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, 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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Robert Bateman - Long Light-Polar Bear,

Robert Bateman's animals all seem so alert and active along with the fact that his paintings are so skillfully rendered they look photographic.  What do you think this polar bear sees or smells?  The "white" ice is full of lovely colors.
Long Light-Polar Bear - © Robert Bateman

Franz Joseph Hadyn's Symphony No 101 "Clock" Symphony. 
It's fun to listen for the ticking clock.

This weeks Phillis Wheatley poem is to the Rev. Dr. Thomas Avory.

To the Rev. Dr. Thomas Amory on reading his Sermons on Daily Devotion, in which that Duty is recommended and assisted
TO cultivate in ev’ry noble mind
Habitual grace, and sentiments refin’d,
Thus while you strive to mend the human heart,
Thus while the heav’nly precepts you impart,
O may each bosom catch the sacred fire,        5
And youthful minds to Virtue’s throne aspire!
  When God’s eternal ways you set in sight,
And Virtue shines in all her native light,
In vain would Vice her works in night conceal,
For Wisdom’s eye pervades the sable veil.        10
  Artists may paint the sun’s effulgent rays,
But Amory’s pen the brighter God displays:
While his great works in Amory’s pages shine,
And while he proves his essence all divine,
The Atheist sure no more can boast aloud        15
Of chance, or nature, and exclude the God;
As if the clay without the potter’s aid
Should rise in various forms, and shapes self-made,
Or worlds above with orb o’er orb profound
Self-mov’d could run the everlasting round.        20
It cannot be—unerring Wisdom guides
With eye propitious, and o’er all presides.
  Still prosper, Amory! still may’st thou receive
The warmest blessings which a muse can give,
And when this transitory state is o’er,        25
When kingdoms fall, and fleeting Fame’s no more,
May Amory triumph in immortal fame,
A nobler title, and superior name!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Robert Bateman - Otter Study, Franz Joseph Haydn - London Symphony #100 - Military, Phillis Wheatley - Thoughts on the Works of Providence

As with all of Robert Bateman's paintings, the details of this otter are so realistic. Love that reflective water and his glittering eye!
Otter Study - © Robert Bateman

Today's piece of music by Franz Joseph Haydn is London Symphony #100 - Military by Franz Joseph Haydn.

A link to a playlist of Haydn's music - Best of Haydn

And this lovely poem by Phillis Wheatley

         Thoughts on the Works of Providence

ARISE, my soul, on wings enraptur’d, rise
To praise the monarch of the earth and skies,
Whose goodness and beneficence appear
As round its centre moves the rolling year,
Or when the morning glows with rosy charms,        5
Or the sun slumbers in the ocean’s arms:
Of light divine be a rich portion lent
To guide my soul, and favour my intent.
Celestial muse, my arduous flight sustain,
And raise my mind to a seraphic strain!        10

  Ador’d for ever be the God unseen,
Which round the sun revolves this vast machine,
Though to his eye its mass a point appears:
Ador’d the God that whirls surrounding spheres,
Which first ordain’d that mighty Sol should reign        15
The peerless monarch of th’ ethereal train:
Of miles twice forty millions is his height,
And yet his radiance dazzles mortal sight
So far beneath—from him th’ extended earth
Vigour derives, and ev’ry flow’ry birth:        20
Vast through her orb she moves with easy grace
Around her Phœbus in unbounded space;
True to her course th’ impetuous storm derides,
Triumphant o’er the winds, and surging tides.

  Almighty, in these wond’rous works of thine,        25
What Pow’r, what Wisdom, and what Goodness shine?
And are thy wonders, Lord, by men explor’d,
And yet creating glory unador’d!

  Creation smiles in various beauty gay,
While day to night, and night succeeds to day:        30
That Wisdom, which attends Jehovah’s ways,
Shines most conspicuous in the solar rays:
Without them, destitute of heat and light,
This world would be the reign of endless night:
In their excess how would our race complain,        35
Abhorring life! how hate its length’ned chain!
From air adust what num’rous ills would rise?
What dire contagion taint the burning skies?
What pestilential vapours, fraught with death,
Would rise, and overspread the lands beneath?        40

  Hail, smiling morn, that from the orient main
Ascending dost adorn the heav’nly plain!
So rich, so various are thy beauteous dies,
That spread through all the circuit of the skies,
That, full of thee, my soul in rapture soars,        45
And thy great God, the cause of all adores.

