Saturday 24 June 2017


“A man calumniated is doubly injured - first by him who utters the calumny, and then by him who believes it.” - Herodotus 

Antonio Salieri (18 August 1750 – 7 May 1825) was an Italian classical composer, conductor, and teacher. He was born in Legnago, south of Verona, in the Republic of Venice, and spent his adult life and career as a subject of the Habsburg Monarchy. Salieri was a pivotal figure in the development of late 18th-century opera. As a student of Florian Leopold Gassmann, and a protégé of Gluck, Salieri was a cosmopolitan composer who wrote operas in three languages. Salieri helped to develop and shape many of the features of operatic compositional vocabulary, and his music was a powerful influence on contemporary composers.

Appointed the director of the Italian opera by the Habsburg court, a post he held from 1774 until 1792, Salieri dominated Italian-language opera in Vienna. During his career he also spent time writing works for opera houses in Paris, Rome, and Venice, and his dramatic works were widely performed throughout Europe during his lifetime. As the Austrian imperial Kapellmeister from 1788 to 1824, he was responsible for music at the court chapel and attached school.

Even as his works dropped from performance, and he wrote no new operas after 1804, he still remained one of the most important and sought-after teachers of his generation, and his influence was felt in every aspect of Vienna’s musical life. Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, and Ludwig van Beethoven were among the most famous of his pupils. Salieri’s music slowly disappeared from the repertoire between 1800 and 1868 and was rarely heard after that period until the revival of his fame in the late 20th century.

This revival was due to the dramatic and highly fictionalised depiction of Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s play “Amadeus” (1979) and its 1984 film version. His music today has regained some modest popularity via recordings. He is popularly remembered as a supposedly bitter rival of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This includes rumours that Salieri murdered Mozart out of jealousy, when in reality, they were at least respectful peers.

Here is a series of Twenty-six Variations on the Popular Theme of “La Folìa” for orchestra written in 1815, which is astonishing by its modernity, its luminous and light orchestration (contrary to the trends of Salieri’s time). The use of the harp, the short and sharp orchestral tutti, orchestral soloists (bassoon, oboe, flute, etc), is simply brilliant. Salieri has composed here a work of an indisputable thematic solidity in turn, dreamy, dramatic, playful, romantic, seductive, and served by an impeccable orchestration.

This work is emblematic of a trend that progressed well into the nineteenth century, notably in France and Italy, from Paganini to Saint-Saëns, Rossini and Debussy, who all believed that music should be clear and simple if it carries within its foundation a clear depth and density. There are still some typical passages in classical variation form in this piece, a rather rough finish, and a very shy use of brass, but 15 years before the “Symphonie Fantastique” of Berlioz we cannot expect similar treatments that are more Romantic in their scope. On the other hand, some passages involving the harp and the violin are worthy of the finest impressionist melodies of the end of the 19th century. Enjoy!

Friday 23 June 2017


“Go vegetable heavy. Reverse the psychology of your plate by making meat the side dish and vegetables the main course.” - Bobby Flay

We recently had this tart made from a recipe a friend gave us and it was quite delicious. We did “tamper” a little with it to make it a trifle more agreeable to us and it all worked out very nicely!

1 Middle Eastern flatbread large enough to line the bottom of a quiche pan
Olive oil
400g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cubed
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
1/3 cup chopped chives
4 eggs
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground dry mustard
1 ripe tomato

Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Place baking tray on top shelf of oven. Line another baking tray with baking paper.
Use olive to brush both sides of the flatbread thoroughly. Place it on the bottom of a 30 cm quiche pan.
Place pumpkin, capsicum and onion in a bowl and drizzle olive oil in it, tossing the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated with oil (but not too much!). Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the vegetables on the prepared baking tray and place on lower shelf of oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Remove vegetables from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C fan-forced.
Place eggs, cream, cheese and spices in a large jug. Whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables in the quiche pan. Pour egg mix over the vegetables. Decorate with finely sliced tomato rondels. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and just set. Serve hot.

This post is part of the Food Friday meme.

Tuesday 20 June 2017


“Glasgow is less polite than Edinburgh but that’s a good thing - they keep it very real.” - Nik Kershaw 

Welcome to the Travel Tuesday meme! Join me every Tuesday and showcase your creativity in photography, painting and drawing, music, poetry, creative writing or a plain old natter about Travel.

There is only one simple rule: Link your own creative work about some aspect of travel and share it with the rest of us. Please use this meme for your creative endeavours only.

Do not use this meme to advertise your products or services as any links or comments by advertisers will be removed immediately.
Glasgow (Scots: Glesga; Scottish Gaelic: Glaschu) is the largest city in Scotland, and third largest in the United Kingdom. Historically part of Lanarkshire, it is now one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. It is situated on the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as Glaswegians. Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Britain.

Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the 15th century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century. From the 18th century the city also grew as one of Great Britain’s main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded rapidly to become one of the world’s pre-eminent centres of chemicals, textiles and engineering; most notably in the shipbuilding and marine engineering industry, which produced many innovative and famous vessels.

Glasgow was the “Second City of the British Empire” for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, although many cities argue the title was theirs. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Glasgow grew in population, reaching a peak of 1,127,825 in 1938. Comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s, resulting in large-scale relocation of people to new towns and peripheral suburbs, followed by successive boundary changes, reduced the population of the City of Glasgow council area to 599,650 with 1,209,143 people living in the Greater Glasgow urban area. The entire region surrounding the conurbation covers about 2.3 million people, 41% of Scotland’s population.

Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and is also well known in the sporting world for the football rivalry of the Old Firm between Celtic and Rangers. Glasgow is also known for Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect that is noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Add your own travel posts using the Linky tool below, and don't forget to be nice and leave a comment here, and link back to this page from your own post:  

Sunday 18 June 2017


“Don’t work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition.” - H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 

Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky (Russian: Иван Иванович Годлевский; March 9, 1908, Kholm Governorate, Russian Empire – August 20, 1998, Saint Petersburg, Russia) was born in the town of Dobromychi (then the territory of Poland) in 1908. In 1913 his parents died in the First World War and he was admitted into the shelter of Countess Veniaminova in Moscow, but after the revolution he was brought up in an orphanage.

Since his early childhood Ivan was fond of drawing and painting. In 1926 he graduated from the Mirgorod Art School and then entered the Kiev Academy, where his talent was noted by a professor at the Krichevsky Academy. After the Kiev Academy he was drafted into the army, where he served until 1935. In 1936 he was admitted to the Leningrad Art Academy for the quality of his work without exams. He studied at the studio of Alexander Aleksandrovich Osmyorkin, was his favorite student and was a friend of the master for the rest of his life.

The war found the artist in Gurzuf, where he was writing his thesis. Godlevsky went into the army, went to war, was awarded a medal and was demobilised in 1946. He was able to graduate from the Academy only in 1949 and began to teach in the famous Muchinka. At the same time he was elected chairman of the painting section of the Leningrad branch of the Union of Artists.

Party member, war hero, professor of a prestigious university and head of the painting section, Godlevsky could have had a successful career. However, he was extremely honest in his relations with art and never changed his artistic principles. Godlevsky worked not for recognition, but for art. In his diary he wrote: “Creativity is the way to absolute happiness and the only meaning of life.” In 1956 Godlevsky fulfilled an important state order and received a considerable sum of money for it. He retired as professor and completely devoted himself to his passion - painting. To create pictures for him was a vital necessity. That is why in his paintings it is easy to see not only the great talent of the artist, but also his own sense of the fullness of being. Having thoroughly studied the foundations of impressionism, the artist created his own bright, easily recognizable, individual style in painting back in the early 1950s. It is noteworthy that this style remained characteristic of the artist until the end of his life.

The most devoted admirer of Godlevsky’s creativity was his wife, Vera Dmitrievna Lyubimova. It so happened that at first she fell in love with his paintings, and then in the artist himself. They were married in 1957.

In 1961 the first solo exhibition of Ivan Godlevsky’s works was held in the exhibition hall of the Leningrad Union of Artists. As soon as it opened, people stood in line in the street in order to be admitted. Newspapers reviews were not as complimentary and the artist was criticised for “formalism and Frenchness”. Still, the exhibition was so successful that it was approved for a visiting display in 12 more cities, but after Leningrad it was held only in Lviv. The second solo exhibition was organised in the Union of Artists only in 1978.

In 1990 the artist was invited to Paris and after the first successful exhibition of 150 of his works, they were submitted for sale to the French public at the famous Parisian auction house, Drouot, where 148 were sold. Godlevsky became a famous artist in France and decided to stay there continuing his painting. He settled with his wife in the South of France in the town of Le Pradet, near St. Tropez. Subesquently, further exhibitions of Godlevsky’s works were organised in France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Sweden and Italy. In December 1996 the artist decided to return to Russia, to his studio in St. Petersburg. In 1998 he died in his native land, his work finally acknowledged as significant and original.

The painting above is “On the Banks of the Ancient Volkhov River”, painted in 1970. It is rathe rdark and brooding, contrasting with others of his works that are brighter and perhaps more decorative such as his “Fishing Boats” or some that are more exotic and reminiscent of the orientalist tradition such as his “Samarkand”.