Wednesday, 30 September 2009

October anniversaries of classical composers

5/10/1880 Offenbach died

9/10/1835 Saint Sens born

9/10/1813 Verdi born

11/10/1896 Bruckner died

12/10/1872 Vaughan-Williams born

14/10/1990 Bernstein died

17/10/1849 Chopin died

18/10/1893 Gounod died

22/10/1811 Liszt born

25/10/1838 Bizet born

25/10/1825 Johann Strauss born

Monday, 28 September 2009

Underwater photography - 1895

I came across this item in an 1895 version of the Golden Penny magazine.
How extraordinary. I wonder if any of his images still exist and where to find them?

Friday, 18 September 2009

2010 Calendar - 12 Piano Composers

We're half way through September already - soon be Christmas!
I have started working on my 2010 calendars.
I am trying Redbubble for the first time and have just published one of Piano composers including:
Liszt – Scriabin – Rachmaninov – Bach – Brahms – Debussy – Schumann – Satie – Chopin – Beethoven – Mozart

See it at Redbubble

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Freedom of the (Italian) Press 1928

Looking through my old copies of Punch magazine I came across this cartoon of Mussolini which uncannily reflects Berlusconi's attempts to muzzle the press today.

The caption reads:
Signor Mussolini: "You see, Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't muzzle him, the sagacious animal puts on his own muzzle himself, the freeest dog in the world!"
[The Italian journalist, according to Signor Mussolini in his address to the Editors of the Fascist Press (there is no other Press in Italy), "does not wait to take his orders daily because he already has them in his consciousness."]

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Happy Birthday Henry Purcell

Today is the 350th birthday of the great English baroque composer Henry Purcell.
He was the first English composer of comparable stature to the European composers. Tragically his productive life was cut short at the early age of 36.

More about him at

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Autumn Fair

Yesterday I went to the Autumn Fair at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre). This is the big trade fair for the retail gift market. I have been many times in the past when I had my picture framing business and it was always a useful source of ideas and products in the art and framing business.
I was quite shocked and disappointed at how few stands there were showing art and hardly any framing companies.
I was also disturbed by the amount of near plagiarism on show. For example Jack Vettriano and Banksy were the flavour of the month and many artists and art publishers are taking advantage of this by copying their style.
This is a big problem for many artists who develop a distinctive and popular style af art.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Edvard Grieg anniversary

Today is the 102nd anniversary of Grieg's death in 1907. I was reminded of it while listening to the radio and sitting in a traffic jam at Gatwick airport this afternoon. It helped pass the time.
He was a modest man as illustrated by a quote of his:
- "Artists like Bach and Beethoven erected churches and temples on the heights. I only wanted... to build dwellings for men in which they might feel happy and at home."