Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolved: To Grow Stronger And Better In Coming Years

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Slavic New Year? Fearing Democracy, Ukrainian Authorities On Friday Move Jailed Opposition Leader Yuliya Tymoshenko To A Prison Camp 300 Miles To East

Ellen Barry Ukraine Sends Opposition Leader to Remote Prison New York Times December 30, 2011

Yuliya Tymoshenko A Prisoner's Christmas December 25, 2011

Image credits: Kyiv, Ukraine's 2012 New Year Tree, with Chaikovsky National Academy of Music (or Kyiv Conservatory) in the background. The Conservatory occupies a building built in the 1890s as the Hotel Continental. Copyright controlled. Bottom (c) Associated Press/Ukraphoto 2011.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

οἰκονομία: Clarifications

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Credits: Center for Geoeconomic Studies of the Council on Foreign Relations and Wikipedia.



"More relevant is asking how far the resurgent capitalism that emerged in the 1980s, under the leadership of Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK, now needs to be reformed. The answer is that it must be, for it has proved not just unstable, but, in important respects, unjust."

Lead Editorial in the Financial Times of December 27, 2011

In The Wake Of Many Wars, Another Small Appeal For Hope, Charity, Sanity, And Well-Being In The New Year

'Since Ukraine became an independent nation in 1991, the country has made major strides toward achieving political and economic reforms.... Despite these successes, many challenges still lie ahead, particularly in the area of health care for older people. The average life expectancy in Ukraine is only 67 years, and those who achieve old age often live in poverty. Women are expected to retire from their professions at age 55 and men at 60. Pensions are so low that retirees are often forced to take laborious jobs on the streets. Because of deficiencies in medical education, deteriorating hospital facilities, a lack of modern medications and supplies, and inadequate physician payment mechanisms that breed corruption, many elderly people mistrust the medical system and often turn to folk medicines and Eastern medical practices to treat their illnesses.'

The elderly people of post-Soviet Ukraine: medical, social, and economic challenges [2005]

American Friends of For Survival: a volunteer organization serving 67 home-bound elderly persons in Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union.

Photo credit: Political reform demonstration in Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union. (c) Washington Post 2011. Copyright controlled.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Renaissance Research Person Of The Year

Sumerian King Enmetena -- Father of Economic Sustainability Accounting and Patron of the Liberal Art of Music.

Photo credits: Via Wikipedia.



'The CEBR predicts that by 2020, the four Brics will be the 2nd (China), 4th (Russia), 5th (India) and 6th (Brazil) largest economies, with only the US (1st) and Japan (3rd) ahead.'

Extra! Extra! New Libretti For Mid-Winter Update ('Through Text, Music Becomes Visual' Edition)

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"Prospero—numinous, shamanic—could only be a countertenor"??

Photo credit: Ancient Russian fortress on Siberian Island. (c) 2011.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Vigilia: Joseph's House And Miriam's Kitchen

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Joseph's House welcomes terminally ill men and women from streets, shelters, prisons, and hospitals to its hospice in Adams Morgan, the District of Columbia, where they find a compassionate community at the end of life. For those living their last days, staff and volunteers hold vigil around the clock.

$25 provides ten meals for residents and guests


Every weekday morning for the last 28 years, Miriam's Kitchen, in the District of Columbia, has served breakfast to chronically homeless men and women. The meal has expanded to include health and mental health services, therapeutic groups, and legal assistance; each weeknight, guests are invited back for a homemade dinner.

$25 provides a one-tenth share of supplies for therapeutic group activities

Image credit: The 14th c. CE Tacuinum Sanitatis is a medieval handbook on health and wellbeing, based on the Taqwim al‑sihha تقويم الصحة ("Maintenance of Health"), an eleventh-century Arab medical treatise by Ibn Butlan of Baghdad. Via Wikipedia.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Expanding, Modernizing, And Democratizing Europe During Time Of Global Financial And Economic Crisis And Austerity

"The man responsible for Ukraine's Euro 2012 football championship has said Uefa is doing more than the EU institutions to modernise the country.

Markiyan Lubkivskyi, Ukraine's former ambassador to Bosnia and Croatia and football authority Uefa's man in charge of preparing for the games said the decision where to hold them was political.

"It was a decision of Uefa to bring Ukraine closer to Europe. Uefa wanted to bring us closer to the EU. It is doing the job of the European Commission," he told EUobserver in Kiev [Kyiv] on Tuesday."


The Death Match: European soccer in Nazi-occupied Kiev (Kyiv) during the Second World War (Great Patriotic War) in the summer of 1942.

Photo credits: Kyiv, Ukraine's new Olympiysky Stadium. English-made seats, Slovak grass, and a German roof and toilets. (c) 2011.

Jews marching on their way out of the city of Kyiv to the Babiy Yar ravine to be murdered pass corpses lying on the street. Yelena Brusilovsky Collection, courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives.


Close to End of Presidency, Medvedev Urges Reforms

Winter Commencement Update: Summer GDP Growth Rate Slower Than Expected, But Daylight Now Gradually Increasing Promising Greater Happiness

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice Post: Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Clean-Up Could Take 40 Years

Winter Solstice greetings to my faithful readers.

