Saturday, November 27, 2010

Schindler's list

Oskar Schindler is a vain, glorious and greedy German businessman who becomes unlikely humanitarian amid the barbaric Nazi reign when he feels compelled to turn his factory into a refuge for Jews. Based on the true story of Oskar Schindler who managed to save about 1100 Jews from being gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Schindler's List won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively, but did not win. At the British Academy awards, the film won Best Film, the David Lean Award for Direction, Best Supporting Actor (Ralph Fiennes), Cinematography, Editing and Score. Schindler's List won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture (Drama), Best Director and Best Screenplay, with John Williams awarded the Grammy for the film's musical score.

Schindler's List received near universal acclaim. Reviewing Schindler’s List for The New York Review of Books, John Gross, the eminent cultural critic, wrote: “Suppose the Disney organization announced that it was planning a film about the Holocaust... Spielberg’s films up until now have mostly been fairy tales or adventure stories, or a mixture of both... so I can’t pretend, then, that I approached the film without apprehension. My fears were altogether misplaced. Spielberg shows a firm moral and emotional grasp of his material. The film is an outstanding achievement.”

1993, directed by Steven Spielberg. The music is the theme for the film, written by John Williams with violin solos by Itzhak Perlman.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Itzahk Perlman

Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-American violin virtuoso, conductor, and master-instructor. He is widely considered to be one of the preeminent violin virtuosi of the 20th century.

Perlman was born in Tel Aviv  (August 31, 1945), in what was soon to be Israel, where he first became interested in the violin after hearing a classical music performance on the radio. He studied at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv before moving to the United States to study at the Juilliard School with the great violin pedagogue, Ivan Galamian, and his assistant Dorothy DeLay.
Perlman contracted polio at the age of four. He made a good recovery, learning to walk with the use of crutches. Today, he generally uses crutches or an Amigo POV/Scooter for mobility and plays the violin while seated.



He made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1963 and won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964. Soon afterward he began to tour extensively. In addition to an extensive recording career, he has made occasional guest appearances on American television, starting in the 1970s on shows such as The Tonight Show and Sesame Street, as well as playing at a number of functions at the White House.
Although he has never been billed or marketed as a singer, he sang the role of "Un carceriere" ("a jailer") on a 1981 EMI recording of Puccini's Tosca which featured Renata Scotto, Plácido Domingo, and Renato Bruson, with James Levine conducting. He had earlier sung the role in an excerpt from the opera on a 1980 Pension Fund Benefit Concert telecast as part of the Live from Lincoln Center series, with Luciano Pavarotti as Cavaradossi, and Zubin Mehta conducting the New York Philharmonic. Perlman is a basso.
In 1987, he joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for their concerts in Warsaw and Budapest, as well as other Eastern bloc countries. He toured with the IPO in the spring of 1990 for their first-ever performance in the Soviet Union, with concerts in Moscow and Leningrad, and toured with the IPO again in 1994, performing in China and India.
While primarily a solo artist, Perlman has performed with a number of other notable musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Isaac Stern, and Yuri Temirkanov at the 150th anniversary celebration of Tchaikovsky in Leningrad in December 1990. He has also performed (and recorded) with good friend and fellow Israeli violinist Pinchas Zukerman on numerous occasions over the years.
As well as playing and recording the classical music for which he is best known, Perlman has also played jazz, including an album made with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, and klezmer. Perlman has been a soloist for a number of movie scores, notably the score of the 1993 film Schindler's List by John Williams, which subsequently won an Academy Award for best score. More recently, he was the violin soloist for the 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha, along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Perlman played selections from the musical scores of the movies nominated for "Best Original Score" at the 73rd Academy Awards with Yo-Yo Ma, and at the 78th Academy Awards.

Notable performances
Perlman played during the entertainment at the state dinner attended by Queen Elizabeth II on May 7, 2007, in the East Room at the White House.
He performed John Williams' "Air and Simple Gifts" at the 2009 inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama, along with Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet). The quartet played along with a recording they had made of themselves two days earlier, since stringed instruments cannot reliably stay in tune in subfreezing temperatures.

