Introduction and Welcome

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Robert Bateman - Into the Light-Lion, Franz Joseph Haydn - Symphony No. 88 in G, Phillis Wheatley - An Hymn to Humanity

Love this painting of a roaring lion by Robert Bateman.  It looks so real with the sunshine on his mane and in the grasses in front of him.

Into the Light - Lion, © Robert Bateman

Franz Joseph Haydn wrote wonderful music, this piece is no exception.  I really enjoyed watching the well known conductor, Leonard Bernstein conducting.  He is so obviously enjoying the music.  The following is the information posted with this video on Youtube: 

The Symphony No. 88 in G major (Hoboken 1/88) was written by Joseph Haydn. It is occasionally referred to as The Letter V referring to an older method of cataloguing Haydn's symphonic output.
The symphony was completed in 1787. It is one of Haydn's best-known works, even though it is not one of the Paris or London Symphonies and does not have a descriptive nickname.
The work is in standard four movement form and scored for flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, continuo (harpsichord) and strings.
1. Adagio - Allegro 0:42
2. Largo 9:57
3. Menuetto: Allegretto 17:14
4. Finale. Allegro con spirito 21:39
The first movement begins with a brief introduction which quickly settles to the dominant chord to prepare for the main body of the movement. The strings open the Allegro stating the main theme and the rest of the movement develops from there, with almost every statement deriving from a previous idea. The exposition is monothematic and the development continues to make use of that single melodic idea. In the recapitulation, the initial statement of the theme is embellished by a solo flute.
The slow movement in D major consists mainly of embellishments of the legato oboe theme which opens it, though every so often is punctuated by chords played by the whole orchestra. After hearing this slow movement, Johannes Brahms is said to have remarked, 'I want my Ninth Symphony to sound like this'. It is the first of Haydn's symphonies to use trumpets and timpani in the slow movement. Mozart had previously used trumpets and timpani in the slow movement of his Linz Symphony.
The minuet is in G major. The trio has an unusual feature to it: after stating a rather simple theme, the fifths held in the bassoons and violas shift down a fourth in parallel, an effect typically avoided by the classical composers.
The finale is a sonata-rondo, with the rondo theme first presented in binary form. The first section of this is noteworthy for ending on unusual cadence on the mediant. A "perpetual-motion finale," it is considered one of the most cheerful Haydn ever wrote.

Our Poem this week by Phillis Wheatley is
An Hymn to Humanity

To S. P. G. Esq;

LO! for this dark terrestrial ball
Forsakes his azure-paved hall
      A prince of heav’nly birth!
Divine Humanity behold.
What wonders rise, what charms unfold        5
      At his descent to earth!
The bosoms of the great and good
With wonder and delight he view’d,
      And fix’d his empire there:
Him, close compressing to his breast,        10
The sire of gods and men address’d,
      “My son, my heav’nly fair!
“Descend to earth, there place thy throne;
To succour man’s afflicted son
      Each human heart inspire:        15
To act in bounties unconfin’d
Enlarge the close contracted mind,
      And fill it with thy fire.”
Quick as the word, with swift career
He wings his course from star to star,        20
      And leaves the bright abode.
The Virtue did his charms impart;
Their G——y! then thy raptur’d heart
      Perceiv’d the rushing God:
For when thy pitying eye did see
The languid muse in low degree,
      Then, then at thy desire
Descended the celestial nine;
O’er me methought they deign’d to shine,
      And deign’d to string my lyre.        30
Can Afric’s muse forgetful prove?
Or can such friendship fail to move
      A tender human heart?
Immortal Friendship laurel-crown’d
The smiling Graces all surround        35
      With ev’ry heav’nly Art.

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