Introduction and Welcome

Welcome to All Things Bright and Beautiful. If you are new to this site, I would recommend that you read my very first entry - which is an introduction and welcome to this blog. You can view it here

Thursday, March 29, 2012

John James Audubon-Whippoorwills, Franz Joseph Haydn - Symphony 101 The Clock Symphony, William Blake- The Echoing Green

This painting of Whippoorwills by John James Audubon, like so many of his paintings, includes habitat clues - plants and in this case insects they eat.  Audubon was a both a naturalist and an artist.  In portraying the things he saw in nature he was also skillful in putting together a pleasing composition so that the finished work was both informative and attractive.

Our music today by our present composer, Franz Joseph Haydn is Symphony 101, the Clock symphony.  I hope you enjoy it.  It is fun to watch the conductor.  It made me think that one person directs and the rest cooperate each doing their part - reminds me of how families function, and also the body of Christ.  If you are wondering why it is called the clock symphony, it is because of the "ticking" rhythm throughout the second movement.  There are four parts.  If you want only one part, I would recommend part 2 with the clock sounds.  Listen to as much of it as you like.  Here they are:  
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

William Blake 
 The Echoing Green

The sun does arise,
And make happy the skies;
The merry bells ring
To welcome the Spring;
The skylark and thrush,
The birds of the bush,
Sing louder around
To the bells' cheerful sound;
While our sports shall be seen
On the echoing green.
Old John, with white hair,
Does laugh away care,
Sitting under the oak,
Among the old folk.
They laugh at our play,
And soon they all say,
'Such, such were the joys
When we all -- girls and boys --
In our youth-time were seen
On the echoing green.'
Till the little ones, weary,
No more can be merry:
The sun does descend,
And our sports have an end.
Round the laps of their mothers
Many sisters and brothers,
Like birds in their nest,
Are ready for rest,
And sport no more seen
On the darkening green.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

John James Audubon - Blue Jays, Franz Joseph Haydn - The Heavens Are Telling , William Blake - The Lamb

Today's painting by John James Audubon is well known.  Audubon sought to show the setting and character of the birds he painted as well as make his paintings aesthetically pleasing.  Here the Jays are stealing song birds' eggs.

Some of you are listening through Franz Joseph Hadyn's creation yet. For those who chose to listen to only one or two parts today's piece is also from this oratorio.  It's a beautiful choir piece that you may have heard performed. The Heavens Are Telling:

I'd like to introduce a new poet today, William Blake.
Our first poem by William Blake follows:

The Lamb
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?
Little lamb, I'll tell thee;
Little lamb, I'll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Little lamb, God bless thee!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

John James Audubon -striped ground squirrels , Franz Joseph Haydn-Piano Trio , Eugene Field-At the Door

We often think of John James Audubon as a painter of birds and he has many wonderful paintings of birds and is perhaps best know for his book, Birds of America, but he also painted other wildlife and I would like to share a few of these works over the next couple weeks.  Today's painting is of ground squirrels (chipmunks). Notice the blueberries the ground squirrels are eating. The following link shows a couple of other paintings of ground squirrels also done by Audubon.

Franz Joseph Haydn wrote this piano trio to be played by a piano, a violin and a cello.  I hope you enjoy it.

This is the last poem by Eugene Field I am planning to feature for now.  It has some interesting ideas for discussion in it.  

At the Door
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)
I thought myself, indeed, secure,
   So fast the door, so firm the lock;
But, lo! he toddling comes to lure
   My parent ear with timorous knock.
My heart were stone could it withstand
   The sweetness of my baby's plea,
That timorous, baby knocking and
   "Please let me in,---it's only me."
I threw aside the unfinished book,
   Regardless of its tempting charms,
And, opening wide the door, I took
   My laughing darling in my arms.
Who knows but in Eternity,
   I, like a truant child, shall wait
The glories of a life to be,
   Beyond the Heavenly Father's gate?
And will that Heavenly Father heed
   The truant's supplicating cry,
As at the outer door I plead,
   "'T is I, O Father! only I"?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

John James Audubon, Joseph Haydn-Concerto for pianoforte and orchestra in D major , Eugene Field - To a Little Brook

Can you tell which are the males and which are the females in this painting by 
John James Audubon of Mallard Ducks?

