly reflects – and at times exaggerates – the overloaded world we live in. You may find yourself lingering longer in front of Cartier-Bresson's black-and-white photographs, not least because, amid a tumult of colour, they seem more timeless, resonant – and more silent.

In the Courtauld Gallery, you can also see 'Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision'.

Peter Lely was England’s leading painter from the period of the Civil War to the reign of King Charles II. Known principally for his portraits of court beauties, Lely devoted his early career to ambitious paintings of figures in idyllic landscapes. This exhibition is the first to examine this remarkable but forgotten group of early paintings. Depicting a sensuous pastoral world of shepherds, nymphs and musicians, these pictures are all the more extraordinary for having been painted during the turmoil of the English Civil War and its aftermath. In short, Peter Lely sold out!

For even more glamour, what about 'Valentino: Master of Couture'?

Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani is the first international fashion designer to curate a permanent exhibition of his work online.

Better still, bringing a taste of Soho cool to the Strand, Fernandez & Wells is open for breakfast, lunch and tapas in the newly refurbished East Wing. Join us all for something to drink if you can.

So where are the best outdoor ice rinks for ice skating this winter?,+from+Winchester+to+the+Eden+Project.html

Any favourites?

The Plastic Arts / Casa Brasil
« on: August 24, 2012, 02:09:48 pm »
Due to unprecedented demand from around the world, everyone reading R3OK is cordially invited to Somerset House at 18:00 (BST) this evening, where Brazil embraces the world.  If you cannot make it in person, here it is online:

Join us all tonight! If you would like to boogie, or indeed, samba, so much the better!

Radio / Christmas Breakfast
« on: August 03, 2012, 04:46:38 pm »
Greetings from kleines c.  Due to unprecedented demand from around the world, once again, everyone reading R3OK is cordially invited to 'Breakfast' from 06:30 on Christmas Day 2012, whether on BBC Radio 3 or elsewhere.  I don't currently know whether Petroc Trelawny will be presenting the radio programme, but nor, I suspect, does he.

Of course, not everyone can get up in time for breakfast, particularly over Christmas, and 'Breakfast' will probably end at around 09:00 anyway.  I should report that this morning, unusually, we had a delicious Olympics' brunch in 'Smith's of Smithfield', although I doubt that the establishment will be open on Christmas Day.

Nutritional experts have referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day, citing studies that find that people who skip breakfast are disproportionately likely to have problems with concentration, metabolism and weight.  If you cannot make breakfast on Christmas Day 2012, and I fully appreciate that it can be a stressful time of year, here is a stress-free full English breakfast for everyone reading R3OK.

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