My page about Russia is incomplete, but it is under construction. I have named it the “Art and Music of Russia,” but we have also discussed, briefly, the history of Russia. Posts on the history of Russia will be listed separately. I also wrote posts on Sergei Diaghilev‘s Ballets Russes. For the time being, I am not separating these posts from the “Music of Russia.” Igor Stravinsky, Sergey Prokoviev and other composers wrote the music for the ballets. Diaghilev’s ballets were produced by a team, including artists, one of whom was Pablo Picasso. The musician featured below is Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, one of “The Five” who wrote operas and music based on folktales.
I believe that Vladimir Putin started the war in Ukraine almost single-handedly. However, many Russians support him, and soldiers obey orders. I suspect he is opposed by countries that formerly comprised the USSR. Sadly, a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor was killed in Kharkiv,
Not so long ago, we explored the music of Russia. Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) was the leader of The Five. The Five were composers who attempted to write music that was distinctly Russian. Mussorgsky had befriended architect and artist Viktor Hartmann who died of an aneurysm when he was 39. It was a shock for Mussorgsky. According to critic Vladimir Stasov, Viktor Hartmann gave two pictures to Mussorgsky, one of which was a sketch of the “Great Gate of Kiev.” The two pictures inspired Modest Mussorgsky, who composed Pictures at an Exhibition, a suite of ten pieces for the piano divided by promenades and written in 1874. The tenth and final piece of the suite is based on Hartmann’s the “Great Gate of Kiev.” (Kiev is Kyiv)
Pictures at an Exhibition is Modest Mussorgsky’s most famous composition. We seldom hear the piano suite because it must be performed by a virtuoso pianist. Remember that the ringing of bells is a characteristic of the music of Russia and Ukraine.
Vladimir Stasov’s portrait by Ilya Repin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hartmann’s Kyiv is now being destroyed by Vladimir Putin; I cannot believe what I am seeing. This is madness on the part of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and if I could close the sky over Ukraine, I would. Vladimir Putin is the architect of this massacre. The flying zone is an open gate because Ukraine is not a member of NATO, which, ironically, gives Putin the freedom to destroy a country. As for the United States, it is burying Manifest Destiny.
It could be that Putin remembers times that will never return. Russia was once so large that it was called “toutes les Russies,” all the Russias.
At what cost will Ukraine survive this insane invasion?
I will soon post an article about La Fontaine’s Preface to his first collection (Recueil) of Fables. He uses The Fox and the Goat as an example, hence the picture above. The Goat should be in the well, not the Fox. The Fox and the Goat were on friendly terms, and both entered the well to quench their thirst. The Fox climbed out of the well using the Goat’s shoulders and horns. He then preached and left without helping the Goat, his companion, escape.
The War in Ukraine
But that Fox is Vladimir Putin who invaded Ukraine for reasons that cannot justify the deaths of Ukrainians and their flight out of their country to escape. Putin’s army is also destroying public and private quarters. It could be that we are seeing the natural face of Vladimir Putin, but something may have gone very wrong. I doubt very much that he will win this war. He is also silencing Russian citizens who oppose the war. He has too few, if any, supporters. We cannot afford a Third World War,
It has been a long illness, but I have started to feel better. The pain is less severe, so I will attempt to return to normal activities.
I do not regret being vaccinated against Covid, but I could not have imagined how painful and disabling Pericarditis could be. I am now medicated, but I have not been prescribed a pain killer, except briefly, in Magog. Moreover, this illness is in its 5th month, so I suspect Pericarditis will recur.
I have been in Magog for a week but will return to Sherbrooke on 17th March 2022. Sherbrooke is home, and work must be done to my bathroom. I was asked to remove the old whirlpool bathtub because it could leak. Replacing the whirlpool tub was extremely expensive. Moreover, I must fight the Domino effect. The faucets are different; a hand shower is included. The tub surround was wood, which will not do unless the wood is treated. I considered buying an oval shower rod. But my idea was not popular. I should also replace the large vanity, the shower, and everything else, to match the tub. I must resist.
We are about to read the Preface to Jean de La Fontaine’s first collection of fables. The first collection (Recueil) consisted of six books published in 1668. The second collection, five books, was published ten years later, in 1678. In 1793, La Fontaine published his third collection, one book. He was born in 1621 and died in 1695, shortly after his third collection was published.
The apparently incoherent Preface validates Milo Winter’s illustration. Unfortunately, I have not found a picture of The Fox and the Goat by Félix Lorioux.
Milo Winter illustrated the Æsop for Children. In both Æsop’s fable and La Fontaine’s The Fox and the Goat (III.5), the Fox climbs out of the well using the shoulders and horns of the Goat. Therefore, the Goat should be inside the well.