Category: Music & Film

Music Genius vs. Nazi Ideologie

How the composer Richard Strauss waged his own war against the Nazi’s

“I consider the Goebbels Jew-baiting as a disgrace to German honor, as evidence of incompetence—the basest weapon of untalented, lazy mediocrity against a higher intelligence and greater talent.” 

In 1933, in the beginning stage of the Nazi regime, the composer Richard Strauss wrote this in his private notebook about the mounting anti-semitism in Germany.

richardsreaussRichard Strauss (1864 – 1949)

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My Personal Top 10 Female Singers – No 5

…in no particular order & with my favorite recording…

Number Five: Gundula Janowitz

Richard Strauss: “Four Last Songs”, with Herbert von Karajan directing the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

GundulaGundula Janowitz

Perhaps it is often the first version you hear of an iconic piece of music, that becomes your favorite! In my case it is this particular recording of “The Four Last Songs” by Richard Strauss, sung by Gundula Janowitz and directed by Herbert von Karajan. (Sorry fans of Elisabeth Schwartzkopf)

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The Legacy of Miss Bacall

Screen goddess, legendary wife of… & art collector!

Preview of Lauren Bacall’s estate to be auctioned at Bonhams in New York.


Admirers of the late stage and screen actress Lauren Bacall can view highlights from her estate at Bonhams in London from 15-19 February. Around 50 choice lots of art and jewellery, just a fraction of The Lauren Bacall Collection, are on view at the New Bond Street headquarters of Bonhams, just one stop on an international tour taking in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Paris and New York – where the collection will be auctioned on March 31 and April 1. Browse the Bonhams on-line catalogue.

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My Personal Top 10 Female Singers – No 4

…in no particular order & with my favorite recordings…

Number Four: Nina Simone

“To be Young, Gifted & Black” 

NinaInterview and performance of Young, Gifted and Black (click)

Nina Simone (1933 – 2003) was so multi talented, it is hard to choose what to highlight. Despite being black, poor, one of eight children, her musical talent from a very young age onward culminated in her well- earned status of the “High Priestess of Soul”.

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Latin Lover!

Carpe Diem! Ad hoc! Mea Culpa! Bona Fide! Ad Nauseam! De Facto! Ergo! Cum Laude! Modus Operandi! Per Se! Sine Qua Non! Vice Versa! Etc.!

Latin scholar or not, so many expression in our daily life are straight from Latin and they are GOOD! Short and to the point, like the Romans themselves…

SPQR2 2Original Roman inscription “Senatus Populusque Romanus”, The Senate and People of Rome (great font too!)

So why is Latin so enduring despite it being a dead language? It served as the universal language until the 17th century when it was gazumped by French, which was in turn gazumped by English in the mid-20th century (the French are still not over that, but that is another subject!).

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