35 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. wiki on the composer:

    Pauline Viardot (pronounced [po.lin vjaʁ.do]; 18 July 1821 – 18 May 1910) was a leading nineteenth-century French mezzo-soprano, pedagogue, and composer of Spanish descent.

    Born Michelle Ferdinande Pauline García, her name appears in various forms. When it is not simply “Pauline Viardot”, it most commonly appears in association with her maiden name García or the unaccented form, Garcia. This name sometimes precedes Viardot and sometimes follows it. Sometimes the words are hyphenated; sometimes they are not. She achieved initial fame as “Pauline García”; the accent was dropped at some point, but exactly when is not clear. After her marriage, she referred to herself simply as “Mme Viardot”.

    She came from a musical family and took up music at a young age. She began performing as a teenager and had a long and illustrious career as a star performer.


    Viardot began composing when she was young, but it was never her intention to become a composer. Her compositions were written mainly as private pieces for her students with the intention of developing their vocal abilities. She did the bulk of her composing after her retirement at Baden-Baden. However, her works were of professional quality and Franz Liszt declared that, with Pauline Viardot, the world had finally found a woman composer of genius.

    Having as a young girl studied with Liszt and with the music theorist and composer Anton Reicha, she was both an outstanding pianist and a complete all-round professional musician. Between 1864 and 1874 she wrote three salon operas – Trop de femmes (1867), L’ogre (1868), and Le dernier sorcier (1869), all to libretti by Ivan Turgenev – and over fifty Lieder.] Her remaining two salon operas – Le conte de fées (1879), and Cendrillon (1904, when she was 83) – were to her own libretti. The operas may be small in scale; however, they were written for advanced singers and some of the music is difficult.

  2. a little intrigue from wiki about pauline:

    At the age of 17, she met and was courted by Alfred de Musset, who had earlier been taken with her sister Maria Malibran. Some sources say he asked for Pauline’s hand in marriage, but she declined. However, she remained on good terms with him for many years. Her friend George Sand (who later based the heroine of her 1843 novel Consuelo on her) had a role in discouraging her from accepting de Musset’s proposal, directing her instead to Louis Viardot (1800-1883).

    Viardot, an author and the director of the Théâtre Italien and twenty-one years Pauline’s senior, was financially secure and would be able to provide Pauline with much more stability than de Musset. The marriage took place on 18 April 1840. He was 39 or 40, she 18. He was devoted to her and became the manager of her career. Her children followed in her musical footsteps. Her son Paul became a concert violinist, her daughter Louise Héritte-Viardot became a composer and writer, and two other daughters became concert singers.

    Her marriage did not stop the steady stream of infatuated men. The Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev in particular fell passionately in love with her after hearing her rendition of The Barber of Seville in Russia in 1843. In 1845, he left Russia to follow Pauline and eventually installed himself in the Viardot household, treated her four children as his own, and adored her until he died. She, in turn, critiqued his work and through her connections and social abilities, presented him in the best light whenever they were in public. The exact status of their relationship is a matter of debate.

    Pauline Viardot-Garcia 3.jpg

  3. I’ve not ever been able to care much for shrimp and grits by the way.  Just seems like an absolute waste of perfectly good shrimp.
    One might imagine that the shrimp would elevate the grits up into the realm of “edible”, but it’s the reverse which occurs. The shrimp are by the grits dragged down into the “not fit for human consumption” neck of the woods.

  4. sturge, me neither in re shrimp & grits.  now cheese grits with fried catfish ain’t bad though.
    don’t forget the side of coleslaw.

  5. “Hey I know……..let’s cover these lobster tails with hotdog chili.  Won’t that be great?”
    No.   That would not be great.

  6. Well, I don’t have much interest in cole slaw either, for that matter.  Given a copious dosing of salt it can be edible—but just barely. And I’m supposed to be cutting back on salt anyway.
    (You can have my salt shaker when you pry it from my cold dead……..etc.)