  O’er beings infinite his love extends,
His Wisdom rules them, and his Pow’r defends.
When tasks diurnal tire the human frame,
The spirits faint, and dim the vital flame,        50
Then too that ever active bounty shines,
Which not infinity of space confines.
The sable veil, that Night in silence draws,
Conceals effects, but shews th’ Almighty Cause;
Night seals in sleep the wide creation fair,        55
And all is peaceful but the brow of care.
Again, gay Phœbus, as the day before,
Wakes ev’ry eye, but what shall wake no more;
Again the face of nature is renew’d,
Which still appears harmonious, fair, and good.        60
May grateful strains salute the smiling morn,
Before its beams the eastern hills adorn!

  Shall day to day and night to night conspire
To show the goodness of the Almighty Sire?
This mental voice shall man regardless hear,        65
And never, never raise the filial pray’r?
To-day, O hearken, nor your folly mourn
For time mispent, that never will return.

  But see the sons of vegetation rise,
And spread their leafy banners to the skies.        70
All-wise Almighty Providence we trace
In trees, and plants, and all the flow’ry race;
As clear as in the nobler frame of man,
All lovely copies of the Maker’s plan.
The pow’r the same that forms a ray of light,        75
That call’d creation from eternal night.
“Let there be light,” he said: from his profound
Old Chaos heard, and trembled at the sound:
Swift as the word, inspir’d by pow’r divine,
Behold the light around its maker shine,        80
The first fair product of th’ omnific God,
And now through all his works diffus’d abroad.

  As reason’s pow’rs by day our God disclose,
So we may trace him in the night’s repose:
Say what is sleep? and dreams how passing strange!        85
When action ceases, and ideas range
Licentious and unbounded o’er the plains,
Where Fancy’s queen in giddy triumph reigns.
Hear in soft strains the dreaming lover sigh
To a kind fair, or rave in jealousy;        90
On pleasure now, and now on vengeance bent,
The lab’ring passions struggle for a vent.
What pow’r, O man! thy reason then restores,
So long suspended in nocturnal hours?
What secret hand returns the mental train,        95
And gives improv’d thine active pow’rs again?
From thee, O man, what gratitude should rise!
And, when from balmy sleep thou op’st thine eyes,
Let thy first thoughts be praises to the skies.
How merciful our God who thus imparts        100
O’erflowing tides of joy to human hearts,
When wants and woes might be our righteous lot,
Our God forgetting, by our God forgot!

  Among the mental pow’rs a question rose,
“What most the image of th’ Eternal shows?”        105
When thus to Reason (so let Fancy rove)
Her great companion spoke immortal Love.

  “Say, mighty pow’r, how long shall strife prevail,
And with its murmurs load the whisp’ring gale?
Refer the cause to Recollection’s shrine,        110
Who loud proclaims my origin divine,
The cause whence heav’n and earth began to be,
And is not man immortaliz’d by me?
Reason let this most causeless strife subside.”
Thus Love pronounc’d, and Reason thus reply’d.        115

  “Thy birth, celestial queen! ’tis mine to own,
In thee resplendent is the Godhead shown;
Thy words persuade, my soul enraptur’d feels
Resistless beauty which thy smile reveals.”
Ardent she spoke, and, kindling at her charms,        120
She clasp’d the blooming goddess in her arms.

  Infinite Love where’er we turn our eyes
Appears: this ev’ry creature’s wants supplies;
This most is heard in Nature’s constant voice,
This makes the morn, and this the eve rejoice;        125
This bids the fost’ring rains and dews descend
To nourish all, to serve one gen’ral end,
The good of man: yet man ungrateful pays
But little homage, and but little praise.
To him, whose works array’d with mercy shine,        130
What songs should rise, how constant, how divine!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Robert Bateman - Potlatch Village, Haydn - Trumpet Concerto in D, Phillis Wheatley - Goliath of Gath

If you've followed me long you know I really like paintings with reflective water - here's a lovely landscape painting by artist Robert Bateman.
Potlatch Village - © Robert Bateman
Today's piece by Franz Joseph Haydn is Trumpet Concerto in D by Maurice Andre'.

I found this BBC Documentary of Haydn's life  I haven't viewed the whole thing yet, but I found Part I interesting.  

 Our poem this week by Phillis Wheatley is the retelling of the story of David and Goliath.

Goliath of Gath
1 SAM. Chap. xvii.

