Sunday Serendipity

Today’s selection is a classic performance that reminds us for all of our worries we live in remarkable times. Ms Du Pre had to quit playing at the age of 28 because of health issues but here, 50 years later, I can watch her perform and enjoy a remarkable musician. One that I had never heard of before the Youtube algo offered it for my enjoyment this afternoon.

A remarkable trip back in time,

Enjoy, Jack

Jacqueline Mary du Pré  (26 January 1945 – 19 October 1987) was a British cellist. At a young age, she achieved enduring mainstream popularity. Despite her short career, she is regarded as one of the greatest cellists of all time.

Her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis, which forced her to stop performing at the age of 28; she died 14 years later at the age of 42.


37 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. jack, thank you. can’t imagine how this very singable melody didn’t get co-opted by some modern-day lyricist for a hollywood movie or pop star like so many other classical tunes did.  

    from wiki in piece about the other “songs without words” Mendelssohn wrote:

    A piece in D major for cello and piano, written by Mendelssohn around 1845 for cellist Lisa Cristiani, was published for the first time after his death. It was designated Opus 109 and entitled Song Without Words. …. Cellist Carlos Prieto called the piece “an exquisite composition, worthy of the finest pieces Mendelssohn ever composed for this genre.

  2. cartoonist david horsey latest op ed in seattle times

    President Biden’s high-wire act | The Seattle Times

    Is President Joe Biden the equal of FDR and LBJ?
    The president has driven passage of the most robust climate change measures ever, policies that may, by 2030, bring about a 40% cut in Earth-warming carbon pollution in the United States over 2005 levels. That alone is a singular achievement.
    But wait, there’s more (as they say in the TV ads).
    Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress have passed legislation that will cut prescription drug and medical insurance costs for many millions of Americans; they have finally tapped into the sheltered wealth of rich corporations by approving a minimum 15% corporate tax and have beefed up funding for the IRS, which will make it harder for the richest Americans to avoid paying their fair share of taxes; they have provided $1 trillion to shore up the nation’s long-neglected infrastructure and delivered billions of dollars that kept households and businesses afloat during the COVID-19-induced economic downturn.
    Throw in Biden’s reinvigoration of NATO, his strong support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and his restoration of integrity and competence in the federal government, and you have a rather impressive first half of a presidential term.
    Does that equal the legislative track record of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson? Maybe yes, maybe no. But, unlike his two predecessors who had big Democratic congressional majorities to work with, Biden has had to do it all the hard way with only 50 Democratic votes in the 100-member Senate, including two renegade Democrats, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, who had to be cajoled and appeased every step of the way.
    Despite this impressive record, though, Biden’s poll numbers are feeble, and his support among many Democratic voters is tepid. The reason is obvious: in an age of celebrity worship and social-media distraction, he is an ill-fitting throwback to an earlier era.
    For much of the country’s history, the president was a distant, grandfatherly figure — think McKinley, Wilson or Coolidge. With rare exceptions, such as the rambunctious, dynamic Theodore Roosevelt, the chief executive was not some sort of superstar. That began to change with the advent of television and the nation’s vault to superpower status after the Second World War.
    People’s expectations of the president shifted. The commander in chief was allegedly the most powerful man in the world, so voters expected him to be able to fix any problem and achieve any goal. And the person in the Oval Office could not just quietly go about his business, he needed to be a constant, entertaining presence in the media. That public longing for a superstar president reached fulfillment for Democrats with Barack Obama and with Donald Trump for Republicans.
    Biden is no celebrity; he is just a man who gets the job done with the slimmest margins of victory and scant credit from the media or the public. Arguably, Biden may be the kind of president we need, but, in 2024 when he is closing in on his 80th birthday, will he be who Americans want?

  3. the latest from ukraine

    Volodymyr Zelenskiy warns of possible ‘vicious’ Russian attack ahead of Ukraine independence day | Ukraine | The Guardian

    President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned Ukrainians to be vigilant in the coming week as they prepare to celebrate their Independence Day, as fresh blasts hit Crimea and a missile wounded 12 civilians near a nuclear power plant.
    In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy on Saturday said Ukrainians must not allow Moscow to “spread despondency and fear” among them as they mark the 31st anniversary of independence from Soviet rule.
    “We must all be aware that this week Russia could try to do something particularly ugly, something particularly vicious,” Zelenskiy said ahead of the anniversary on 24 August, which also marks six months since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.
    Zelenskiy in his address also referred obliquely to a series of explosions in recent days in Crimea, the Ukrainian territory seized and annexed by Russia during a 2014 incursion.
    Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attacks, but analysts have said at least some have been made possible by new equipment used by Ukrainian forces.
    “You can literally feel Crimea in the air this year, that the occupation there is only temporary and that Ukraine is coming back,” Zelenskiy said.


    slava ukraini

  4. Yes on the great migration of racists to the gop in the mid-sixties, but look back at their opposition to woodrow, and then the presidencies of Warren Harding and Herbert Hoover. Ike and Teddy R grt a pass but gop has long been the party of demons.  I’m sure there are other examples which probably began before Abe was even in the cold cold ground. Try Andrew Johnson on for size.

  5. Jack

    Thank you.  That was glorious.  My two favorite instruments are piano and cello.  To have both in the same beautiful composition was wonderful.

    Modern recording methods have given us the gift of passing along the genius of the past.


  6. Sturge
    that  one is depressing, 60 years later and not a shitting thing has changed, we are still playing the same game.
    Edit: It was not 60 years, but 74 years, 1948, Just did a wiki, Woody wrote the poem but someone else set it to music,


  7. What I’m listening to right now, Warning: it will get the blood flowing, and wake you up.
    So much good music out there.

