Beethoven's Ode to Joy

The Sound of Friendship: Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“

18.04.2022

For L.v.B.’s 250th anniversary

Whenever there is reason to celebrate on a festive scale, a dramatic sound scape must not be missing. Worldwide, solemn ceremonies are carried by Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“ (Ode an die Freude), being played by enthusiastic orchestras and sung by effervescent choirs in front of a mesmerised audience. Since its debut in Vienna in 1824, the compassionate tune and emotional lyrics manifested themselves as the epitome of the brotherhood of man.

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A Galloway by Pexels

Common Sense vs. Decadence

11.04.2022

 

The 25 most expensive Dishes and Drinks compiled by Ignitespot

As is widely known, there are many sappy fruitcakes on the face of this earth, some even make it to the top of politics. But no, what we are talking about here is genuine food, albeit of a nature that again gives reason to doubt reason. Spending a fortune on a humble slice of Japanese Miyazaki Wagyu beef – the Kobe superlative – may still be somewhat comprehensible given the fact that body and soul of an Asian cow need to be pampered into beef so artfully marbled and tender that effort and price are warranted and the cow is a happy one until death do them part, bovine and farmer. If you are a good Miyazaki-Wagyu-beef producer you might even win the Japanese Culinary Olympics Beef Competition held in Nagasaki every five years. And so it happens that a slice of Lancashire Wagyu & Mushroom Pie served in England may cost you a handsome 1,781 US-$.

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The Wild Haggis: Fact or fiction?

Scotland: Is the Wild Haggis fact or fiction?

1.04.2022

Bringing down the rare Haggis scotticus – the Wild Haggis – to secure the next traditional Haggis meal – requires utmost agility and perseverance by human persecutors equipped with equally-measured lower extremities. One must know that Wild Haggii vary in characteristics and that it is two different genera who roam steep and rough highlandish terrain. In both cases the legs on their left are different in length from the ones on their right – and vice versa. Either way, their unusual physique allows them to swiftly climb and scuttle around their regular habitat unperturbed by topographical challenges, albeit in one single direction only: Wild Haggii featuring longer legs on the left, move around clockwise, whereas the ones relying on extended limbs on their right, will logically proceed counter-clockwise. A refined GPS system usually prevents painful head-on collisions and all Haggii, limbed in whichever fashion, are said to lead a fairly peaceful coexistence.

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The Smetana Hall + Obceni Dum in Prague

Prague: Obecní dům – a Genius Loci of fine Art Nouveau

2.03.2022

Great sculptors and painters of their time have created an architectural treasure, whose masterly opulence bears witness to their genius to this day. Jan Preisler, Mikoláš Aleš, Max Švabinský, František Ženíšek, Ladislav Šaloun, Josef Mařatka, Josef Václav Myslbek or Alfons Mucha – names difficult to pronounce – were but a small fraction within the remarkable group of skillful artists involved in building and decorating Obecní dům – the Municipal House located right in the heart of Prague. Since its inauguration in January of 1912, the extraordinary building has served as a splendid stage for atmospheric concerts, grand festive balls as well as fancy fashion shows and is justly listed a national heritage site. Its two protagonists – the Smetana Hall and the Municipal House Restaurant – alone are well worth the trip to Prague, from whichever corner of the globe it may have to commence. Read article

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Mamuthone Mask_Credits: Enrico Spanu:www.enricospanu.com. License: CC BY-NC-SA..

Sardinia: Mamoiada Carnival

8.02.2022

From man to beast

Even a candidate as stubborn as winter himself must get cold feet at the sight of a Mamuthone (header image) – not to speak of an entranced hoard of them foot-stamping and cow-bell-rattling on streets and around the many bonfires lit for the grave occasion. The noise is deafening and the atmosphere perturbing. The aim of this ancestral rite is to scare winter and any evil away with all the might one can muster. Thus, room is made for spring and to welcome the good it promises to bring. In order for nature not to oversleep, the tradition of stamping and rattling, by employing full weight of body and bells, is a drastic means of reliably shaking her out of hibernation and to remind her: Now is the time for renewal! Measures that seem to have worked over ages. Read article

Reading time: about 4 minutes