YE martial pow’rs, and all ye tuneful nine,
Inspire my song, and aid my high design.
The dreadful scenes and toils of war I write,
The ardent warriors, and the fields of fight:
You best remember, and you best can sing        5
The acts of heroes to the vocal string:
Resume the lays with which your sacred lyre,
Did then the poet and the sage inspire.
  Now front to front the armies were display’d,
Here Israel rang’d, and there the foes array’d;        10
The hosts on two opposing mountains stood,
Thick as the foliage of the waving wood;
Between them an extensive valley lay,
O’er which the gleaming armour pour’d the day,
When from the camp of the Philistine foes,        15
Dreadful to view, a mighty warrior rose;
In the dire deeds of bleeding battle skill’d,
The monster stalks the terror of the field.
From Gath he sprung, Goliath was his name,
Of fierce deportment, and gigantic frame:        20
A brazen helmet on his head was plac’d,
A coat of mail his form terrific grac’d,
The greaves his legs, the targe his shoulders prest:
Dreadful in arms high-tow’ring o’er the rest
A spear he proudly wav’d, whose iron head,        25
Strange to relate, six hundred shekels weigh’d;
He strode along, and shook the ample field,
While Phœbus blaz’d refulgent on his shield:
Through Jacob’s race a chilling horror ran,
When thus the huge, enormous chief began:        30
  “Say, what the cause that in this proud array
You set your battle in the face of day?
One hero find in all your vaunting train,
Then see who loses, and who wins the plain;
For he who wins, in triumph may demand        35
Perpetual service from the vanquish’d land:
Your armies I defy, your force despise,
By far inferior in Philistia’s eyes:
Produce a man, and let us try the fight,
Decide the contest, and the victor’s right.”        40
  Thus challeng’d he: all Israel stood amaz’d,
And ev’ry chief in consternation gaz’d;
But Jesse’s son in youthful bloom appears,
And warlike courage far beyond his years:
He left the folds, he left the flow’ry meads,        45
And soft recesses of the sylvan shades.
Now Israel’s monarch, and his troops arise,
With peals of shouts ascending to the skies;
In Elah’s vale the scene of combat lies.
  When the fair morning blush’d with orient red,        50
What David’s fire enjoin’d the son obey’d,
And swift of foot towards the trench he came,
Where glow’d each bosom with the martial flame.
He leaves his carriage to another’s care,
And runs to greet his brethren of the war.        55
While yet they spake the giant-chief arose,
Repeats the challenge, and insults his foes:
Struck with the sound, and trembling at the view,
Affrighted Israel from its post withdrew.
“Observe ye this tremendous foe, they cry’d,        60
Who in proud vaunts our armies hath defy’d:
Whoever lays him prostrate on the plain,
Freedom in Israel for his house shall gain;
And on him wealth unknown the king will pour,
And give his royal daughter for his dow’r.”        65
  Then Jesse’s youngest hope: “My brethren say,
What shall be done for him who takes away
Reproach from Jacob, who destroys the chief,
And puts a period to his country’s grief.
He vaunts the honours of his arms abroad,        70
And scorns the armies of the living God.”
  Thus spoke the youth, th’ attentive people ey’d
The wond’rous hero, and again reply’d:
“Such the rewards our monarch will bestow,
On him who conquers, and destroys his foe.”        75
  Eliab heard, and kindled into ire
To hear his shepherd-brother thus inquire,
And thus begun? “What errand brought thee? say
Who keeps thy flock? or does it go astray?
I know the base ambition of thine heart,        80
But back in safety from the field depart.”
  Eliab thus to Jesse’s youngest heir,
Express’d his wrath in accents most severe.
When to his brother mildly he reply’d,
“What have I done? or what the cause to chide?”        85
  The words were told before the king, who sent
For the young hero to his royal tent:
Before the monarch dauntless he began,
“For this Philistine fail no heart of man:
I’ll take the vale, and with the giant fight:        90
I dread not all his boasts, nor all his might.”
When thus the king: “Dar’st thou a stripling go,
And venture combat with so great a foe?
Who all his days has been inur’d to fight,
And made its deeds his study and delight:        95
Battles and bloodshed brought the monster forth,
And clouds and whirlwinds usher’d in his birth.”
When David thus: “I kept the fleecy care,
And out there rush’d a lion and a bear;
A tender lamb the hungry lion took,        100
And with no other weapon than my crook
Bold I pursu’d, and chas’d him o’er the field,
The prey deliver’d, and the felon kill’d:
As thus the lion and the bear I slew,
So shall Goliath fall, and all his crew:        105
The God, who sav’d me from these beasts of prey,
By me this monster in the dust shall lay.”
So David spoke. The wond’ring king reply’d;
“Go thou with heav’n and victory on thy side:
This coat of mail, this sword gird on,” he said,        110
And plac’d a mighty helmet on his head:
The coat, the sword, the helm he laid aside,
