Winter of Discontent Tchaikovsky’s take.February 17, 2014
History Repeats ItselfMarch 1, 2014
Halfway along our life’s path. Lost in a dark wood.
Unable to find the right way….
– PARADISO –
“Where do they find the time?” many people are wondering in the streets of France after their president Francois Hollande was caught having an affair with a French actress Julie Gayet . Yes that ‘s what we’d like to know too, because there’s not much cause for celebration in France at the moment and one would expect the country’s first citizen to consider more the waves of discontent he is creating across the nation rather than his personal needs. Of course we all understand the pressure he might be under. But aren’t we all, with our daily struggle to make ends meet? and paradoxically all thanks to those politicians who spend so much time pretending to act like leaders but who then hide behind the privacy laws in order to cover up their own inadequacies? We expect them to be wiser and more profound than us common mortals but unfortunately it is patently not the case as this kind of personal behaviour seems to be replicated across the globe. Dear Mr Hollande the 60s mantra was “Make love not war” – not “Make love and war.
A baby a nun gave birth to in Rieti, about 50 km from Rome has been given the name Francesco. The situation arose after an emergency call the nuns from her convent of The Little Disciples of Jesus made to the local hospital as their fellow sister had uncontrollable stomach pains. Imagine the dismay of the doctors when she got to the emergency room and was found to be pregnant, and imagine the shock her mother superior must have had when she was informed of the news, especially considering it had been only last September the sister/mother solemnly promised to follow her vows of ‘chastity, poverty and obedience’!.
It is thought she may have become pregnant while visiting El Salvador in 2013. According to a spokeperson for Delio Lucarelli, the bishop of Rieti, the nun has been forced out of the convent and is now required to “lead a secular life with her baby, away from religious institutions”. Considering the nun claimed she didn’t know she was pregnant, why immediately discount the possibility of an immaculate conception ? Anyway when a new child comes into the world it is always something to celebrate and we are very happy that mother and child are both doing well and living in sheltered housing. Shame she had to leave the convent though, but rules in the church are strict and must be adhered to. Let’s hope Pope Francis will be up for baptising this illegitimate child especially as he has done so for the first time for a baby born to a couple still living at the time ‘in sin’. Some progress after all.
His last concert was on the 26th of August but for Claudio Abbado conducting an orchestra was summed up in a German word he used frequently: zusammenmusizieren i.e making music together He was the music director for La Scala Opera House in Milan , principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra , the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera, and principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, succeeding the great Karajan, no mean feat that!. Nobody brought to the world stage young musicians like he did. He was founder and music director of the European Union Youth Orchestra (1978) and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (1986). He was also a frequent guest conductor with the The Chamber Orchestra of Europe with whom he recorded a cycle of Schubert symphonies to considerable acclaim. More recently, he worked with the Orchestra Sinfonica Simon Bolivar of Venezuela. In Ferrara (Italy) once conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe he had planned to play as an encore the overture to the Nozze di Figaro but the orchestra played the Barber of Seville overture instead, as a joke. Abbado initially was a bit taken aback but quickly saw the funny side of it and carried on conducting, laughing all the way to the end. Upon his return to the Milan La Scala Opera House he agreed his fee should be used to plant trees in the city. He was an avid environmentalist and now he’ll be ‘making music together’ in the Garden of Eden touching the hearts of the spirits as he did ours throughout his life.
Virgil what can be said of …the Marie Antoinettes of the political and economic world
To what other terraces of doom and pain, dear Virgil, will you accompany me… next time….