Friday, February 27, 2009

1950-1963-1968-1972-1978-1989-2009: Vietnamese-Indo-European-Sino-Tibetan Life, Language, Conscience, And Ritual Suicide By Fire

"A young Tibetan monk was shot by Chinese police after he set himself on fire Friday, the third day of the Tibetan New Year, at a market in Sichuan province's Aba prefecture, Tibetan activist groups said, citing eyewitnesses.

Many Tibetans this year are avoiding celebrating the New Year or are instead using the 15-day holiday to commemorate those killed in deadly riots in Lhasa last March. Chinese authorities, determined to avoid a recurrence of the violence, have sharply increased security patrols, detentions and so-called reeducation campaigns. They are especially nervous about March 10, the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising, which Chinese troops forcibly suppressed shortly before the Dalai Lama fled into exile and Beijing imposed its own government in Tibet....

Eyewitnesses said they believed he was dead, but his condition has not been confirmed. After the incident, 500 monks from the monastery immediately began funeral rites for the monk." ...

Maureen Fan "Tibet Monk Shot by Chinese Police After Setting Himself on Fire" Washington Post February 27, 2009


Ryszard Siwiec

Jan Palach

Jan Zajíc

Romas Kalanta

Oleksa Hirnyk

Liviu Cornel Babeş


Header: Passers-by stop to watch as flames envelope a young Buddhist monk, Saigon, October 5th, 1963.

The man sits impassively in the central market square, he has set himself on fire performing a ritual suicide in protest against governmental anti-Buddhist policies.

Despite the shock of the Western public, the practice of Vietnamese monks self-immolating was not uncommon. Instances of self-immolations in Vietnam had been recorded for centuries, usually carried out to honor Gautama Buddha. The most recently recorded case had been in North Vietnam in 1950. The French colonial authorities had tried to eradicate the practice after their conquest of Vietnam in the 19th century, but had not been totally successful. They did manage to prevent one monk from setting fire to himself in Hue in the 1920s, but he managed to starve himself to death instead.

Source and photo credit: Copyright © 1997/2009 AUSVETS


Amnesty International

International Campaign for Tibet

Beyond Economic Shock Therapy And Economic Shock And Awe: The Case For Ukraine And For Global Economic Humanism

“Ukraine badly needs more international financial support to handle a tremendous external shock. …

A year ago, Ukraine’s economy was in sound health after eight years of an average annual economic growth of 7.6 percent. Ukraine has maintained a minimal budget deficit, and its public debt was as small as 12 percent of GDP in 2007.

No other country has been hit as hard as Ukraine, and it needs all the support it can get to mitigate the social shock. The Ukrainian government reacted swiftly, asking the International Monetary Fund for support last October. Within four weeks, Ukraine and the IMF had agreed on a large, strong two-year standby agreement with $16.4 billion of IMF credits.

The IMF had three key demands: A balanced budget, a floating exchange rate, and bank restructuring. Ukraine has delivered. It has done more on bank restructuring than most Western countries. After some hesitation, the National Bank of Ukraine let the exchange rate float. It has depreciated by about 50 percent and stabilized, endowing Ukraine with new cost competitiveness. The Ukrainian government has maintained the budget close to balance in spite of collapsing state revenues.

The international financial institutions recognize Ukraine’s dilemma and the government’s heroic achievements. The World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the European Investment Bank have contributed some $3 billion in new funds. ...

Amazingly, Ukraine has so far seen minimal social unrest, but unemployment is bound to skyrocket, especially in the East with its steelworks and mines. Naturally, the Ukrainian government is anxious to reinforce its social safety net and insists on a budget deficit of a moderate 3 percent of GDP.” …

Anders Aslund “The Case For Ukraine” Peterson Institute for International Economics February 26, 2009


Dr Anders Aslund has called on the United States to award 1,000 fellowships annually to young Ukrainians to study in the United States.


Photo credits: Landscape and mine rescue workers in Donetsk, Ukraine, Future European Union. Copyright controlled.

Pittsburgh is the American sister city of Donetsk, Ukraine.


[Click on images for enlargement.]


California's unemployment rate rose to 10.1% in January 2009, its highest level in a quarter century, as recession tightened its grip on the most populous U.S. state [6.1% in January 2008].


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Does The National Gallery Of Art’s Trustee Sharon Percy Rockefeller Even Know That American Classical Music Is Almost Banned On Her Classical WETA-FM?

Beginning this week, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. begins its month-long celebrationof American classical music – music banned from Sharon Percy Rockefeller’s Classical WETA-FM, so-called public radio in the Nation’s Capital.

Featured will be free performances of American classical compositions by:

Barber, Copland, Corea, Dett, George, Gottschalk, Matheny, Walker, Amram, Corigliano, Flagello, Hutcheson, Laufer, Ruggles, Krash, Berger, Persichetti, Piston, Powell, Mandel, and Siegmeister.