Today let's listen to Joseph Haydn's Concerto for pianoforte and orchestra in D major Hob. XVIII: II
It starts with the orchestra but also has wonderful piano parts.   

I've found two more poems by Eugene Field that I'd like to share this week and next before we move on to William Blake.  Listen for the many descriptive words he uses. 
To a Little Brook
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)
You 're not so big as you were then,
   O little brook!---
I mean those hazy summers when
We boys roamed, full of awe, beside
Your noisy, foaming, tumbling tide,
And wondered if it could be true
That there were bigger brooks than you,
   O mighty brook, O peerless brook!

All up and down this reedy place
   Where lives the brook,
We angled for the furtive dace;
The redwing-blackbird did his best
To make us think he 'd built his nest
Hard by the stream, when, like as not,
He 'd hung it in a secret spot
   Far from the brook, the telltale brook!

And often, when the noontime heat
   Parboiled the brook,
We 'd draw our boots and swing our feet
Upon the waves that, in their play,
Would tag us last and scoot away;
And mother never seemed to know
What burnt our legs and chapped them so---
   But father guessed it was the brook!

And Fido---how he loved to swim
   The cooling brook,
Whenever we 'd throw sticks for him;
And how we boys did wish that we
Could only swim as good as he---
Why, Daniel Webster never was
Recipient of such great applause
   As Fido, battling with the brook!

But once---O most unhappy day
   For you, my brook!---
Came Cousin Sam along that way;
And, having lived a spell out West,
Where creeks are n't counted much at best,
He neither waded, swam, nor leapt,
But, with superb indifference, stept
   Across that brook---our mighty brook!

Why do you scamper on your way,
   You little brook,
When I come back to you to-day?
Is it because you flee the grass
That lunges at you as you pass,
As if, in playful mood, it would
Tickle the truant if it could,
   You chuckling brook---you saucy brook?

Or is it you no longer know---
   You fickle brook---
The honest friend of long ago?
The years that kept us twain apart
Have changed my face, but not my heart---
Many and sore those years, and yet
I fancied you could not forget
   That happy time, my playmate brook!

Oh, sing again in artless glee,
   My little brook,
The song you used to sing for me---
The song that 's lingered in my ears
So soothingly these many years;
My grief shall be forgotten when
I hear your tranquil voice again
   And that sweet song, dear little brook!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

John James Audubon - Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, Franz Joseph Haydn - The Creation, Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander

This picture by John James Audubon of Rose Breasted Grosbeaks shows both male and female and features them from different angles.  

We continue again this week with The Creation by Franz Joseph Haydn. If you are only listening to a couple of these pieces I recommend part 5 with its birds and fish.  Otherwise continue where you are.

Part 1
Part 2 (There are two places with nude artwork that you may want to minimize the screen for and just listen, from 04:28-05:15 and 06:33-06:48.  
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8 (Part 8 does include lots of nude artwork depicting Adam and Eve from about 00:32-04:15. You may want to minimize the screen and just listen.  Also footage of a Lion attacking a Wildebeast which might be too graphic for young or sensitive children - you could minimize when the lions start stalking at about 07:45 and continue to listen until this part is past- about 08:12).
Part 9
Part 10  (01:55-02:12 includes an piece of artwork of a person without clothes)
Part 11 (from minute 06:52-08:05 focuses on a drawing of Adam and Eve without clothes - you could minimize for that minute....)
Part 12

Today's hymn by Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander is Once in Royal David's City.

Once in Royal David's City

Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.

And, through all his wondrous childhood,
he would honor and obey,
love and watch the lowly maiden
in whose gentle arms he lay:
Christian children all must be
mild, obedient, good as he.

For he is our childhood's pattern,
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak and helpless,
tears and smiles like us he knew.
and he feeleth for our sadness,
and he shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that Child who seemed so helpless
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing round,
we shall see him; but in heaven,
set at God's right hand on high;
when like stars his children crowned,
all in white shall wait around.

You can listen to it sung by a boys' choir here:
Or an organ rendition: