Parnassian Moments 12 May: Amy Lawrence Lowell

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Amy Lawrence Lowell

Amy Lawrence Lowell

Poet: Amy Lawrence Lowell

Dates: 9 February 1874 – 12 May 1925

Nationality: American

Title of Poem: A Lady

You are beautiful and faded
Like an old opera tune
Played upon a harpsichord;
Or like the sun-flooded silks
Of an eighteenth-century boudoir.
In your eyes
Smoulder the fallen roses of out-lived minutes,
And the perfume of your soul
Is vague and suffusing,
With the pungence of sealed spice-jars.
Your half-tones delight me,
And I grow mad with gazing
At your blent colours.

My vigour is a new-minted penny,
Which I cast at your feet.
Gather it up from the dust,
That its sparkle may amuse you.

 

Brief Biography: Lowell was an imagist poet highly regarded for her personification of the inanimate object and he lesbian love poetry. Although her work was embraced by the feminist movement it is said she personally argued against the feminist ideal. She rarely wrote in form preferring to write her poetry in polyphonic prose.

Artistic Memories 10 May: Frank Frazetta

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Frank Frazetta

Frank Frazetta

Artist: Frank Frazetta

Dates: 9 February 1928 – 10 May 2010

Nationality: American

Title of Piece: Masai Warrior

Masai Warrior by Frank Frazetta

Masai Warrior by Frank Frazetta

Brief Biography: Frazetta was a science fiction and fantasy artist. He was plagued by health problems including a thyroid condition that was untreated for years. In the early 2000’s Frazetta had a series of strokes that left his manual dexterity impaired so he switched to drawing and painting with his left hand.

Parnassian Moments 9 May: Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

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Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

 

Poet: Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

Dates: 10 November 1759 – 9 May 1805

Nationality: German

Title of Poem: Beauteous Individuality

Thou in truth shouldst be one, yet not with the whole shouldst thou be so.
‘Tis through the reason thou’rt one,–art so with it through the heart.
Voice of the whole is thy reason, but thou thine own heart must be ever;
If in thy heart reason dwells evermore, happy art thou.

 

Brief Biography: Schiller was a poet, philosopher, historian and playwright. He formed a friendship with Goethe leading to what is known as Weimar Classicism.

Literary Memories 8 May: Gustave Flaubert

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Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert

 

Author: Gustave Flaubert

Dates: 12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880

Nationality: French

Title of Book: Bouvard and Pecuchet: A Tragi-comic Novel of Bourgeois Life

Beyond the canal, between the houses which separated the timber-yards, the great pure sky was cut up into plates of ultramarine; and under the reverberating light of the sun, the white facades, the slate roofs, and the granite wharves glowed dazzlingly. In the distance arose a confused noise in the warm atmosphere; and the idleness of Sunday, as well as the melancholy engendered by the summer heat, seemed to shed around a universal languor.

Two men made their appearance.

One came from the direction of the Bastille; the other from that of the Jardin des Plantes. The taller of the pair, arrayed in linen cloth, walked with his hat back, his waistcoat unbuttoned, and his cravat in his hand. The smaller, whose form was covered with a maroon frock-coat, wore a cap with a pointed peak.

As soon as they reached the middle of the boulevard, they sat down, at the same moment, on the same seat.

In order to wipe their foreheads they took off their headgear, each placing his beside himself; and the little man saw “Bouvard” written in his neighbour’s hat, while the latter easily traced “Pecuchet” in the cap of the person who wore the frock-coat.

“Look here!” he said; “we have both had the same idea–to write our names in our head-coverings!”

“Yes, faith, for they might carry off mine from my desk.”

“‘Tis the same way with me. I am an employe.”

Then they gazed at each other. Bouvard’s agreeable visage quite charmed Pecuchet.

 

Brief Biography: Flaubert was a writer. He was best known for his novel Madame Bovary

Classical Memories 7 May: Niccolo Piccinni

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Niccolo Piccinni

Niccolo Piccinni

Composer: Niccolo Piccinni

Dates: 16 January 1728 – 7 May 1800

Nationality: Italian

Title of Piece: Le Donne Vendicate Overture

 

Brief Biography: Piccinni was one of the most popular opera buffa composers of his day. In an era known as La buona figliuola comedy was become dramatic Piccinni’s operas married sentimentalism and classicism in his Carlo Goldoni. He was placed under house arrest, accused of being a revolutionary at the outbreak of the French Revolution due to his daughter’s marriage to a French democrat.

Artistic Memories 30 April: Jean-Baptiste Oudry

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Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Artist: Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Dates: 17 March 1686 – 30 April 1755

Nationality: Art

Title of Piece: Louis XV Hunting Deer in the Saint-Germain Forest

 

Louis XV Hunting Deer in the Saint-Germain Forest by Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Louis XV Hunting Deer in the Saint-Germain Forest by Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Brief Biography: Oudry was a Rococo painter, noted for his naturalistic paintings of animals and his hunt pictures of game. He was made Painter-in-Ordinary of the Royal hunt by Louis XV. Oudry was also an engraver and tapestry designer.

Artistic Memories 30 April: Édouard Manet

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Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet

Artist: Édouard Manet

Dates: 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883

Nationality: French

Title of Piece: Lola de Valence

 

Lola de Valence by Édouard Manet

Lola de Valence by Édouard Manet

Brief Biography: Manet was one of the first artists of the 19th Century to portray modern life and was a key figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. His paintings The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia are considered watershed pieces in the genesis of modern art.

Artistic Memories 27 April: Jan van Goyen

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Jan van Goyen

Jan van Goyen

Artist: Jan van Goyen

Dates: 13 January 1596 – 27 April 1656

Nationality: Dutch

Title of Piece: Marine Landscape with Fishermen

 

Marine Landscape with Fishermen by Jan van Goyen

Marine Landscape with Fishermen by Jan van Goyen

Brief Biography: Van Goyen was a prolific landscape painter with some 1200 paintings and over 1000 sketches to his credit. He paintings used a limited range of pigments giving his work a tonal quality many would try to imitate. His landscapes were predominantly of the canals and villages of the Delft and Gouda.

Classical Memories 25 April: John Knowles Paine

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John Knowles Paine

John Knowles Paine

Composer: John Knowles Paine

Dates: 9 January 1839 – 25 April 1906

Nationality: American

Title of Piece: Moorish Dance from “Azara”

 

Brief Biography: The first American composer to achieve fme for large-scale orchestral music Paine was a senior member of the Boston Six. His pioneering courses in musical appreciation and musical history at Harvard were a model for American music departments. Paine made one of the first wax cylinder recordings in 1889.

Classical Memories 23 April: Harold Arlen

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Harold Arlen

Harold Arlen

Composer: Harold Arlen

Dates: 15 February 1905 – 23 April 1986

Nationality: American

Title of Piece: Stormy Weather

 

Brief Biography: Arlen was a composer of popular music and has written over 500 songs. His compositions combine American conventialism with the blues making his work popular with jazz musicians. Arlen was hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Myer to compose the songs for the movie The Wizard of Oz.