And, yes, its another day of no or almost no American classical music on Sharon Percy Rockefeller's Classical WETA-FM, so-called public radio in the Nation's Capital.


Photo and image credits: (c) Copyright controlled.

But Where Is The Music!! ... here is the soft, beautiful music

National Gallery of Art Free Sunday Evening Concert Series
Ellen Hargis, soprano
Paul O’Dette, lutenist
Sunday, March 1 at 6:30
West Building Main Floor, West Garden Court
Free, First-come, first served.

Program: to be performed without intermission

Constantijn Huygens (1596 – 1687)
Aubade (le reveil de Calliste)
Serenade (ne crains point le serein)

Nicolas Vallet (c. 1583 – after 1642)
Pavane en forme de complainte
Carillon de village
Orsa bella
Serenata (a dispetto de’ venti)
Riposta dalla finestra
Va, donna ingrate

David Petersen (1650 – 1737)
Schreit niet meer (1715)
Ainsi qu’on oyt le cerf bruire (Psalm 42)
O Pasteur d’Israel (Psalm 80)
Onse Vader im Hemelryck
Bourée d’Avignon
Gaillarde du comte Essex

Nicholas Lanier (1588 – 1666)
Love and I of Late Did Part
Weep No More, My Wearied Eyes
No More Shall Meads Be Deck’d with Flowers


Header and footer credits: Georges de La Tour. [1593-1652]. Paid Money, also called The Money-lender, also called The Payment of Taxes. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Lviv, Ukraine, Future European Union. Copyright controlled.

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Home Alone: Not Unexpectedly, Europe And Kyiv And Lviv, Ukraine On My Mind ...

"This should have been a year of celebration in central and eastern Europe. It is 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell, the 10th anniversary of Nato’s eastward expansion and five years after the European Union began its enlargement into the region: from the Baltic to the Black Sea, the countries that escaped from Soviet rule have much to commemorate.

But the global economic crisis has spoilt the party. Instead of building on the achievements of the past two decades, the region’s leaders are feeling the economic foundations shaking under their feet.

All of Europe is heading towards its worst economic crisis since the 1930s. But compared with the wealthy west, central and east European nations are in a weaker position to respond." ...

Stefan Wagstyl "Variable vulnerability" Financial Times February 25, 2009


Photo credit: Police guard Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, Current European Union. (c) Associated Press. 2009


Graphic from Financial Times story:

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pop Quiz: Which Famous Classical Composer’s House Museum Has Provided The Greatest Economic, Cultural, And Spiritual Benefits To Its Home Country?

Photo credits: Copyright controlled. With thanks.


(not the answer)

by Karol Szymanowski
Edited and translated by Alistair Wightman

Hardback ISBN-10 0907689388/ ISBN-13O9780907689386

392 pages

Paperback: £n/a -- to be published autumn 2009
Hardback: £35 00

Table of Contents

Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937) is now widely acknowledged to be the most important Polish composer since Chopin. He was born the same year as Igor Stravinsky, and like Stravinsky, spent long periods of his early life in what was then 'the Ukraine' [divided, roughly, between the Russian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Poland; and is now Ukraine. Unlike Stravinksy, however, his early summer house (in Timoshovka [Tymoszówka], southeast of Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union) was destroyed during the violent revolutionary upheaval of the early twentieth century [top image].

His Violin Concertos are more richly scored than is the Violin Concerto by Stravinsky. [His later home in the Tatra Carpathian mountains of Poland, European Union, now a Composer House Museum, is shown in the last photo.]


Karol Szymanowski House Museum, Kirovograd [Elisavetgrad],Ukraine, Future European Union. Elisavetgrad was the winter home of the land-owning, Polish Szymanowski family. The bracketed link provides historic photographs of the city.

"Kirovograd museum of musical culture named after an outstanding fellow-countryman, composer Karol Shymanovsky, was officially opened in 1991, receiving the state status. The basis for creating this museum was existing from 1985 on public beginnings the room - museum of K.Shymanovsky in Kirovograd musical school. An interesting collection was picked up by its creators - teachers of the school - I.Gorgots, G.Taranets, and also an Honored Artist of Polish Culture, musicologist O.Levtonova (Moscow). Kirovograd (Elisavetgrad) has given Ukraine and the whole world a constellation of outstanding musicians. Our city was and remains a considerable center of musical culture of Ukraine. The funds of the museum consist of almost 4000 exhibits."

Karol Szymanowski House-Museum of Musical Culture
Address: Dzerzhinsky str., 65, Kirovograd, Ukraine, 25006
Phone +38 (0522) 24-62-51


ul. Kasprusie 19
Atma Villa Zakopane 34-500
Tel: 48 18 201 3493
Fax: 48 18 201 4554


"In town of Ustylug, Ukraine, which is situated very close to the Ukrainian-Polish [-and Belarusian] border there is an “Old Grange” museum, former estate of Igor Stravinsky, the place where the famous composer created several music works – “The Fire Bird”, “The Rite of Spring” and others."

