Category: Music & Film

Goodbye Children!

“Au Revoir les Enfants”, the autobiographical movie by Louis Malle

When the French movie director Louis Malle made “Lacombe, Lucien” in 1974 he knew he was touching on a very sore subject. The story of a teenage peasant who joins up with the Gestapo after being rejected as too young by the French Resistance, “Lacombe, Lucien” documents one person’s journey to the dark side, and it’s a disturbing sight.

Lacombe-LucienThe young actor Pierre Blaise as Lucien Lacombe

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Feline Elegance

The Lady & her Cat…

“The term “Cat Lady” can evoke the image of an unfashionable, unkempt, and slightly unhinged spinster hoarding multiple cats. The book “Cat Lady Chic” by Diane Lovejoy serves as the antidote to this unflattering point of view, celebrating the Cat Lady with a compilation of artful, playful, and sophisticated images of some of the most renowned, beautiful, and accomplished women in modern history with the cats they love”.

BlackCatModel Mary Jane Russel with black cat – photograph by Louise Dahl-Wolf

This is the amusing description of the book “Cat Lady Chic“. Much is written about the attraction between women and cats, a subject often looked upon with great suspicion by those who do not understand it.

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My Personal Top 10 Female Singers – No 3

…in no particular order & with my favorite recording…

Number Three: Kiri Te Kenawa

kiri te kanawa 2

The New Zealand soprano of European and Maori origin has stolen my heart in Joseph Canteloube’s “Chants d’Auvergne” (Songs from The Auvergne) and “Bachianas Brasileiras No.5” by Heitor Villa-Lobos (click links to listen).


The double CD is available on Itunes with the magical orchestration by Jeffrey Tate & Lynn Harrell and the English Chamber Orchestra.

My Personal Top 10 Female Singers – No 2

…in no particular order & with my favorite recordings…

Number Two: Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie 12

Ella Fitzgerald 1917-1996

The Ella Fitzgerald Song Books were a series of eight studio albums released in irregular intervals between 1956 and 1964. The eight albums covered the Songbooks of Cole Porter (1956), Rodgers & Hart (1956), Duke Ellington (1957), Irving Berlin (1958), George and Ira Gershwin (1959), Harold Arlen (1961), Jerome Kern (1963), and Johnny Mercer (1964). The full collection is available on Amazon.

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The Art of Conversation

Powerful French Women and their Famous “Salons”

“Why not start a virtual “Salon?” was my idea when I decided to write this blog. The Art of Conversation is something I want to vigorously keep up!

Watch the French film “Ridicule” to fully understand the power of women skilled in conversation in 18th century France:

ridicuActress Fanny Ardent in the 1996 French film “Ridicule” (Netflix)

Salons” started in Italy in the 16th century and soon took hold in France. They were the artistic and literary “Think Tanks” of the 17th, 18th & 19th century, mostly held by society ladies in their beautiful homes. A lady who held a “Salon” would reign as she set the topics, the tone and “ambiance” of the gathering. There was fierce competition amongst ” Salonnières” about who would draw the most brilliant crowd. I will highlight two famous “Salonnières”: Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun and Juliette Récamier.

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