In recent years, Perlman has also begun to conduct, taking the post of principal guest conductor at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He served as music advisor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2002-2004. In November, 2007, the Westchester Philharmonic announced the appointment of Perlman as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. His first concert in these roles was on October 11, 2008, in an all-Beethoven program featuring pianist Leon Fleisher performing the Emperor Concerto.

Honors and awards

-Leventritt Competition - Winner (1964)
-Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance:
-Daniel Barenboim & Itzhak Perlman for Brahms: The Three Violin Sonatas (1991)
-Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lynn Harrell & Itzhak Perlman for Beethoven: The Complete -Piano Trios (1988)
-Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lynn Harrell & Itzhak Perlman for Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A Minor (1982)
-Itzhak Perlman & Pinchas Zukerman for Music for Two Violins (Moszkowski: Suite For -Two Violins/Shostakovich: Duets/Prokofiev: Sonata for Two Violins) (1981)
-Itzhak Perlman & Vladimir Ashkenazy for Beethoven: Sonatas for Violin and Piano (1979)
-Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)
-Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra)
-Grammy Award for Best Classical Album
-Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Classical
-Kennedy Center Honors in 2003
-April 1980: Newsweek magazine featured Perlman with a cover story.
-1986: Honored with the "Medal of Liberty" by President Reagan.
-2000: Awarded the "National Medal of Arts" by President Clinton.
-Awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, Roosevelt, Yeshiva and Hebrew universities.

Schindler's list:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jason Mraz-Up (Life Is Good)

New single: Up by Jason Mraz, Life Is Good.
All you need is love
Love is all you need...

Avalanch - Echoes of A Life

"He smiles like a little boy
No hope in his eyes
But cries like a grown man
Tears he never should have cried"

Jason Mraz -I'm Yours (live)

I love this song! Jason Mraz is a genius in the scenary and his partner, Mr.Toka is equally awesome. What an extraordinary performance!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Leaves of grass

I have said that the soul is not more than  the body.
And I have said that the body is not more than  the soul,
And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one’s-self is,
And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral, dressed in his shroud,
And I or you pocketless of dime may purchase the pick of the earth,
And to glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod confounds the learning of all times,
And there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero,
And there is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheeled universe,
And any man or woman shall stand cool and supercilious before a million universes.

And I call to mankind, Be not curious about God.
For I who am curious about each am not curious about God,
No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God and about death.
Why  should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God in each hour of twenty-four, and each moment then
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass;
I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God’s name,
And I leave them where they are, for I know that others will punctually come forever and ever.
Walt Whitman


I celebrate myself, and sing myself, 
And what I assume you shall assume, 
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. 

I loafe and invite my soul, 
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. 

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air, 
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their 
parents the same, 
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin, 
Hoping to cease not till death. 

Creeds and schools in abeyance, 
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten, 
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard, 
Nature without check with original energy.

Walt Whiltman

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz hails from Mechanicsville, VA, where he grew up as a fan of the Dave Matthews Band and local roots musicians the Agents of Good Roots. But it was Mraz's interest and participation in musical theater that was his first introduction to music. Mraz moved to New York following high school to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy but dropped out a year later when he took up the guitar and began to focus on songwriting. Nonetheless, Mraz's training as a vocalist would show itself on his debut album which is marked by the pure clarity and range of his vocals.

After busking around New York, Mraz eventually returned to Virginia; but, in 1999, he ultimately made his way West, settling in San Diego, CA, known for its coffeehouse scene and support of singer/songwriters, most notably Jewel. Mraz began playing local shops and landed a weekly slot at local hot-spot Java Joe's. At the same time, Mraz met drummer Toca Rivera and the two began performing together - Mraz on acoustic guitar, Rivera on djembe - honing a live show that featured as much comedic banter between the two as music.

