Yesterday, I wrote a blog so long that I had to break it, post publication, into two texts, and there is material left for a third post.
Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) is a famous African-American contralto. She faced the horrors of discrimination. However, the Roosevelts intervened. I will quote Wikipedia. “With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.”
She sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939 before an audience of 75,000 persons, not to mention the persons listening to her on their radio. She was the first black person to sing at the Metropolitan Opera and she sang at the inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower (1957) and the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy (1962).
Marian Anderson was often denied rooms in hotels and meals in restaurants, despite her accomplishments. Consequently, whenever possible Albert Einstein hosted her in his home. He hosted her for the first time in 1937 “when she was denied a hotel before performing at Princeton University. She last stayed with him months before he died in 1955.” (Wikipedia)
It may be a rumour, but it appears there is a correlation between a high intelligence quotient and tolerance. It also appears that a high intelligence quotient does not preclude a high emotional quotient. But these are mere rumours. I wish I could discuss such matters with Pascal and Voltaire.
The NewsEnglish The Montreal Gazette: http://www.montrealgazette.com/index.html The National Post: http://www.nationalpost.com/index.html The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/ The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/ Le Monde diplomatique: http://mondediplo.com/ EN CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/ CTV News: http://www.ctvnews.ca/ French Le Monde: http://www.lemonde.fr/ Le Devoir: http://www.ledevoir.com/ Le Monde diplomatique: http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/ La Presse: http://www.lapresse.ca/ German Die Welt: http://www.welt.de/ Micheline Walker© August 11th, 2012 WordPress
The “Ballet de cour” and the “Suite”
We explored the ballet de cour, an example of which is Louis XIII‘s Ballet de (la) Merlaison, and we know that the composers of this period wrote Suites or Ordres, as François Couperin named his Suites. Among these dances is the passacalle (from passar), or pasacaille, or passacaglia.
I am including two related blogs, but posts dealing with the flamenco are not listed. This post is about dance music and more specifically music for ballet, such as Louis XIII Ballet de la Merlaison, and musical works consisting of a series of dances: the Suite or Masque.
We have therefore identified two dances: the passacaglia (the chaconne) and the fandango, both of which are dances akin to the dances of Suites, one of which, the fandango, is related to the flamenco.
The passacaglia is Spanish in origin, but it quickly spread to other countries. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “[t]he dance’s original name survives in the passacalle, a lively folk dance for couples popular in western South America.” As it first appeared in 17th-century Spain, “[it] was of unsavoury reputation and possibly quite fiery.”[i] However, “[i]n the French theatre of the 17th and 18th centuries it was a dance of imposing majesty.” The passacaglia is almost identical to the chaconne and as a chaconne it can be part of a Suite.
As for the fandango, the Encyclopædia Britannica tells that it is an “exuberant Spanish courtship dance and a genre of Spanish folksong. The dance, probably of Moorish origin, was popular in Europe in the 18th century and survives in the 20th century as a folk dance in Spain, Portugal, southern France, and Latin America. Usually danced by couples (men), it begins slowly, with the rhythm marked by castanets, clapping of hands, snapping of fingers, and the stamping of feet; the speed gradually increases.”[ii]
In Italian-born Classical composer Luigi Boccherini‘s répertoire, we find traces of the music of the land where he lived and worked: Iberia (Spain and Portugal). The fandango is an Iberian dance and is related to the Andalusian malagueña and flamenco.
[i] “passacaglia.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 11 Aug. 2012. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/445625/passacaglia>.
[ii] “fandango.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 11 Aug. 2012. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/201489/fandango>.© Micheline Walker 11 August 2012 WordPress The images are by Francisco Goya (2nd video)