Ukraine-Japan Center: Gateway to Ukraine Business


U.S.- Ukraine Business Council, Washington, D.C. and Kyiv, Ukraine


Dr. Anders Aslund on Ukraine's Economic Convergence With Europe [Powerpoint]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is Pan Cogito’s Beloved San Francisco Opera Company Following MET Opera And Washington National Opera To Near Abandonment Of American Classical Opera?

San Francisco Opera's 2009-10 Season:

Il Trovatore
Il Trittico
The Abduction from the Seraglio
The Daughter of the Regiment
The Girl of the Golden West
Die Walküre

Whatever happened to SFO General Director David Gockley’s Animating American Opera Initiative?

Does the economic recession cause America's distinguished museums -- including the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C. -- to close their American art wings?

Is there a need for temporary nationalization of American opera houses, such as the San Francisco Opera, until they regain their solid footing in American culture?


San Francisco National Opera's 2008-9 Season:

Simon Boccanegra
The Bonesetter's Daughter
Die Tote Stadt
Boris Godunov
The Elixir of Love
La Bohème
Three Decembers
The Verdi Requiem
Porgy and Bess
La Traviata

That is, 25% home-grown American classical opera


Header photos: Emperor Montezuma's plumed "penacho" or ceremonial headress, presently in the collection of, and on display at, the Austrian National Museum of Ethnology; and an item from the nationalized Library of Congress's American Memory Exhibition.

Moctezuma's headdress was originally a helmet of gold topped with 400 feathers. Cortés has the gold melted and the head piece sent to Charles V of Spain.

de Young Museum of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California.

Art, 'New Music', And African Genocide

1. Overture (Egmont: Ouverture)
2. No. 1. Song: A drum in the distance (Egmont: No. 1, Song: Die Trommel gerühret)
3. No. 2. Melodrama: One thing I learned (König Stephan: No. 7, Melodrama)
4. No. 3. Meoldrama: Informants, spies (König Stephan: No. 5, Melodrama)
5. No. 4. Interlude 1 (Egmont: No. 6, Enrt'acte 4)
6. No. 5. Interlude 2 (Leonore Prohaska: Funeral March)
7. No. 6. Interlude 3 / Melodrama: I could do something (Egmont: No. 3, Entr'acte 1)
8. No. 7. Interlude 4 (Egmont: No. 3, Entr'acte 2)
9. No. 8. Interlude 5 (Egmont: No. 7, Clara's Death)
10. No. 9. Melodrama: I was one human being (Egmont: No. 8, Melodrama)
11. No. 10. Song: Lost and despairing (Egmont: No. 4, Song: Freudvoll und leidvoll)
12. No. 11. Interlude 6 (Egmont: No. 5, Entr'acte 3)
13. No. 12. Interlude 7 (König Stephan: No. 8, Solemn March)
14. No. 13. Melodrama: I had nothing to say to these people (König Stephan: No. 8, Melodrama from Grave
15. No. 14. Victory Symphony (Egmont: No. 9)
16. No. 15. Finale (Opferlied, Op. 121b)

Librettist Paul Griffiths uncovered by -- and interviewed by -- On An Overgrown Path.


Photo and image credits: (c) Human Rights Watch. Copyright controlled. (c) William Kentridge 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Micro-State Of The World Report: Medicine, Women, And Poverty In Early 21st Century Sub-Saharan Africa And Asia

[Click on images for enlargements.]

... "Obstructed labor can kill the mother, too, or crush her bladder, uterus and vagina between her pelvic bones and the baby’s skull. The injured tissue dies, leaving a fistula: a hole that lets urine stream out constantly through the vagina. In some cases, the rectum is damaged and stool leaks out. Some women also have nerve damage in the legs. …

Fistulas are a scourge of the poor, affecting two million women and girls, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia — those who cannot get a Caesarean section or other medical help in time. Long neglected, fistulas have gained increasing attention in recent years, and nonprofit groups, hospitals and governments have created programs, like the one in Dodoma, to provide the surgery." ...

Denise Grady "After a Devastating Birth Injury, Hope" New York Times February 24, 2009


"The spreading global economic crisis is trapping up to 53 million more people in poverty in developing countries and, with child mortality rates set to soar, poses a serious threat to achieving internationally agreed targets to overcome poverty, the World Bank Group said.

New estimates for 2009 suggest that lower economic growth rates will trap 46 million more people on less than $1.25 a day than was expected prior to the crisis. An extra 53 million will stay trapped on less than $2 a day. This is on top of the 130-155 million people pushed into poverty in 2008 because of soaring food and fuel prices." ...

The World Bank "Crisis Hitting Poor Hard in Developing World" February 12, 2009


Photo and image credits: U.S. Agency for International Development and the International Monetary Fund; both Washington, D.C.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Renaissance Research Conservatory Project Pop Quiz: Which Work Won The Grammy Award For A Contemporary Classical Musical Composition In 1961?

