Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Holly and the Ivy.

The Holly and the Ivy is an English song showing how holly symbolizes the life of Christ. Holly and ivy were traditionally used as decoration to celebrate Christmas in England since at least the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.  Harp arrangements have been performed by many musical artists over the years, including Andreas Vollenweider and Loreena McKennitt.

The Holly and the Ivy is thought by some to have pagan origins and could therefore date back over 1000 years. 

In the first stanza, holly is declared the king of all the trees. When compared to Ivy, Holly bears the crown.    

In the 2nd stanza, Holly is described as bearing a white flower which can be compared to Christ’s purity because he is born of the virgin, Mary.  

The third stanza draws a connection between the red color of holly's berry and Christ's blood.  Holly's thorny "prickle" 

in the fourth stanza is an allusion to the "crown of thorns" worn by Christ.  And the bitter taste of holly's bark mentioned in the fifth stanza? This could be a reference to the drink offered Christ as he hung on the cross.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

CCHS Harp Concert and Christmas Party

All CCHS Members and friends are invited to the CCHS annual Harp Concert and Christmas Party at the Highlands Ranch Library on December 7, 2014.  
The concert will begin at 1 PM.  CCHS Harplanders and Heart Strings ensembles and students of Gale Brown will perform from 1 – 3 PM.   Members of the Harp Society will also perform solo works. 
The pot-luck party will begin around 3 PM after the concert ends.  If you have harp-related books, sheet music or CD's that you are ready trade or pass along, please bring them with you for the music and CD exchange. 
Please RSVP to Gale Brown to her know what you plan to bring: appetizers, a small dessert, fruit or veggies! 
Highlands Ranch Library:  9292 Ridgeline Blvd.

Hope to see you there!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Carolan's Contemporaries

 During the life span of Turlough O’Carolan, 1670 – 1738, the world was developing rapidly.  It is interesting to know about a few of the other happenings going around him as he visited his generous patrons in Ireland with his unparalled  harp music and gift of language

Carolan  was deeply influenced by the baroque musicians of Europe who in turn were profoundly influenced by  their contemporaries.  

England:  (Wikipedia)
Charles II: Oliver Cromwell defeated Charles II at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, and Charles fled to mainland Europe. Cromwell became virtual dictator of England, Scotland and Ireland, and Charles spent the next nine years in exile.

The Restoration
A political crisis that followed the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration of the monarchy, and Charles was invited to return to Britain. The restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the EnglishScottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II.  This period lasted roughly until 1710.

Charles receiving the 1st pineapple of the season
Charles II was popularly known as the Merry Monarch, in reference to both the liveliness and hedonism of his court and the general relief at the return to normal after over a decade of rule by Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans. Charles's wife, Catherine of Braganza, bore no live children, but Charles acknowledged at least twelve illegitimate children by various mistresses Charles was succeeded by his brother, who became James II of England and Ireland and James VII of Scotland.

Charles founded the Royal Observatory and supported the Royal Society, a scientific group whose members included Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle and Sir Isaac Newton. Charles was the personal patron of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect who helped rebuild London after the Great Fire and who constructed the Royal Hospital in Chelsea which Charles founded as a home for retired soldiers in 1682.

Sir Christopher Michael Wren (20 October 1632 – 25 February 1723) is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. He had the responsibility of rebuilding 52 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666. He completed his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral,   in 1710.

The Wren Building 
In the USA, in Williamsburg, Virginia, The Wren Building, attributed to Christopher Wren, is the signature building of the College of William and Mary.   It is the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States.

Educated in Latin and Aristotelian physics at the University of Oxford, Wren was a notable anatomistastronomergeometer, and mathematician-physicist, as well as an architect. He was a founder of the Royal Society (president 1680–82), and his scientific work was highly regarded by Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal.

Queen Anne
Queen Anne. Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of EnglandScotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state, the United Kingdom of Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death.

 Henry Fielding (22 April 1707 – 8 October 1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his humor and satire and as the author of the novel Tom Jones.  He had numerous literary achievements and is also known in law-enforcement.  He founded (with his half-brother John) what some have called London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners, using his authority as a magistrate.

 France:Louis XIV (5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (le Roi-Soleil), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon.  He ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1643 until his death. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest of any monarch of a major country in European history.  It is believed that Carolan played his harp for King Louis.
Upon the king’s death just days before his seventy-seventh birthday, Louis was succeeded by his five-year-old great-grandson, Louis XV.  He became known as Louis the Beloved. 
Louis the 14th

Jean-Antoine Watteau (October 10, 1684 - July 18, 1721) was a prolific French painter whose career spurred the revival of interest in color and movement (in the tradition of Correggio and Rubens), and painted in a style known as Rococo. The incredibly famous baroque artists that we all love and admire did all painting before the birth of Carolan. 

Germany.  Frederick William I (14 August 1688 – 31 May 1740) was known as the 'Soldier King, He was the King in Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg from 1713 until his death. During his reign, Frederick William I did much to centralize and improve Prussia. He replaced mandatory military service among the middle class with an annual tax, established primary schools, and resettled East Prussia which had been devastated by the plague in 1709.Hanover.  