Mraz released his debut album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which contained the hit single "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)", in 2002, but it was not until the release of his second album, Mr. A-Z that Mraz achieved commercial success. The album peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 200 and sold over 100,000 copies in the US. In 2008, Mraz released his third studio album,We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and was a commercial success worldwide, peaking in the top ten of many international charts. Mraz's international breakthrough came with the release of the first single from the album, "I'm Yours". The single peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Mraz his first top ten single. The song was on the Hot 100 for 76 weeks, beating the previous record of 69 weeks held by LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live". The song was a huge commercial success in the US, receiving a 5x platinum certification from the RIAA for sales of over five million. The song was successful internationally, topping the charts in New Zealand and Norway and peaking in the top ten of multiple international charts.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Picasso: “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth”

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso is the artist most commonly mentioned when we talk about modern art. He is noted for works such as The Dream, Child Holding a Dove and Boy with a Pipe.

Pablo Picasso, though controversial and sometimes viewed as a charlatan has been mentioned by literally all art critics as the painter that dominated and had the most influence on art in the twentieth century.  Here you can view some the most famous Picasso paintings.

"Las señoritas de Avignon"
Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga Spain in 1881. His father was a drawing and art teacher and quickly recognized his son's artistic brilliance. Pablo attended the Barcelona School of Fine Arts at the young age of 14 and still managed to skip some elementary art classes.

Picasso went through many changes in his life time that are reflected in his art. Picasso art evolved from an early blue period all the way to his flagship style- Cubism.

The art movement known as Cubism was initiated by Picasso. Its subjects were broken and reassembled in strange and abstract ways. Fragmentation through geometric forms expressed painting in an entirely new way. Depth isn't shown in this art form, instead, planes of indistinguishable area. This was the beginning of truly avant-garde and abstract art.

Woman and Dove and The Red Armchair are but a few of the great reproductions of this father of cubism.

One of his most moving paintings was painted in 1937. Guernica was a protest against a Spanish Civil War air raid on a village in Basque. Guernica is huge, painted on canvas using only black, grey and white.

Since Picasso died in France in 1973, Spain has yearned to reclaim its most famous 20th-century artist. Picasso never set foot in his homeland since 1934 mainly because of his nemesis, Dictator Gen. Francisco Franco. While Picasso paintings are in museums and collections around the world, there are still relatively few in Spain itself.

Scent of a Woman - Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman is my favorite violinist… He is a true master. This song is pure passion… a expression of love

A Fragment

Beautiful star with the crimson lips
And flagrant daffodil hair,
Come back, come back, in the shaking ships
O'er the much-overrated sea,
To the hearts that are sick for thee
With a woe worse than mal de mer-
O beautiful stars with the crimson lips
And the flagrant daffodil hair. -
O ship that shakes on the desolate sea,
Neath the flag of the wan White Star,
Thou bringest a brighter star with thee
From the land of the Philistine,
Where Niagara's reckoned fine
And Tupper is popular-
O ship that shakes on the desolate sea, 
Neath the flag of the wan White Star.

Oscar Wilde

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Extreme - More Than Words

One of the best love ballads ever created... Fantastic!

Friday, November 05, 2010

In the Gold Room: a Harmony

Her ivory hands on the ivory keys
Strayed in a fitful fantasy,
Like the silver gleam when the poplar trees
Rustle their pale-leaves listlessly,
Or the drifting foam of a restless sea
When the waves show their teeth in the flying breeze.

Her gold hair fell on the wall of gold
Like the delicate gossamer tangles spun
On the burnished disk of the marigold,
Or the sunflower turning to meet the sun
When the gloom of the dark blue night is done,
And the spear of the lily is aureoled.

And her sweet red lips on these lips of mine
Burned like the ruby fire set
In the swinging lamp of a crimson shrine,
Or the bleeding wounds of the pomegranate,
Or the heart of the lotus drenched and wet
With the spilt-out blood of the rose-red wine.

Oscar Wilde