• Aaron Copland - Orchestral Suite from Tender Land
• Charles Ives - Symphony No. 2
• Easley Blackwood - Symphony No. 1
• Edgard Varese - Density 21.5
• Francis Poulenc - La Voix Humaine
• Igor Stravinsky - Threni
• Paul Hindemith - Sonata for Cello and Piano
• Roger Sessions - Symphony No. 1

Photo credit: Portrait of Igor Stravinsky 1918 [?] by Robert Delaunay.

copyright 2008 - Copyright controlled. With thanks.

Renaissance Research Conservatory Project Pop Quiz: Which Of Stravinsky's Late Masterpieces Did The Composer Record In New York City Fifty Years Ago?

Actually 50 years and one month ...


Photo is of the Stravinsky Museum in Ustylug, Ukraine, Future European Union. Courtesy of the Government of Ukraine.

(c) 2003: Володимир-Волинська райдержадміністрація, Районна рада, вул.Соборна, 3


Ustylug is located in Volyn near the Polish and Belarus borders. This region currently ranks among Ukraine's and Europe's poorest areas, due to a lack of recent investment and a declining infrastructure. There are efforts by ecotourism and cultural tourism concerns, working with government and private businesses, to reverse this decline. The area is dotted by numerous ruins of castles and shtetls, lakes, and marshes.


"Volyn land is rich in natural and spiritual sources. One of these sources is Ustylug that wrote not one page to the history of the region. It is a city of district subordination that is situated on the border with Poland on a right bank of Zakhidnyi Bug, near a mouth of Luga River. That is how the origin of city name is explained. The first note of the city in Slavonic chronicles is dated 1150. There are a lot of well-kept facts about activity of the family of Gavrylo Nosenko, famous Kyivan doctor who has estate in Ustylog and did a lot for social development of the city. Due to his family the city became a home for three generations of Stravinskyi: famous bass of Saint Petersburg Mariinskyi Theatre Fedor Stravinskyi, his son, worldwide known Igor Stravinskyi, and the son of the latter, Fedor Stravinskyi, prominent Swiss artist. Having married to Catherine Nosenko, I. Stravinskyi in 1907 built a house on his own project for his family in Ustylug (presently there is his museum).

A visiting card of Ustylug is international music festival "Stravinskyi and Ukraine". In 2007 there was IV international music festival to the 125th anniversary of the composer’s birthday. Famous stars from Hungary, Poland and Czechia were among the guests of the festival. Those who visit museum of the composer with linden valley planted with his own hands will come to the mouth of Luga River and understand beauty and greatness of native land, cradle of I. Stravinskyi’s muse." ...


Friday, February 20, 2009

A Small Sense Of Stillness And Humanity Comes To "The Greatest City In The Greatest Country On Earth" (Cf. Riggs Bank Motto Ca. 2000 CE)

Giorgio Morandi, 1890–1964
The Phillips Collection
Washington, D.C.
February 21 to May 24, 2009

Image credit: Giorgio Morandi (Italian, 1890–1964)
Still Life (Natura morta), 1951
Oil on canvas; 14 1/8 x 15 3/4 in. (36 x 40 cm)
Museo Morandi, Bologna
© 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE Rome.

In The Shadow Of Sharon Rockefeller's WETA-FM Winter Palace: Kenji Bunch, Nikolai Kapustin, Ronn Yedidia, Nguyên Lê, Tudor Maican, Tania Leon, DBR ..

This weekend (but not on your taxpayer-supported public radio station which supports an Entartete Musik policy regarding American classical music) ...

The Ahn Trio plays Kenji Bunch, Nikolai Kapustin, Ronn Yedidia and Nguyên Lê.

The Saint Petersburg String Quartet plays Tudor Dominik Maican's String Quartet #3.

The 21st Century Consort performs music by Jacob Druckman, Augusta Read Thomas, David Froom, and Robert Beaser.

Pianist Jade Simmons plays Samuel Barber, Tania Leon, and Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)

Sharon Percy Rockefeller's Classical WETA-FM programs yet another day of absolutely no American classical music.


Photo credits: (c) The Ahn Trio, the Saint Petersburg String Quartet, and Jade Simmons from the National Academy of Sciences websites. Copyright controlled.

More On Nationalized Opera Houses: National Symphony Orchestra (Washington) To Host Local Debut Of Finnish National Opera Conductor Hannu Lintu

Elegant, elevated patriotism at work ...

Hannu Lintu has conducted several opera productions for the Finnish National Opera including Aulis Sallinen’s “King Lear” and Kalevi Aho’s “Before We Are All Drowned.” In 2004, he recorded Tauno Pylkkanen’s opera “Mare and Her Son.” Future opera engagements include a new opera by Mikko Heiniö.


King Charles goes hunting, but...