Colonists. People were trying to establish settlements and many died in the attempt in late 1600's early 1700's.  Because people started making rules, the settlements eventually grew into large cities and ports. Wealthier people were able to get large amounts of good farmland, and a great amounts of it. Poorer people normally came as indentured servants which meant they usually had about seven years to work off the cost of their passage.   The colonies soon were developed offering more different opportunities for jobs such as ship building, trading, and as merchants.  There was a lot of backcountry and swampland and, it was hard to make a living. All of the colonies had different lifestyles.
 Slavery was rampant and many laws were being made to the detriment of black people.  In 1700, the publication of Samuel Sewall's The Selling of Joseph, is considered the first major condemnation of slavery in print in British North America. 
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accfgvused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693.

The Cassini Division - Saturn
Giovanni Domenico Cassini (8 June 1625 – 14 September 1712) was an Italian mathematicianastronomerengineer, and astrologer. Cassini is known for his work in the fields of astronomy and engineering. Cassini most notably discovered four satellites of the planet Saturn and noted the division of the rings of Saturn – known now as the Cassini Division.

Elizabeth Farnese
Elisabeth Farnese.  Elisabeth was born at the Palazzo della Pilotta in Parma, Italy,  on 25 October 1692.  She died 11 July 1766.  Elizabeth was Queen of Spain as the wife of King Philip V. She exerted great influence over Spain's foreign policy and was the de facto ruler of Spain from 1714 until 1746. From 1759 until 1760, she governed as regent.

Seven Popes: (Wikipedia)
Pope Clement X (LatinClemens X; 13 July 1590 – 22 July 1676), born Emilio Bonaventura Altieri, was Pope from 29 April 1670 to his death in 1676.
Pope Innocent XI (LatinInnocentius XI; 16 May 1611 – 12 August 1689), born Benedetto Odescalchi, was Pope from 21 September 1676 to his death in 1689. He is known as the "Saviour of Hungary.
Pope Alexander VIII (22 April 1610 – 1 February 1691), born Pietro Vito Ottoboni, was Pope from 6 October 1689 to his death in 1691. He is the last pope to take the pontifical name of "Alexander" upon his election to the papacy.
Pope Innocent XII (LatinInnocentius XII; 13 March 1615 – 27 September 1700), born Antonio Pignatelli, was Pope from 12 July 1691 to his death in 1700. Innocent XII appears as one of the narrators in Robert Browning's long poem "The Ring and the Book" (1869), based on the true story of the pope's intervention in a historical murder trial in Rome during his papacy.
Pope Clement XI (LatinClemens XI; 23 July 1649 – 19 March 1721), born Giovanni Francesco Albani, was Pope from 23 November 1700 to his death in 1721. Clement XI was a patron of the arts and of science. He was also a great benefactor of the Vatican Library, his interest in archaeology is credited with saving much of Rome’s antiquity. In fact, he authorized excavations of the Roman catacombs. He was of Italian and Albanian origin.
Pope Innocent XIII (LatinInnocentius XIII; 13 May 1655 – 7 March 1724) was born as Michelangelo dei Conti and was Pope from 8 May 1721 to his death in 1724. He is the last pope to date to take the pontifical name of "Innocent" upon his election. Pope Innocent XIII was reform-oriented, and he imposed new standards of frugality, abolishing excessive spending. He took steps to finally end the practice of nepotism by issuing a decree which forbade his successors from granting land, offices or income to any relatives - something opposed by many cardinals who hoped that they might become pope and benefit their families.
Pope Benedict XIII. b. Puglia as Pietro Francesco Orsini; elected 4 May, 1724; d. 2 March, 1730, aged 80. As a simple (and elderly) Dominican monk he came from a family which had provided two popes, Celestine II and Nicholas III, four centuries earlier.

Peter the Great
Russia.  Peter the Great, (9 June 1672 – 8 February 1725) ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from 7 May 1682 until his death in 1725. He led a cultural revolution that replaced the traditional and medieval social and political system with one that was modern, scientific, Europe-oriented based on The Enlightenment. He was fifty-two years, seven months old when he died, having reigned forty-two years.


European Musicians:

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–1687), Armide (1686)
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643–1704), Te Deum (1688-1698)
John Blow (1649–1708), Venus and Adonis (1680–1687)
Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706), Canon in D (1680)
Henry Purcell (1659–1695), Dido and Aeneas (1687)
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725), L'honestà negli amori (1680), Il Pompeo (1683), Mitridate Eupatore (1707)
Tomaso Albinoni (1671–1751), Didone abbandonata (1724)
Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741), The Four Seasons (1723)
Johann David Heinichen (1683–1729)
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764), Dardanus (1739)
George Frideric Handel (1685–1759), Water Music (1717), Messiah (1741)
Nicola Porpora (1686–1768), Semiramide riconosciuta (1729)
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736), Stabat Mater (1736)

Philosophers, thinkers and scientists:

Voltaire (1694–1778),
Francis Hutcheson, (1694–1746),
David Hume (1711–1776),
Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794),
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
Isaac Newton (1643–1727).