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Verdi and his day of wrath in your face.

Throughout the work, Verdi uses vigorous rhythms, sublime melodies, and dramatic contrasts—much as he did in his operas—to express the powerful emotions engendered by the text. The terrifying (and instantly recognizable) Dies irae that introduces the traditional sequence of the Latin funeral rite is repeated throughout. Trumpets surround the stage to produce a call to judgement in the Tuba mirum, and the almost oppressive atmosphere of the Rex tremendae creates a sense of unworthiness before the King of Tremendous Majesty. Yet the well-known tenor solo Ingemisco radiates hope for the sinner who asks for the Lord’s mercy.

The Sanctus (a complicated eight-part fugue scored for double chorus) begins with a brassy fanfare to announce him “who comes in the name of the Lord”. Finally the Libera me, the oldest music by Verdi in the Requiem, interrupts. Here the soprano cries out, begging, “Deliver me, Lord, from eternal death … when you will come to judge the world by fire.”

When the Requiem was composed, female singers were not permitted to perform in Catholic Church rituals (such as a requiem mass).[15] However, from the beginning Verdi intended to use female singers in the work. In his open letter proposing the Requiem project (when it was still conceived as a multi-author Requiem for Rossini), Verdi wrote: “If I were in the good graces of the Holy Father—Pope Pius IX—I would beg him to permit—if only for this one time—that women take part in the performance of this music; but since I am not, it will fall to someone else better suited to obtain this decree.”[16] In the event, when Verdi composed the Requiem alone, two of the four soloists were sopranos, and the chorus included female voices. This may have slowed the work’s acceptance in Italy.[15]

At the time of its premiere, the Requiem was criticized by some as being too operatic in style for the religious subject matter.[15] According to Gundula Kreuzer, “Most critics did perceive a schism between the religious text (with all its musical implications) and Verdi’s setting.” Some viewed it negatively as “an opera in ecclesiastical robes,” or alternatively, as a religious work, but one in “dubious musical costume.” While the majority of critics agreed that the music was “dramatic,” some felt that such treatment of the text was appropriate, or at least permissible.[15] As to the music qua music, the critical consensus agreed that the work displayed “fluent invention, beautiful sound effects and charming vocal writing.” Critics were divided between praise and condemnation with respect to Verdi’s willingness to break standard compositional rules for musical effect, such as his use of consecutive fifths.[15]

I’ll see if I can feature more of G.Valentini’s work. I like it. :)

Giovanni Valentini (ca. 1582 – 29/30 April 1649) was an Italian Baroque composer, poet and keyboard virtuoso. Overshadowed by his contemporaries, Claudio Monteverdi and Heinrich Schütz, Valentini is practically forgotten today, although he occupied one of the most prestigious musical posts of his time. He is best remembered for his innovative usage of asymmetric meters and the fact that he was Johann Kaspar Kerll’s first teacher. The family name comes from deep roots in the native country of Greece. Well known for their classical music but also known for the family that branched off to the neighbouring country of Italy.

There was a time when religion commissioned great and wondrous art. Awe-inspiring cathedrals were built by the most grand and innovative architects. Beautiful music for masses were composed by the greatest musical minds in history. Religious paintings were created with skills and passion that have yet to be matched, even hundreds of years later. Art was the bright silver lining to the otherwise horrifying and cataclysmic storm cloud of religion. However, that was long ago and that silver lining has since been swallowed up by the black abyss. All that is left is a shit-storm of horribly lame, morally reprehensible, and just plain awful media that is christian pop culture.

The religious will rip off and bastardize anything in order to push their message, with no regard for or understanding of the source material. Whether it be a nauseatingly horrendous christian rock band or an offensively clueless rally video, only one thing is clear. There is no limit to how objectively bad something is, as long as a church can get behind the message.

For your consideration I present two new low points. Be warned. These are so very terrible that I was convinced they were fake at first. Please do not eat for 30 minutes before or after watching these. Your stomach may not be able to handle it.

First we have a trailer for an upcoming Romantic Comedy. The trailer shows neither comedy nor romance, instead it focuses on a cameo by Mike Huckabee  talking about legislating anti-abortion laws. The Friendly Atheist has written up a few more details if you’re interested.


Just in case you still have your lunch down, I’ve saved the worst for last. Imagine the most awkward, desperate to be considered ‘cool’ by the kiddies, palm-through-the-face-into-the-back-of-your-skull bad PSA you’ve ever seen. Increase the uncomfortable embarrassment by a couple orders of magnitude. Multiply it by some unbelievable cultural insensitivity, then again by a massive helping of asinine theistic delusion. It should give you something wrong on so many levels, that it may have gone fractally wrong. Something like this:

 

 

I think the worst part is I want to have hope. I’d like to think that, given the right circumstances, people could see their religion for the hoax that it is. That their blinders could be removed and the atrocities in the name of religion would stop. But if they are so far gone as to think putrid ass gravy like this can pass as entertainment, I don’t think that hope has a chance.

Vi Hart is truly amazing. Awe inspiring yet accessible, sublime yet exciting, her videos are strange, wonderful, fun, educational, and so many other great things combined.

Now it’s time to expand your mind with a delightful explanation and demonstration of Shepard Tones

 

I saw this today and I had to put it up. Enjoy some history, some math, some copywrite commentary, and some wonderful music, all delightfully wrapped together by the fantastic ViHart. Enjoy!

 

Playing an instrument enhances your cognitive abilities.  I just wonder if they’ll find a way to motivate people to practice. :)

 

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