Jan 28

Cardillac, by Paul Hindemith, performed by Das Bayrische Staatsorchester, dir. Sawallisch ????

This is definitely a fin-de-siecle opera, with modernistic approaches to staging, music, and story line. It tells of a goldsmith who would murder all people who purchased products from him, being unable to part with his creations. It supposedly is symbolism for the artist and rejection while still alive. The staging was a trifle worn from other operas, with moving leaning buildings on stage, and suitcases and trench coats, but also with some innovation, such as the Parisian populace presenting with unusual masks and black lipstick. The music was distinctly 20th century, with the absence of classical tonal progression, yet it all seemed to work okay in this opera. Hindemith avoids much of the monotonous repetitiveness of other 20th century composers, such as Britten, which I recently reviewed. I tend to appreciate Hindemith’s chamber works more than his opera, yet this was not an opera like MSND of Britten,where I couldn’t wait until the end to arrive.

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Jan 28


Midsummer Night's Dream by Benjamin Britten

Midsummer Night’s Dream, By Benjamin Britten ??

I am growing weary of reviewing trashy operas published by elitist opera houses of Europe. This opera, produced by the Barcelona Opera in Aix-en-Provence, stunk of Euro-trash. The scenes were minimalistic of a bed motif. Many of the performers/singers were also flagrantly gay, not fitting to the story line of this opera, but fitting only for the composer himself, who was a homosexual. Boy-children in the opera were perhaps a reflection of Britten’s infatuation, like Tchaikovsky?  The orchestral scores were quite nice, though usually drowned out by highly non-creative singing, a mixture of song and Sprachstimme. A child missing a few pertinent chromosomes and of lower mental strength could have written an equally compelling piece of music. This is not an opera to cherish or delight in. Britten follows the Shakespeare story line okay, but the opera looses the charm of the old Bard.

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Jan 26

Händel SersesHändel- Serse, performed by the Dresden Opera ??

Reviewers on Amazon.com gave the opera performance 4-1/2 stars, with the lowest rating a 3-star. Much was commented on the brilliant performance and sumptuous arias.  I found none of this to be true. First, Händel is a very monotonous composer, and there is minimal brilliance in his operatic style. Why the English loved Händel eludes me, save that their taste is food is equally dismal. Secondly, I am continually annoyed by his staging of males with females, but to stage Serse as a female with a soprano role really seemed to go a bit too far. In fact, there were only two male roles in the entire opera. I agree that the performance itself was rather faultless, and soloists quite talented, but even their skills could not make up for an otherwise dreadful opera.

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Jan 26

Dreamweaver CS4 Digital Classroom, by Jeremy Osborn, etc. ?????

This is one of the better books I’ve read recently on software utilization. Dreamweaver is a quite powerful program, that allows one to make webpages, built in are multiple functions that would allow one to make a fairly professional appearing page. This book offers a cursory review of the functionality of DW CS4, while allowing one to practice with sample web pages provided on the accompanying CD. Each chapter covers different aspects of the program, such as the possibility of making forms, Spry widgets, set up of page design, etc. Osborn goes beyond simply telling you to click here, click there to get something done, but explains what the options are, and what clicking here or there would accomplish. I’ll probably not be an accomplished web designer now, but I’ll have enough information on DW utilization to make a webpage if I needed to. Maybe someday soon, I’ll need to. DW leaves open direct coding, such a formally writing HTML code, writing AJAX or JavaScript, so is quite accommodating to different levels of expertise. I’m not sure where I’m going from here, as I don’t think it would be an efficient use of my time to start learning programming in JavaScript or any other language. Been there, done that, don’t need to repeat. This book is highly recommended to those of most levels who wish a solid summary of Dreamweaver, and is quite useful for the raw beginner.

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Jan 26

Muslim Mafia

By Kenneth Feucht books No Comments »

Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America, by P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry ???

This book was motivated by PD Gaubatz posing as a CAIR undercover operative, revealing his discoveries within CAIR. It is not a fun read book, but more an encyclopedic exposé of CAIR operations. Thus, while informative, it is more a compendium of semi-organized findings within the daily operations of CAIR. Certainly, the book leaves one with the feel for the covert operations of various Muslim groups in the US, especially in regard to terrorist tactics. One is often left wondering about the direction that US Muslim relations should take. I accept that most Muslims are not bent on the destruction of America, or the forced proselytization and institution of Sharia law in the US. Yet, the refusal of the ordinary Arab/Muslim person to speak out against injustice and violence performed by their Islam brothers tends to speak volumes against the non-bias of most Muslims throughout the world. While Americans would eagerly marginalize Christian extremists that seek violent means to their end, the typical Muslim response is that of praise and glorification of their insane “martyrs”. In effect, the behavior of respectable Muslims leaves me uncertain of my ability to trust their stated deeper motives of peace. I remain friends with many Muslims, but remain troubled by  their inability of see clear distinctions between truth and falsehood, even in their own religion.  This book does point out the America’s desire for tolerance has so thoroughly crippled its ability to see clearly and manage the Islam equation in America, and, unable to do that, will assuredly loose the war on terrorism.

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