Dur und Moll*

Kay Nielsen
The Giant who had no Heart in his Body
"On that island stands a church;
in that church is a well;
in that well swims a duck."

  • The Merest Set of Blocks: In continuation of last Monday's post, a children's orchestra in a Paraguayan slum plays on instruments made out of trash (clip here). Obviously any discussion about the dual nature of music as canon and music as freedom need to be situated geographically and synchronically.
  • Robert Fuchs (1847–1927): I've been enjoying the music of this little-known Austrian composer (#santabeard). Today his small modicum of fame rests upon his being the composition teacher of such notables as Mahler, Sibelius, Wolf, and Korngold. (There I go being canonical...) During his lifetime he was known as "Serenaden-Fuchs" due to the popularity of his five Serenades for chamber orchestra. Check out No. 1; the finale is particularly fun (recording here). I like his chamber music, especially his piano quartets (no recordings available) and the cello sonatas (recording of No. 2 in E-flat minor here). He also wrote piano music for children, perhaps a product of his being a life-long pedagogue... or due to memories of having been the youngest of thirteen children! 
  • Orientation: Where are you headed this weekend? These two blogposts explore the visual and linguistic complexities of orientation. Allison Taylor-Adams of Polyglossic jumps into the fascinating arena of world maps (link here) while Simon Ager of Omniglot Blog points out the peculiarities of the word "orientation" (link here).
  • Nap Time: Admit it! You miss it from Kindergarten! Here's a little article that lays out some parameters for catching some sleep during the day to boost productivity all while not crumpling beneath the weight of an arduous day's work (link here). Personally, I'm all for the 11 minute power nap, preferably on one of the squishy couches in the GSA lounge at UCSB (squishy couches not shown). Where's your ideal napping spot?
  • First Line Quiz: Who wrote this? (Answer revealed next week.)
    • Once upon a time, so long ago that I have quite forgotten the date, their lived a king and a queen who had no children.

* The title Dur und Moll (Eng. "major and minor") was a section of miscellaneous notices in the latter half of the Leipzig periodical Signale für die musikalische Welt (1843–1941). Just be glad it's not written in Fraktur.

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