...will he shoot an elk or fall victim to a conspiracy? A Romantic opera about ambition and love, about the emergence of Finland as a nation, about the people and power. Premiered in 1852, Kung Karls jakt (The Hunt of King Charles) is the first Finnish opera ever (in Finnish).


National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.)

Placido Domingo's Washington National Opera

Sharon Percy Rockefeller's Classical WETA-FM, American classical music-less public radio in the Nation's Capital


Header photo credits: Finnish national music champion Hannu Lintu and Grammy-prize winning American classical music champion John McLaughlin Williams.

Who do you think was the first to be invited to guest conduct the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.)?

(c) and Sir Arnold Bax website and Copyright controlled. With thanks.

Thumbing Nose At Fierce Global Recession, Pan Cogito, Never Before A Conspicuous Consumer, Buys A Washing Machine … In Zhytomyr, Ukraine, Europe

But since man has a spirit as well as a body, here is a link to Thomas May's program note to the San Francisco Symphony premiere performance of Sofia Gubaidulina’s The Light of the End:

... “Yet even such ostensibly secular genres as the symphony and concerto reveal a potential to convey Gubaidulina’s mystical perspective and appeal to rich symbolism. Her 1986 work Stimmen … verstummen … (“Voices . . . fall silent . . .”) takes a characteristically novel approach to symphonic conflict, generated here from the tension between simplicity (represented by a stable chord) and increasing complexity. It was her First Violin Concerto, written for Gidon Kremer, that paved the way toward Gubaidulina’s international breakthrough in 1981. Subtitled Offertorium, this work enacts the idea of a sacrificial offering by breaking down and then reconstituting the main theme of Bach’s A Musical Offering. (Gubaidulina’s Second Violin Concerto, In tempus praesens, receives its North American premiere by Anne-Sophie Mutter in next week’s concerts.)

The Light of the End is a recent symphonic composition that reflects many of Gubaidulina’s abiding concerns. As in so many of her works, a purely musical issue serves as the point of entry for a meditation of spiritual import that speaks to the human condition. The musical issue in question is the conflict between natural and conventional tuning.

Since the time of Bach—whose Well-Tempered Clavier codified the convention whereby the twelve tones of the chromatic scale are adjusted to form equidistant intervals—Western ears have come to accept this agreed-on “compromise” as the proper order of things. It is in fact a convention—an illusion of sorts—which is maintained in an orchestral ensemble by, if you will, a kind of trickery. The situation becomes especially obvious in the family of brass instruments, whose intrinsic “natural” sounds have to be adjusted by the player’s mouth to conform with the tempered scale of twelve tones.” …


Header photo credit: Sofia Gubaidulina & Miriam Makeba at the Polar Music Prize, 2002. (c) Micael Engstrom 2002. Copyright controlled. With thanks.


Past Polar Music Prize winners:

2008 - Renee Fleming and Pink Floyd

2007 - Steve Reich and Sonny Rollins

2006 - Valery Gergiev and Led Zeppelin

2005 - Gilberto Gil and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

2004 - B. B. King and Gyorgy Ligeti

2003 - Keith Jarrett

2002 - Sofia Gubaidulina and Miriam Makeba

2001 - Burt Bacharach, Robert Moog and Karlheinz Stockhausen

2000 - Isaac Stern and Bob Dylan

1999 - Iannis Xenakis and Stevie Wonder

1998 - Ravi Shankar and Ray Charles

1997 - Eric Ericson and Bruce Springsteen

1996 - Joni Mitchell and Pierre Boulez

1995 - Mstislav Rostropovitch and Elton John

1994 - Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Quincy Jones

1993 - Witold Lutoslawski and Dizzy Gillespie

1992 - Sir Paul McCartney and The Baltic States


Zhytomyr, Ukraine, Future European Union.

"The most famous park of Zhytomyr is one named after cosmonaut Yuriy Gagarin. The park is located in the south of the city, at the left (northern) bank of the Teteriv river. It is a former property of the Baron de Chaudoir." [The new, fairly small Zhytomyr Philharmonic Hall, which commenced construction in the late 1980s, resumed construction in the mid 2000s.]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pan Greenspan Joins Pan Cogito In Calling For Temporary Nationalization Of U.S. Banks And Opera Houses

"Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, told The Financial Times on Tuesday that short-term nationalization of some United States banks might be the “least bad solution” for the nation’s banking crisis.

“It may be necessary to temporarily nationalize some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring,” he told the newspaper before a speech to the Economic Club of New York. “I understand that once in a hundred years this is what you do.”"



On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department released data showing that lending at banks that received government funds had declined.


Germany moves toward bank nationalization


The operas by Belarussian composers

Victor Copytsko Dark blue Beard and His wives 2006 russian

Sergei Kortes The Lady's Visit 1995 russian

Sergei Kortes Jubilee 2002 russian

Viatcheslav Kuznetsov The Notes of a Madman 2005 russian

Vladimir Soltan King Stakh's Wild Hunt 1989 belorussian


Header photos: (c) Darriuss Royce 2008. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved. Via flikr. With thanks.

