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, May 28, 2015

Albert Anker, Hector Berlioz - La Folia, Robert Browning - A Face

There's something sweet and charming about this painting by Albert Anker.  A print of this painting would make a nice cover for a commonplace notebook or a handwriting journal.  I like how he looks like he's taking such care with his writing and his little sister looks on admiringly.

I found this lovely guitar piece by Hector Berlioz I don't know what the title means but I like the music....  Hope you do, too.  La Folia Hector Berlioz.

Our poem this week by Robert Browning

                          A Face
If one could have that little head of hers
Painted upon a background of pure gold,
Such as the Tuscan's early art prefers!
No shade encroaching on the matchless mould
Of those two lips, which should be opening soft
In the pure profile; not as when she laughs,
For that spoils all: but rather as if aloft
Yon hyacinth, she loves so, leaned its staff's
Burden of honey-colored buds to kiss
And capture 'twixt the lips apart for this.
Then her little neck, three fingers might surround,
How it should waver on the pale gold ground
Up to the fruit-shaped, perfect chin it lifts!
I know, Correggio loves to mass, in rifts
Of heaven, his angel faces, orb on orb
Breaking its outline, burning shades absorb:
But these are only massed there, I should think,
Waiting to see some wonder momently
Grow out, stand full, fade slow against the sky
(That's the pale ground you'd see this sweet face by),
All heaven, meanwhile, condensed into one eye
Which fears to lose the wonder, should it wink.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Albert Anker - Young Mother Contemplating Her Sleeping Child by Candlelight, Hector Berlioz - Waverly Overture Op.1,, Robert Browning - Misconceptions

I'm sending this out two days early this week because I'm going to be busy the next two days helping my daughter-in-law get food into the freezer for the upcoming birth of their new baby, so I won't have internet access for a couple of days, but I didn't want to miss a week....  I've also had trouble being able to answer comments because our computer protections are too strong and I need my husband to temporarily disable them so I can answer comments.  I do read and appreciate any comments!!  I love hearing from you! 

This painting of a mother and her sleeping daughter by Albert Anker warms my heart!

Young Mother Contemplating Her Sleeping Child by Candlelight

Our piece this week is Waverly Overture Op.1 by Hector Berlioz.  Hector Berlioz's music is a bit like our Minnesota weather - if you don't like it, wait a few minutes and it will change.  I'm still having mixed feelings about his music, but there are parts of each piece that I really like.  This piece is no exception.  I've also noticed that each piece seems to end with a dramatic fanfare. 

And our poem by Robert Browning is - Misconceptions

This is a spray the Bird clung to,
Making it blossom with pleasure,
Ere the high tree-top she sprung to,
Fit for her nest and her treasure.
Oh, what a hope beyond measure
Was the poor spray's, which the flying feet hung to,—
So to be singled out, built in, and sung to!

This is a heart the Queen leant on,
Thrilled in a minute erratic,
Ere the true bosom she bent on,
Meet for love's regal dalmatic.
Oh, what a fancy ecstatic
Was the poor heart's, ere the wanderer went on—
Love to be saved for it, proffered to, spent on!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Albert Anker - Girl with Calico Kittens, Hector Berlioz - The Tempest Overture, Robert Browning -

I have a calico cat named Madeline.  This week's painting by Albert Anker reminds me of her.

Our music by Hector Berlioz this week is the first half of The Tempest Overture.  It is another overture based on a work of Shakespeare.  The note on the bottom of this youtube video is a helpful introduction to this piece. 

This week's poem is a bit sad - makes me think of Robert Browning wandering the house missing Elizabeth after she was gone.  

Here is a link to all of Librivox's offerings on or by Robert Browning.  I'd like to recommend the Day With Great Composers - Robert Browning is the last chapter. 

    Love in a life

Room after room,
I hunt the house through
We inhabit together.
Heart, fear nothing, for, heart, thou shalt find her,
Next time, herself!—not the trouble behind her
Left in the curtain, the couch's perfume!
As she brushed it, the cornice-wreath blossomed anew,— 
Yon looking-glass gleamed at the wave of her feather.

Yet the day wears,
And door succeeds door;
I try the fresh fortune— 
Range the wide house from the wing to the centre.
Still the same chance! she goes out as I enter.
Spend my whole day in the quest,—who cares?
But 'tis twilight, you see,—with such suites to explore,
Such closets to search, such alcoves to importune!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Albert Anker - The Devotion of His Grandfather, Hector Berlioz - The Damnation of Faust-Hungarian March, Robert Browning - Epilogue

"The Devotion of His Grandfather" our Albert Anker painting this week, is a touching scene. The sharing of a good book is a wonderful gift.  I wonder if there are older people in our lives who would find a blessing in having our children read to them.

Hector Berlioz - The Damnation of Faust - Hungarian March.

Here is a link to Wikipedia's article on this oratorio.

I'm not sure I understand Robert Browning's poetry - it is complex and illusive, yet I feel that it is beautiful....

 At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time,
When you set your fancies free,
Will they pass to where--by death, fools think, imprisoned--
Low he lies who once so loved you, whom you loved so,
--Pity me?

Oh to love so, be so loved, yet so mistaken!
What had I on earth to do
With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly?
Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel

One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,
Sleep to wake.

No, at noonday in the bustle of man's work-time
Greet the unseen with a cheer!
Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be,
"Strive and thrive!" cry "Speed,--fight on, fare ever
There as here!"

Friday, May 1, 2015

Albert Anker - Girl with Dominoes, Berlioz - Romeo and Juliet, Robert Browning - Home Thoughts from Abroad

I finally got my Albert Anker paintings printed on card stock at our local Office Max.  It costed about $10 for all fifteen and I'm happy with them .  Somehow looking at a hard copy is much better than veiwing them online.  One of my girls asked, "Are you going to frame them?"  But how would I frame all of them and where would I put them up?  I thought about putting them in plastic sleeves in a 3-ring binder and will probably do that when we switch to a new artist, but for now my daughter suggested that I tape them to the wall in the dining room where we can look at them all regularly - so there the first few are, and we will add one a week as we study them.  Here is the link in case you haven't had a chance to copy them yet and want to do it: Picasa Web Album of Albert Anker Paintings.  This week's painting is a girl playing with dominoes.

This week, another Shakespeare play-based  piece by Hector Berlioz, Romeo and Juliet.  You can listen to it in its entirety Berlioz - Romeo and Juliet

And our poem this week by Robert Browning is Home Thoughts from Abroad --

OH, to be in England
Now that April 's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's  
That 's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!