  7. I’ve had good shrimp and grits. The shrimp in them were the smallish  ones that only belong in gumbo or jambalaya or the like. Now, I’d have loved gumbo or jambalaya but them dishes wasn’t on the menu. But I’ll say that shrimp and grits isn’t what I’d call a feature dish- it’s more like a what to do with a few leftover shrimp or shrimp that aren’t good for anything but gumbo and I don’t have any okra dishes. 

  8. https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/05/us/robert-carter-iii-deed-of-gift-slavery-anniversary/index.html

    “Others, middle-class Quakers and Baptists among them, had released a few slaves here, a few there, but none rivaled Carter’s deed, which established a schedule to free 511 slaves, starting with the oldest and later their children. Carter also allowed the freedmen to choose their last names so they could keep families together and pass down wealth. He ensured they had salable skills, arranged for them to buy or lease land, and bought their wares. He also spent a great deal on transporting them from his plantations to the Northumberland courthouse, and on lawyers to guarantee his heirs — some none too happy he was paring their inheritance — didn’t undo his wishes. “Carter’s plans look more like a pilot for mass emancipation,”

    “…American history feebly attempts to level the founding fathers’ fondness for freedom with their ownership of humans by uncritically parroting their assertions that there was no pragmatic way to emancipate hundreds of thousands of slaves. “

    “If Carter is the anti-Jefferson,” Levy wrote in his book, “the man who did not lack the will to free his own slaves but who did lack the vision and clarity to make his love of freedom eloquent, then the Deed of Gift is the anti-Declaration of Independence, a document that makes liberty look dull but which is so absent of loopholes and contradictions that no result but liberty could prevail.”

    I’m not into  grits/mush/polenta thing.  My basic opinion is that they are all a way to ruin good corn that could be made into corn bread, (no sugar) The only exception to the mushy corn stuff would be masa stuffed with meat and chilis wrapped in a corn husk. Now I can eat tamales morning ,noon and night. 
    I’ve never ate “shrimp & grits” It just never sounded good and I’m not a big shrimp fan anyway.

  10. I’ve noticed that how good shrimp are is determined by what you put on them. They are a bit like rice, they don’t add anything except bland.

  11. Shrimp tha winnable and still champeen…..so many things you can do widdum.  Scampi, fried, boiled, gumbo, jumbo-laya, creole—just not wid de grit, please……

  12. I remember back when it was early and mid-fifties and we was kinda poor, lotsa spam and baloney and such…….but you could always in seasons go to the creek and eat like a king on the fish, shrimp, and crabs…….

    ‘Course we had chickens too, and every now and then you could eat one of them.

    And peanuts are right tasty when you get used to ‘em.


  13. one man’s comfort food is another man’s ….


    reaching for something profound, but can’t quite snag it.  any suggestions?

  14. i made a decent scampi last week, used the pan glazings to make a caramelized cream sauce, put all that over some homemade spinach fettuccine- you would have eaten it, Jack 😋

  15. OK, after much driving, and a two-hour wait, i finally got a test, and NOW i understand:
    Because so many places now require proof of vaccination OR a negative test, anti-vaxxers have to keep queueing up for tests,   overloading the system and precluding others who need these tests more from getting them.  Thanks for ruining everything, anti-vaxxers 😒

  16. Jack…  excellent!
    Bink…  so glad to see you again.  When we hadn’t heard from you since Henri… I thought maybe you got flooded out.  Hope you feel better soon.
    I’m a northern babe…  no grits shall pass these lips…

  17. Jamie…  after reading several articles about what is happening with drought along the Colorado River Basin… I’m feeling a need to reread The Milagro Beanfield War.

  18. patd – That place is very near where I keep my big boat.  I pass Nomimi every time I go down to her and back.  The court house for Northumberland County is in Heathsville.  The courthouse and a real old inn make for a little tourist place. The town is home to one of the liberal churches.  At the Food Lion I have seen gay and lesbian couples.  An oasis in the middle of the nowhere.

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