  8. school daze in floriDUH pointed out by wonkette:

    Florida Protects School Children From Dictionaries And All The Naughty Words Inside Them
    In order to comply with yet another kooky school-related bill, at least one Florida school district halting all donations and purchases of books entirely. This bill, HG 1467, requires that all books be pre-approved by “state-certified media specialists” to ensure that they are “age-appropriate” (ie: they do not mention LGBTQ people). Currently, there are no “state-certified media specialists” in the state to inspect any new books.
    According to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is out of his goddamn mind, the bill will “increase transparency” and prevent “indoctrination.” It will also allow parents, and indeed, any county resident to petition that any book be removed from school libraries and reading lists. This, surely, will get interesting.
    Sarasota County school district, which serves 45,000 students, has decided to bar all new books from coming into the district until January 1 of next year, which is when the DeSantis administration will first start training teachers to be able to approve the books.
    This includes dictionaries. The Herald-Tribune reports:

    Hundreds of dictionaries earmarked for donation from a Venice Rotary Club sit collecting dust, precluded from being given to Sarasota County students. Even dictionaries aren’t safe from the Sarasota Schools book freeze. […]

    This is not the fault of the Sarasota County school district. They’re just doing what they have to do in order to not run afoul of a bizarre and extreme law put into place by their elected officials and governor — and given this extremity, one cannot use normal human judgment to determine what it is these people would potentially find “unsafe” or “offensive.” Clearly, either all the books will have to go or the law will.

  9. Does this mean we should sleep more? DeSantis: “We must fight the woke in our schools. We must fight the woke in our businesses. We must fight the woke in government agencies. We can never, ever surrender to woke ideology. The state of Florida is where woke goes to die.”

    Sleep in late
    Works for me.
    Said the man who finished his breakfast, looked at the clock and realized he was eating lunch. And a good lunch it was. Fresh from the garden, Okra , peppers, tomatoes, and onion. All fried in a bit of bacon with some of the wild rice I bought on my recent trip. I was going to scramble a couple of eggs in it but it was too good as it was, so I put the eggs on the side. A couple of biscuits, with the last of my homemade apple butter.
    Life doesn’t get any better

  11. Good music today, thanks for the contributions on this lazy Sunday. I always enjoy everybodies taste in music, 

  12. Light years ago in a Ford Galaxy far  away the Marathons had some hungry goin’ on. 

  13. Film review.  The movie Elvis starring Austin Butler is definitely a mixed bag.  Butler’s acting is great and he used his own voice, partially mixed with Elvis for the power numbers in a higher range.  From certain angles, you could believe you are looking at Elvis.  Some historical events such as Kennedy & MLK assassinations are good in context.

    The weakness is the script and story line that has Col. Parker as the narrator that alternates between slant and boring varying accent.  Definitely not Tom Hanks best job.  Definitely infuriating.

    Overall, well worth seeing once but you might just want to buy the soundtrack since there are a whole raft of other artists mixed in with the Elvis songs.


  14. jamie, thanks for introducing us to elizabeth freeman.  her story and especially the legal arguments by atty sedgewick at MA court would be terrific material for civics classes (if they still exist out there) as well as a harvard KSG case study, law school moot courts and seminars in women’s rights studies. 

    also a darn good movie

  15. Jamie, agree with your “mixed bag”, an exacting label for Elvis movie. I blame the Director, who made it way too exotic looking with nerve-wracking jump cuts and weird lighting that distracted from some really great work by Tom Hanks and others. Worth watching but a disappointing and overly wrought production. 

  16. Hank’s accent:  Col. Tom Parker was from The Netherlands

    Nothing will out-weird Gary Old man’s accent in “The Fifth Element”

    It’s raining here

  17. Jack… I can do better.  I’m at an ocean front hotel room… sitting on our balcony that overlooks Ogunquit Beach in Maine.  Rick and I are contemplating which restaurant we want to walk to and then order some clam chowder.  We are here until the end of the week.  Will go to sleep tonight listening to ocean waves.

  18. Columbo tells a Jewish joke.  

    Little old Jewish lady is walking down the sidewalk and this flasher guy in a overcoat walks up to her and whips open his overcoat.     The old lady looks him up and down and says, “You call that a lining?”

  19. First sighting of a Greg Abutt ad on TV.  It does not mention his record.
    It’s footage of him in a hospital bed after that tree fell in him, with his wife, with their daughter (it pointed out that she is adopted, so I guess that’s to make the anti-choice crowd happy) and chatting with a POC.   That’s it.  He’s campaigning on being a family man and playing on sympathy for his injury. He can’t really bring up his record now, can he?

  20. Bid

    I knew the Colonel wasn’t American, but the Hanks accent is sort of all over the place or it may be those jump cuts Craig mentions so that pieces filmed at different times don’t quite sound the same.

    Luhrmann isn’t one of my favorite directors.  There always seems to be something a little off about his films that mess with the overall quality of what would be a good movie if he didn’t over edit it.


  21. One thing about old Elvis…..he kept that twinkle in his eye while on stage right up to the end….

  22. Trying to get used to being the “old people” is tough.  I just watched a recent, 2014, movie about middle aged people getting together.  Now I know what my grandparents felt when watching Flubber.

  23. “FLUBBER !”        lol

    Reading that was like finding an emerald on the sidewalk…..

  24. BB & Sturgeone

    My thing is finding out that entertainers I’ve watched for decades are actually YOUNGER than I am.  

  25. Jamie – I had to google him, because I expected a southern accent and the clip made no sense to me until I found out out he wasn’t from the US.  Yeah, Baz has a very distinctive style.  

  26. Well, one thing i saw in the news this past week that made me chuckle was a woman from Texas who founded a chapter of MAGA-

    Mothers Against Greg Abbot

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