Nor chose to venture with those arms untry’d,
Then took his staff, and to the neighb’ring brook
Instant he ran, and thence five pebbles took.        115
Mean time descended to Philistia’s son
A radiant cherub, and he thus begun:
“Goliath, well thou know’st thou hast defy’d
Yon Hebrew armies, and their God deny’d:
Rebellious wretch! audacious worm! forbear,        120
Nor tempt the vengeance of their God too far:
Them, who with his omnipotence contend,
No eye shall pity, and no arm defend:
Proud as thou art, in short liv’d glory great,
I come to tell thee thine approaching fate.        125
Regard my words. The judge of all the gods,
Beneath whose steps the tow’ring mountain nods,
Will give thine armies to the savage brood,
That cut the liquid air, or range the wood.
Thee too a well-aim’d pebble shall destroy,        130
And thou shalt perish by a beardless boy:
Such is the mandate from the realms above,
And should I try the vengeance to remove,
Myself a rebel to my king would prove.
Goliath say, shall grace to him be shown,        135
Who dares heav’ns monarch, and insults his throne?”
  “Your words are lost on me,” the giant cries,
While fear and wrath contended in his eyes,
When thus the messenger from heav’n replies:
“Provoke no more Jehovah’s awful hand        140
To hurl its vengeance on thy guilty land:
He grasps the thunder, and, he wings the storm,
Servants their sov’reign’s orders to perform.”
  The angel spoke, and turn’d his eyes away,
Adding new radiance to the rising day.        145
  Now David comes: the fatal stones demand
His left, the staff engag’d his better hand:
The giant mov’d, and from his tow’ring height
Survey’d the stripling, and disdain’d the fight,
And thus began: “Am I a dog with thee?        150
Bring’st thou no armour, but a staff to me?
The gods on thee their vollied curses pour,
And beasts and birds of prey thy flesh devour.”
  David undaunted thus, “Thy spear and shield
Shall no protection to thy body yield:        155
Jehovah’s name——no other arms I bear,
I ask no other in this glorious war.
To-day the Lord of Hosts to me will give
Vict’ry, to-day thy doom thou shalt receive;
The fate you threaten shall your own become,        160
And beasts shall be your animated tomb,
That all the earth’s inhabitants may know
That there’s a God, who governs all below:
This great assembly too shall witness stand,
That needs nor sword, nor spear, th’ Almighty’s hand:        165
The battle his, the conquest he bestows,
And to our pow’r consigns our hated foes.”
  Thus David spoke; Goliath heard and came
To meet the hero in the field of fame.
Ah! fatal meeting to thy troops and thee,        170
But thou wast deaf to the divine decree;
Young David meets thee, meets thee not in vain;
’Tis thine to perish on th’ ensanguin’d plain.
  And now the youth the forceful pebble flung,
Philistia trembled as it whizz’d along:        175
In his dread forehead, where the helmet ends,
Just o’er the brows the well-aim’d stone descends,
It pierc’d the skull, and shatter’d all the brain,
Prone on his face he tumbled to the plain:
Goliath’s fall no smaller terror yields        180
Than riving thunders in aerial fields:
The soul still ling’red in its lov’d abode,
Till conq’ring David o’er the giant strode:
Goliath’s sword then laid its master dead,
And from the body hew’d the ghastly head;        185
The blood in gushing torrents drench’d the plains,
The soul found passage through the spouting veins.
  And now aloud th’ illustrious victor said,
“Where are your boastings now your champion’s dead?”
Scarce had he spoke, when the Philistines fled:        190
But fled in vain; the conqu’ror swift pursu’d:
What scenes of slaughter! and what seas of blood!
There Saul thy thousands grasp’d th’ impurpled sand
In pangs of death the conquest of thine hand;
And David there were thy ten thousands laid:        195
Thus Israel’s damsels musically play’d.
  Near Gath and Ekron many an hero lay,
Breath’d out their souls, and curs’d the light of day:
Their fury, quench’d by death, no longer burns,
And David with Goliath’s head returns,        200
To Salem brought, but in his tent he plac’d
The load of armour which the giant grac’d.
His monarch saw him coming from the war,
And thus demanded of the son of Ner.
“Say, who is this amazing youth?” he cry’d,        205
When thus the leader of the host reply’d;
“As lives thy soul I know not whence he sprung,
So great in prowess though in years so young:”
“Inquire whose son is he,” the sov’reign said,
“Before whose conq’ring arm Philistia fled.”        210
Before the king behold the stripling stand,
Goliath’s head depending from his hand:
To him the king: “Say of what martial line
“Art thou, young hero, and what sire was thine?”
He humbly thus; “The son of Jesse I:        215
“I came the glories of the field to try.
Small is my tribe, but valiant in the fight;
Small is my city, but thy royal right.”
“Then take the promis’d gifts,” the monarch cry’d,
Conferring riches and the royal bride:        220
“Knit to my soul for ever thou remain
With me, nor quit my regal roof again.”