English: Reconstruction of National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. Minsk, Belarus, Future European Union.

Беларуская: Рэканструкцыя Нацыянальнага акадэмічнага Вялікага тэатру опэры і балету. Менск, Беларусь. (c) Hanna and Eugene Zelenko 2006. Via Wikipedia Commons. With thanks.


With thanks to Oleg -- Minsk, Ukraine, Future European Union.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pan Cogito Sort Of Replies To Those Who Might Question His Commitment To An 'Open' Global Economy And An 'Open' Global Culture

"“If we look to the last crisis 80 years ago where one country tried to pass its problems to another country and so on, they did not solve their problems. We can only be successful if work together and keep open the economy,” said Mr Josef Pröll [Austria's Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor in the Financial Times last Wednesday].

Mr Pröll added that western Europe had a particular responsibility to eastern Europe. ”We have made a lot of money in these countries in the last 20 years and now in this crisis we must support them in these difficult times."


More than 80 per cent of emerging Europe's bank assets are owned by western European banks.


The Kyiv Arsenal factory (Russian and Ukrainian: Завод "Арсенал", Zavod Arsenal) is one of the oldest and most famous industrial factories of Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union.

In 2004, a Ukrainian oligarch and art philanthropist Viktor Pinchuk suggested the establishment of a modern art gallery in the oldest 19th century building of the Arsenal. This large fortress-looking brick structure, situated on the Tsitadel'na Street and recognized as an important architectural monument, belongs to the Ukrainian military and is presently poorly maintained.

Later, Viktor Yushchenko, the President of Ukraine, expressed his support for the museum idea but suggested that the museum had to be state-run and dominated by more traditional art pieces in order to become a "Ukrainian Hermitage". The process of converting the building to civil use is underway, while the nature of the museum is still being debated.


Header photo credit: (c) Halibutt via Wikimedia Commons. With thanks.

Classical WETA-FM, In Nation's Capital, Shocks Its Valentine's Day Audience By Programming Instrumental Version Of Igor Stravinsky's Pastorale (1907)

"Pastorale is a song without words written by Igor Stravinsky in 1907. Stravinsky composed the piece at his family's estate in Ustilug, Ukraine, while under the supervision of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and dedicated it to Rimsky-Korsakov's daughter Nadia.

The piece was originally scored for soprano and piano, but Stravinsky transcribed it several times over the years for various ensembles:

soprano, oboe, English horn, clarinet, and bassoon (1923);
violin and piano (1933);
violin, oboe, English horn, clarinet, and basoon (1933).

The two versions from 1933 are not strict transcriptions but lengthened versions lasting about two minutes longer than the original. The 1933 version for violin and piano was written for violinist Samuel Dushkin, who had premiered Stravinsky's Violin Concerto two years earlier. Dushkin and Stravinsky premiered the new version in 1933."



"Stravinsky’s settings of two short lyrics by Russian Symblist poet Konstantin Balmont are his first works to dispense with key signatures. Composed in Ustilug, Russia [sic], in 1911, immediately after Petrushka and before The Rite of Spring, they continue the exploration - in the latter part of “The Dove” - of bitonality begun in the former and anticipate the harmonic density in the Introduction of the latter. But for the most part the songs are extremely simple, and among the most graceful Stravinsky ever wrote.

Concertizing in Japan in the spring of 1959, Stravinsky told an interviewer:

I came into contact with Japan in the course of my work many years ago. In 1913, I composed a small work, which used three short Japanese poems for its texts. I was interested at the time in Japanese woodblock prints. What attracted me was that this was a two-dimensional art without any sense of solidity. I discover this sense of the two-dimensional in some Russian translations of poetry, and attempt to express this sense in my music.

The Three Japanese Lyrics are respectively dedicated to the composers Maurice Delage, Florent Scmitt, and Maurice Ravel. Delalge, who had visited Japan in the spring of 1912, kindled Stravinsky’s enthusiasm for its art."

From the notes by Robert Craft via soprano Susan Narucki's Website.


Header photo: Музей І.Стравінського (I. Stravinski's muzeum, Ustilug, Ukraine, Future European Union.)

© Copyright controlled. All rights reserved by danilovd 2007. Via With many thanks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ever The Romantic, Pan Cogito Is Sending His Wife To Paris (Alone And For One And One-Half Hours)

UNESCO World Heritage Kyiv-Pechrsk Monastery and Modern Central Bank, Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union.

[Click on images for enlargements.]

Photo credits: (c) Seiji Yoshimoto 2002. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved. With thanks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Analysts Reluctantly Concluding That U.S. Government May Need To Nationalize U.S. Banks And Opera Houses For A Period

Louise Watt "World stocks fall on skepticism over US bank plan" Washington Post February 11, 2009


Photo credit: (c) Vincent Yu/Associated Press. 2009. Copyright controlled.


