Are there Furry Creatures that Give You Fury?

Modern painting Leap of Rabbit from 1911 by Amadeu de Sousa Cardoso shows a rabbit leaping in a garden.
Leap of Rabbit (1911)
Amadeu de Sousa Cardoso

“I Have Elephants in MY Garden so What’s YOUR Problem?” One of the best titles for a garden talk I’ve seen comes from Marie Butler, the now-retired coordinator of landscape for the Virginia Zoological Park in Norfolk.

You have to admit that however impossible to win your back yard battles may seem, Read more

Sound of the Season: Claude Debussy’s Enchanting Music for Spring

note: Often the purpose of links is to indicate further information is available on related topics. Most links are independent, but some help support this web site. If you prefer, feel free to donate instead.

painting The River Epte by Claude Monet (1885)
The River Epte (1885)
by Claude Monet

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.

George Santayana

a portrait of Claude Debussy by Marcel Baschet (1884)
portrait of Claude Debussy by Marcel Baschet (1884)

As a young adult, when the French pianist-composer Claude Debussy was living in Rome as a laureate of the Rome Prize, he was expected to send works back to Paris indicating his artistic progress. One of them was supposed to be a symphony or a piece of similar scope for orchestra. In fact, he hardly completed anything because he was trying to write music “that is supple and concentrated enough to adapt itself to the lyrical movements of the soul and the whims of reverie.” It also helps to acknowledge he was a meticulous craftsman and re-writer who held himself to an exceedingly high standard and an innovator who wasn’t content to write music the way it had been before.

One of the few things he did complete and send was a piano duet called Spring, and he added that the full score for orchestra, piano, and chorus had been lost Read more

Sound of the Season: Spring (in Catalonia)

note: Often the purpose of links is to indicate further information is available on related topics. Most links are independent, but some help support this web site. If you prefer, feel free to donate instead.

the 1918 impressionist painting Almond Trees in Blossom by Theo van Rysselberghe
Almond Trees in Blossom (1918)
Theo van Rysselberghe

“When you remember me, it means you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.”

Frederick Buechner,
who is Read more

You’ve Never Heard the Seasons in Sonic Panoramas Like This

William Blake once wrote, “to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” If you’re an avid gardener or a lover of the outdoors overall . . . and you’ve never heard Haydn’s large-scale treatment of the seasons for chorus and orchestra, isn’t it about time to find out what you’ve been missing? Versions are available in German and English, so you can’t use the language barrier as an excuse! For recommendations, skip to the bottom, or keep on going if you’d like some details first . . .

note: Often the purpose of links is to indicate further information is available on related topics. Most links are independent, but some help support this web site! If you prefer, feel free to donate instead.

images of country life during the four seasons from Flemish baroque painter Sebastian Vrancx
Allegories of the Seasons, date unknown
Sebastian Vrancx (1573-1647)

On June 12, 1799, while working on this oratorio, one of the greatest composers in history wrote to his German publisher about–would you believe?–his concern that he was losing it: Read more

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