Image credit: A newly discovered planet the same size as Earth traverses in front of a distant star in the evening sky (greatly magnified).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Clarification: the Higgs, the missing piece

Physicists at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland may have finally found the Higgs, the missing piece from particle physicists' Standard Model that explains why all other particles have mass.

A diagram summarizing the tree-level interactions between elementary particles described in the Standard Model. Vertices (darkened circles) represent types of particles, and edges (blue arcs) connecting them represent interactions that can take place. The organization of the diagram is as follows: the top row of vertices (leptons and quarks) are the matter particles; the second row of vertices (photon, W/Z, gluons) are the force mediating particles; and the bottom row is the Higgs boson.

Source: Diagram from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No Silent Night: Olivier Messiaen’s "La Nativité du Seigneur" At Washington National Cathedral This Sunday

"Olivier Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur (The Birth of the Savior) is arguably one of the most important organ works of the twentieth century. Its devotional nature is remarkably direct, for Messiaen possessed a deep-rooted faith and a penetrating theological insight which both illuminated his creativity and gave a strongly spiritual dimension to all his work. Although not initially a part of the Parisian organ tradition, Messiaen grew up artistically within it and came to explore the organ’s sonorities and tonalities in a radically different way; only Jehan Alain, whose life was tragically cut short in 1940, displayed comparable vision and originality."

Photo credit: Moon Rock Window at Washington National Cathedral by Pgmark at en.wikipedia. 2009.

"I'd Like To Speak To The Captain Of This Spaceship"

"Amartya Sen, the Harvard university professor and Nobel laureate, has sharply criticised European governments for embracing austerity measures to cure their economic difficulties, describing fiscal tightening policies in the UK as premature and “oddly confused”... Mr Sen said the rush to impose austerity plans across Europe was a “spiralling catastrophe,” and was even threatening to drag the US in the same direction. ... "Many countries in the west seem to be doing their best to go straight into the mouth of a fairly hefty snake."”

Financial Times

Photo credit: CERN at work. CERN and (c) Reuters 2011.

At 11:55 a.m. ET, President Obama to mark End of War in Iraq ....................The meteors, made up of the debris from near-Earth ..................

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The meteors, made up of the debris from near-Earth asteroid 3200 Phaethon and ejected from the constellation Gemini, could appear anywhere in the sky

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Matter + Spirit: The Sculpture of Stephen De Staebler

"For more than 50 years, De Staebler created figurative sculptures from clay—a medium that derives from the primordial earth. Drawing inspiration from childhood experiences with nature, a transformative adolescent encounter with human mortality, and adult studies in the history of art and religion, he explored and extended a tradition of human representation that includes the religious monuments of ancient Egypt, the Renaissance humanism of Michelangelo’s finished and unfinished figures, and the modern existentialism embodied in the works of Alberto Giacometti."

Photo credits: © Estate of Stephen De Staebler 2011.

Monday, December 12, 2011

An Audio Shadow Of A Near-Forgotten Musical Ancestor: Chicago Lyric Opera 29.XI.1978

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Act 1
Act 2

Friday, December 09, 2011

Sometimes/Once On Sunday

Golden Rose Synagogue, Lviv, Ukraine, 1941
Золота Роза синагога у Львові
בית הכנסת טורי זהב

[The Golden Rose Synagogue was the oldest synagogue in Ukraine.]

Free performance by the Rose Ensemble at the National Gallery of Art on Sunday at 6:30 PM

The Rose Ensemble Program

From the Land of Three Faiths
Voices of Ancient Mediterranean Jews, Christians, and Muslims
Traditional Sephardic (Morocco)
Cuando’l Rey Nimród
Juan del Encina (1485 – c. 1530)
Pues que tú, Reyna del çielo
Traditional Sephardic (Morocco/ Turkey)
Una matica de ruda
Porke yorash
Plainchant (Twelfth-century Italian)
Cives caelestis patriae
Anonymous (Fourteenth-century English)
Iudea et Ierusalem
Traditional Sephardic
Sette hijos tiene Hanna
Traditional Sephardic (Morocco)
Koplas de las flores
Rey a quien reyes adoran
From Cancionero de Upsala (Fifteenth century)
¡O Reyes magos benditos!
From Cancionero musical de palacio (Fifteenth century)
Francisco Guerrero (c. 1528 – 1599)
Niño Dios d’amor herido
Arab-Andalusian (In the Az’zaidan mode)
Traditional Sephardic
Hazeremos una merenda
Quita’l tas, mete’l tas


Thirteenth-century Spanish
Cantiga no. 424
From Cantigas de Santa Maria
Hispano-Arabic muwashaha (In the kurdī mode)
Ayyu-hā s-sāqī ’ilay-ka l-muštakà
Traditional Turkish
Arabaya Taş Koydum
Traditional Sephardic (Salonika)
Morena me llaman
Traditional Bedouin
Two Simsimiyya Songs
Arranged for instrumental ensemble by The Rose Ensemble
Sephardic Piyyut (Libya)
Et Sha’are Ratzón
Traditional Sephardic (Balkan)

Concert Notes

Photo source: 1941 photo by Janusz Witwicki from the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, Kyiv, Ukraine -- via Wikipedia.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Yesterday noon, my bus and I could not make it to the National Gallery of Art in time for this short retrospective by Thomas Hrynkiw of largely 20th century Ukrainian classical piano music due to inequality protest marches weaving in and out of central downtown Washington, D.C. I hope the program will be broadcast at a later date.

