Saturday, December 29, 2012


Jump is from the 1984 Van Halen album '1984'. Somehow, the then (as well as current) lead singer of the band, David Lee Roth, thought the band should be named after Alex and Eddie Van Halen, of Dutch stock (born in Nijmegen, The Netherlands). Alex plays drums and percussion, Eddie the lead guitar and keyboards.

Band formed in 1972 in Pasadena, CA. Today it looks likes the band is truly becoming an all-Van Halen vehicle, with Eddie's son Wolfgang (yes, named after Mozart) having joined as bassist.

And like I promised last week, now it's time for the prelude of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Te Deum.

Charpentier was a famous French baroque composer, although not the most famous. That honor probably goes to Jean-Baptiste Lully, the Italian-born composer to the Court of Louis XIV. Until his untimely death in 1687 Lully basically held the monopoly for compositions at the Royal Court. Charpentier however had the good fortune to be in the employ of Marie of Lorraine, the Duchess of Guise, who was a powerful patron and under whose protection he composed, over a period spanning 17 years, a great number of vocal works, among them Psalm settings, hymns, a Magnificat setting, motets, oratorios, and a mass and a Dies Irae for the funeral of the duchess's nephew Louis Joseph, Duke of Guise. Slowly however he gravitated towards and under Louis XIV's aegis, first as a composer for the King's son, the Dauphin, and then finally as a maitre de musique at the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, a royal appointment he held from 1698 until his death in 1704.

In between his service to the Duchess de Guise and his final post at the Sainte-Chapelle, from late 1687 to early 1698, he was also maitre de musique for the Jesuit Church of Saint-Louis in Paris, and it was during this period that he composed his grand polyphonic motet Te Deum (H. 146) in D major. The work is written for a group of soloists, a choir, and an instrumental accompaniment. The piece you just heard is only the prelude, and technically it's known as a rondeau.

Slaap wel.


Monday, December 24, 2012


A Merry Christmas to all our readers of good will!

The Nativity by John Singleton Copley, one of colonial America's greatest painters. Curiously, just prior to the great turmoil that would severe America from the mother country, he moved to England to establish his fame there and eventually become a member of the Royal Academy.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.