Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hot Stuff


"You don't hear me complaining, do you?"
It is late February. Sunshine and warm temperatures are most assuredly not normal
in these parts this time of year.

Today's temperature peak might even hit 70 degrees. Mind-boggling.

"Yeah, but how much could it take to boggle your mind anyway, old man?"

A trifle harsh, don't you think?

Spring Training Update

My beloved Kansas City Royals 
are still a few days away from their first Cactus League action, but that doesn't mean there aren't some interesting stories unfolding.

One such story involves Australian RHP Peter Moylan, who was signed to a minor-league deal recently and invited to try to make the major league club again this season.

Peter had a decent season for the Royals in 2016, and it will be fun to see if he can pitch his way back into the Royals' bullpen for 2017.

"Admit it. You're rooting for him because he's an old guy."

Hey, if he can pitch, he can pitch...the fact that he's 38 has nothing to do with it...

Feast Day

Today is the feast day of St. Peter Damian,
an 11th century Benedictine monk who rose to the rank of cardinal under Pope St. Leo IX.

Noted for his strong opinions and fiery rhetoric, Peter was a significant enough figure to be mentioned by name in Dante's Paradiso (Virgil and Beatrice encounter him in the Seventh Sphere and engage him in conversation). In particular, Peter was an outspoken critic corruption in the church, and a tireless advocate for a wide array
of fundamental reforms.

Peter is a pre-congregation saint, but his many contributions to the faith resulted
in his being named Doctor of the Church
in 1828 by Pope Leo XII.

Partial Credit for Funny Answer, Kid

From the Jeff MacNelly-created comic strip Shoe, now being produced by Gary Brookins and Jeff's widow Susie.

Until Next Time...

On February 21, 1791 Carl Czerny was born in Vienna, to parents of Czech origin.
Carl's father and grandfather were both musicians, and Carl himself was quite a prodigy, playing the piano at age three and writing his first compositions by age seven. He was nine years old when he made his first public performance (Mozart's Piano Concerto 
No. 24 in C minor, a difficult and advanced piece).

When he was 10 years old Carl met Ludwig van Beethoven, under whom he studied regularly until 1804 and periodically thereafter. Beethoven thought enough of Czerny's playing to select him to perform major premieres, including the Vienna debut of his Piano Concerto No. 5 (aka the "Emperor Concerto) when Czerny was 21. His musical relationship with the maestro remained close until the latter's death in 1827.

Czerny paid forward Beethoven's kindnesses by becoming a noted teacher himself.
His own most famous student, Franz Liszt, became a major star both as a performer
and as a composer.

Czerny himself was an incredibly prolific composer, with over a thousand published works to his credit. He wrote across a broad range of genres, everything from chamber music to symphonies.

Probably his best-known works are the piano compositions he wrote for study by students. His The School of Velocity and The Art of Finger Dexterity are still widely used today.

Czerny's music is not so frequently recorded
as his contemporaries, but a few of his pieces are recorded with some frequency. His Fantasia concertante, popular among conservatory students, does appear from time to time on recordings by professional piano trios.

Today's send-off is a 1992 recording of the work by The Chinook Trio, a Canadian ensemble, from their YouTube channel. Enjoy...

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