Important Message:

Pan Cogito takes this opportunity to wish his mother a very happy eightieth birthday.

Amnesty International


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

'The Financial Stability Plan: Deploying Our Full Arsenal To Attack The Credit Crisis On All Fronts'


'This site is coming soon.'

"On Tuesday, February 10th, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined a comprehensive plan to restore stability to our financial system. In the address, Secretary Geithner discussed the Obama Administration’s strategy to strengthen our economy by getting credit flowing again to families and businesses, while imposing new measures and conditions to strengthen accountability, oversight and transparency in how taxpayer dollars are spent. And Secretary Geithner explained how the financial stability plan will be critical in supporting an effective and lasting economic recovery."

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And What About Taxpayer And Private Money To Revive The Collapsing National Culture?

"The Senate approved President Barack Obama's giant economic stimulus measure on Tuesday, part of a string of powerful government steps that could marshal close to $3 trillion in taxpayer and private money to revive the collapsing national economy." ...

Associated Press "Senate Passes Stimulus; Treasury Unveils Bank Help" February 10, 2009


Nobel Prize laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict


Header: The gigantic new US embassy in Iraq finally opened on January 5, 2009. The mammoth structure covers 104 acres — the size of 80 football fields. MSNBC referred to the size of the new U.S. Embassy as comparable to the size of the Pope's Vatican in Rome, Italy. Photo credits: (c) Agence France Press 2008 and Associated Press 2008.

Only In America? ... Conductorless National Symphony Orchestra Overlooks Grammy Award Winning Champion Of Romantic American Classical Music

"A conductor and recent local transplant was up for a Grammy Award on Sunday. It was Leonard Slatkin, the high-powered new music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, right? Wrong." ...

Mark Stryker "Conductor John McLaughlin Williams is a man without an orchestra" Detroit Free Press February 10, 2009


Header credit: American conductor and American classical music champion John McLaughlin Williams (c) Copyright controlled.


Some of American conductor John McLaughlin Williams's recordings of American classical music:

BLOCH, E.: Violin Concerto / LEES, B.: Violin Concerto (Oliveira) AR-0042-2
CARPENTER: Adventures in a Perambulator / Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 8.559065
FLAGELLO: Missa Sinfonica / ROSNER: Symphony No. 5 8.559347
FLAGELLO: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Dante's Farewell / Concerto Sinfonico 8.559296
FLAGELLO: Violin Concerto / Orchestral Songs AR-0036-2
HADLEY: Symphony No. 4 / The Ocean / The Culprit Fay 8.559064
MCKAY: From a Moonlit Ceremony / Harbor Narrative 8.559052
MCKAY: Violin Concerto / Sinfonietta No. 4 / Song Over the Great Plains 8.559225


Another day of absolutely no American classical music on Sharon Percy Rockefeller-controlled Classical WETA-FM, so-called public radio in the Nation's Capital.

Thomas Pollock Anshutz, The Ironworkers' Noontime, 1880 (detail)

Image credit: (c) De Young Museum of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 2009.

"The de Young houses one of the finest collections of American paintings in the United States. Strengthened by the acquisition of the Rockefeller Collection of American Art, the de Young's treasures include more than 1000 paintings that represent a spectrum of American art from colonial times through the twentieth century."

Not Yet Quasi-Nationalized And Facing Economic Stress, MET Opera Abandons American Opera Next Season; Will Mount Only One Shostakovich Opera

"The Metropolitan Opera, contending with biting economic woes, laid out a 2009-10 season on Tuesday that includes eight new productions but is also notable for scaled-back ambitions....

Overshadowing the announcement is what the Met will not be presenting because of budget cuts: Graham Vick’s 1994 production of Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District” and Herbert Wernicke’s 2001 production of Strauss’s “Frau Ohne Schatten.” Two less costly productions of Strauss operas, “Ariadne auf Naxos” and “Elektra,” will replace them.

Other productions left on the cutting room floor are revivals of John Corigliano’s 1991 “Ghosts of Versailles” and Berlioz’s “Benvenuto Cellini.” ...

Daniel Wakin "Updated: Metropolitan Opera Announces 2009-10 Season" February 10, 2009


Image credit: (c) William Kentridge, "Felix in Exile", 1994.

Not All In Vain: Pan Cogito On The Problems In The Culture

“Without capital, credit, and intelligence, cultures cannot grow, and right now, critical parts of our cultural system are damaged.”

“Instead of catalyzing recovery, the cultural establishment is largely working against recovery, and that’s the dangerous dynamic we need to change.”

“I want to be candid: this comprehensive cultural recovery strategy will cost money, involve risk, and take time.”

Photo credit: (c) Ken Howard 2008. Copyright controlled.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Art And Culture In Vain?