Here was the program and program notes:

Iosyf Vytytsk’kyi (1813 – 1866)
Ukrainian Maiden

Lev Revuts’kyi (1889 – 1977)
Sonata in B Minor

Mykola Lysenko (1842 – 1912)

Viktor Kosenko (1896 – 1938)

Vasyl’ Barvins’kyi (1888 – 1963)
Prelude in E Minor
Prelude in F-sharp Major

Stanislav Liudkevich (1879 – 1979)
Paraphrase on the Ukrainian Folksong “What Raven Caws over the Sea”

Program Note

Program Note to the upcoming free Sunday evening performance at the National Gallery of Art by the Rose Ensemble, from Minnesota, singing Arab, Sephardic, and Christian music from the Middle Ages and preceded by a lecture on Sephardic music by Jerome Barry.

Yuri Ilyenko: Ballad of Ukraine

Photo credit: (c) 2011. Copyright controlled.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

“Statistik, Presse und Organisationen des Judentums in den Vereinigten Staaten und Kanada, 1944”

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"It would be best if the Kloss report were acquired by an individual or institution willing to donate it to a public collection, ideally, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress. There it could join 1,200 other surviving volumes from Hitler’s private library and not only be readily accessible to scholars and historians but also occupy appropriate shelf space with an equally sinister companion book from Hitler’s private book collection, a 1925 German translation of Madison Grant’s “The Passing of the Great Race,” bearing a personal inscription to Hitler."

Timothy W. Ryback in the New York Times

Photo credit: Kestenbaum & Company.

Attempting To Raise Its Profile, National Symphony Orchestra Tonight Takes To Traditional Airwaves In Program Ranging From Beethoven To Prokofiev

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Robert Schumann: Overture to Die Braut von Messina, Op. 100
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
Nikolaï Lugansky, pianist
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor

Leó Weiner: Serenade, Op. 3
Iván Fischer, conductor

Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6 in E-flat minor, Op. 111
Neeme Järvi, conductor

NSO Showcase on Classical WETA at 9 PM EDT


Photo credit: Kyiv, Ukraine, The National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War (of 1941-1945) (Ukrainian: Національний музей історії Великої Вітчизняної Війни 1941-1945 років, Russian: Национальный музей истории Великой Отечественной войны 1941-1945 годов). Marianivka at en.wikipedia.

The museum was established on May 9th, 1981. On June 21, 1996, the museum was accorded its current status of National Museum by a special decree signed by Leonid Kuchma, then the President of Ukraine.


We also, unlike the National Symphony Orchestra or Classical WETA, remember Pearl Harbor.

An American Child Born Today In Poverty Will Only Have A One-in-Three Chance Of Making It To The Middle Class; Down From One-in-Two


And for those preferring a more literal approach:

Remarks by the U.S. President on the Economy in Osawatomie, Kansas

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Democracy For Great Nations Update: Introducing Occupy Moscow

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"The [Russian parliamentary] election was expected to be predictable, and voters apathetic. Instead, Putin’s United Russia Party won slightly less than half the vote — enough to retain control of the Duma, but far less than in previous years, and a sign of vulnerability for Putin’s formidable political machine."

Photo credit: (c) Reuters 2011.


Human Rights Center "Memorial"

Euro 2012: Poland-Ukraine World Cup

Sochi, Russian Federation, 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Monday, December 05, 2011

Great Art For Great Nation Update! NEA Awards Washington National Opera $45,000 To Stage New Production Of Verdi's Nabucco

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Washington National Opera
Washington, DC
To support a new production of Verdi's Nabucco. The creative team (sic) will comprise director Thaddeus Strassberger and music director Philippe Auguin, and will feature Italian baritone Franco Vassallo (King Nabucco) and Hungarian soprano Csilla Boross (Abigaille).

FY 2012 NEA Grant Awards: Nation's Capital Listing

FY 2012 NEA Grant Awards: California Listing

Image credit: (c) Thaddeus Strassberger 2011. Copyright controlled.

Free Noontime Classical Music Live Listening Opportunities In The Nation's Capital

Noontime Cantata
Washington Bach Consort
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.

J.S. Bach: Cantata: Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes (BWV 40)
Harpsichord Concerto in D Major (BWV 1054)
Soloist: William Neil

New York Avenue Presbyterian Church
1313 New York Avenue, NW


Noontime Recital
Concerts from the National Gallery of Art
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.

Thomas Hrynkiw, pianist
December 7 at 12:10PM

National Gallery of Art, East Building Auditorium
Music by Kevich, Revutsky, and other Ukrainian composers

Presented in conjunction with the upcoming NGA film series “Yuri Ilyenko (1936-2010): Ballad of Ukraine”

Image credit: (c) Philip Ilyenko 2011. Copyright controlled.