"A fierce fire engulfed a major new building in Beijing that houses a luxury hotel and cultural center on Monday, the last day of celebrations for the lunar new year when the city was ablaze with fireworks.

The building was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and is part of China Central Television’s new headquarters, an angular wonder of modernist architecture that sits astride the city and was built to coincide with the Beijing Olympics last year."

Andrew Jacobs and Graham Bowley "Fire Engulfs Beijing Hotel Complex" New York Times February 9, 2009

Photo credit: (c) David Gray and Reuters. 2009. Copyright controlled.


The U.S. Senate, during their consideration of the economic recovery bill, approved an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) that stated “None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project.”

Foreign Embassies Attempting To Help Conservatory-less Nation’s Capital Develop Living Classical Musical Tradition and Culture

First living Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk in November, then living Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag on Saturday night at the Library of Congress, and tonight living Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas at the Embassy of Austria …

And the quasi-musically fascistic Classical WETA-FM, so-called public radio in the Nation’s Capital, will not even program complete classical works by Bruckner or Mahler; much less most more modern classical works or virtually all classical works by American composers …


Header: Stephen De Staebler "Winged Woman on Tiptoe" Bronze 2003

Image credit: (c) Stephen De Staebler via 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Combining The Best Of Past Scythian Gold Exhibitions And Treasures Of Poland Exhibition, Treasures Of Ukraine Exhibition To Come To U.S. In 2010-2012

The Foundation for International Arts and Education (FIAE), in cooperation with the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), and with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S., will be presenting two outstanding Ukrainian exhibitions featuring historic 'TREASURES OF UKRAINE' in a number of American museums during the period from 2010 to 2012. The two exhibitions will focus on "Treasures of Ukraine from the PLATAR Collection of Kyiv" and "Ukrainian Icons and Religious Objects from the National Kyiv-Perchersk (Lavra) Historic and Cultural Preserve and Other Collections, XI-XIX Centuries." Additional information about the FIAE Ukrainian Icons and Religious Objects program can be found at this link.

The Warsaw Voice newspaper wrote about the Platar Collection Exhibition on May 14, 2008:

"WARSAW - The National Museum in Warsaw is hosting an exhibition until June 29 devoted to the fascinating archeological past of Ukraine. The exhibition is entitled "From Ukraine to the World: Ukrainian Treasures from the Platar Collection," and its patrons are the presidents of Poland and Ukraine, Lech Kaczyński and Viktor Yushchenko.

The exhibition consists of outstanding works of art from a private collection of around 400 artifacts dating from between the fourth millennium B.C. and the 12th century. This is the first time they are being shown outside Ukraine.

Research shows that 8,000 years ago, a unique culture developed in what is Ukraine today. The exhibition documents all major periods of the history of Ukraine, from the early Neolithic to magnificent works of art that resulted from close relations between Kiev Ruthenia and the Byzantine Empire.

Since the Scythian Gold exhibition from the Hermitage Museum in 1976, visitors to the National Museum have not seen such an extensive display of the accomplishments of the most famous ancient goldsmiths."

Articles from the Welcome to Ukraine magazine about the PLATAR collection can be read here and here.

Photo credits: Prof. John Haskins' Slide Collection Department of Art History University of Pittsburgh and (c) East-European Archaeological Journal 2002. St George with Scenes from His Life XII-XIII Century C.E., National Museum, Kyiv, Ukraine (as displayed at Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006) [check]


Saint George (Yuri) and the Dragon
14th century
67 x 69. Egg tempera on lime wood.
From the Church of SS Joachim and Anna in the village of Stanylya, Lviv region. Lviv National Museum.

Along with his image as holy warrior and martyr, in the 12th century there appeared an image of St. George the Dragon-Slayer that become widely popular in medieval art. St. George (or St. Yur, as he was often called in Ukraine) was a favorite folk hero. In folk consciousness he was the patron of farmers and cattle breeders, and beasts obeyed him.

"The icon reproduced here is one of the earliest representations of this theme in Ukrainian painting. It is said to come from St. Yur's Church in Drohobych, one of the oldest wooden churches in the Ukraine. The icon is the embodiment of simplicity. Its composition has no minor details, everything being subordinated to the representation on combat in which St.Yur is the main hero and victor. The graceful and energetic rider in knightly attire strikes the dragon with his spear. His cannabarine cloak contrasts with the black horse treated conventionally and flatly which looks like a heraldic symbol. The combat of St. George with the dragon is interpreted as the triumph of Christianity over paganism, the triumph of justice over falsehood. The black color of the horse is rare though not unique for this subject, emphasizing the decorativeness of the icon and its dramatic nature."

Image and caption credit: Ukrainian Icons In The 11th-16th C. (c) Icon Gallery and Andrii Borovets --- M.A.K. Ltd., Lviv, Ukraine.


Saint Yuri's Church in Drohobych, Ukraine.

Credit: Encyclopedia of Ukraine hosted by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies . Copyright controlled.