Juan Gabriel (1950-2016)

Este Domingo, 28 de Agosto, el divo de Juárez, el más grande entre los grandes de la música Mexicana, Alberto Aguilera Valadez JUAN GABRIEL ha fallecido a la edad de 66 años.

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Ha muerto el más grande cantautor de la música Mexicana de los últimos 50 años, ahora nace la leyenda. Juan Gabriel era un símbolo de México.  No hay persona que no haya escuchado y cantado con alegría una canción de Juan Gabriel.  “Amor Eterno”, “El Noa Noa”, “Querida”, “Hasta que te conocí”,  “Abrazame muy Fuerte”, “La Muerte del Palomo”, “No Tengo Dinero”, “Yo no nací para Amar”… son más de 1,800  canciones de Juan Gabriel en las que que vivirán para siempre en los corazones de todos los Mexicanos.

El Divo de Juárez, el Divo de México, el Divo de América Latina, ya no está con nosotros, es difícil ahora imaginar este mundo sin la presencia de Juan Gabriel, su muerte es una enorme pérdida para nuestro país, sus conciertos, sus bailes, su presencia se le extrañará mucho,  pero su legado vivirá dentro de nosotros los Mexicanos por muchas decadas más  con sus canciones. No habrá otro como Juan Gabriel. Juan Gabriel era único.

Aqui abajo esta uno de sus conciertos más memorables, el concierto de sus 40 años como artista, celebrado en el Palacio de Bellas Artes, el más alto y distinguido recinto cultural de nuestro país.

Descanse en paz, Juan Gabriel.

 

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Remembering Robert Shaw

Remembering the great actor Robert Shaw on his death Anniversary.

Robert Shaw was one of the greatest actors of history of films.

Today we are going to remember Robert Shaw with love and respect.

He was a huge Star and a great Character actor.  It’s very rare to see an actor that is both a great movie Star and a great character actor at the same time.
Only Robert Shaw.  There is no actor like him.  He was a scene stealer.
Robert Shaw was an actor’s actor in Stage theatrer, television and movies.
When you see “Jaws” you don’t see Robert Shaw the actor, you see “Quint”.
In his Indianapolis monologue you believe him speak, you look at him at his face, his eyes and yes, you truly believe him.   That’s what makes the film “Jaws” a true classic of cinema.
And what about “The Sting”,  you are really afraid of Doyle Lonnegan, the same as “Red” Grant in “From Russia with Love”.
And  also when you watch “The Taking of Pelham One, Two Three”, you are afraid of him, his performance in this original film is one of a kind and he has control of everything.  Robert Shaw’s performance in the original version of “The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three” has a huge impact on me and it didn’t happen the same way with the remake.

 

Robert Shaw, we will never forget you.  You were one of a kind. The greatest!
Long live Robert Shaw!!!!

 

 

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” Goethe

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Today, August 28, is the Birthday anniversary of one of the most important figures of universal culture, the giant of German literature (and also Schiller) and another of my personal heroes…Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In a world when the interest and love for culture is unfortunately going lower, it is always good to remember to ourselves that men who had a huge erudition like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, existed. And yes, by reading and studying Goethe’s life, it is possible to know it all (or almost all). Poet, novelist, translator, dramatist, scientist, humanist and even musician… It is no secret that Goethe was a Renaissance man, and his work had a huge important influence in not only in literature but also in music. Goethe himself was a lover of music and of course, it is impossible not to mention his friendship with Mozart. (Goethe wrote a second part for Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”) and music was extremely important for Goethe’s life and work. It is known that his favourite works were Haydn and Mozart’s masses, Bach’s chorales and Handel’s Messiah. I am sorry to say that Goethe’s encounter with Beethoven was not as wonderful like his friendship with Mozart by the way, Beethoven admired Goethe’s works very much but… their relationship was not…the greatest. Goethe (along with Shakespeare) is probably the author who has inspired more musical works and adaptations than any other in opera and classical music. It would take a very long post to talk about Goethe, whom according to the words of Mexican erudite Ernesto de la Peña, Goethe was for Germany as Shakespeare and Dickens for England, Cervantes for Spain, Rabelais, Voltaire and Victor Hugo for France and Dante and Pico della Mirandola for Italy. I also recommend highly to read Eckermann’s “Conversations of Goethe”, in which this book is a huge delight to read. In this book it’s very interesting and so rich to read about Goethe’s opinions about so many diverse subjects…. Voltaire, Shakespeare, Lord Byron, the Bible, the classics, art, etc…. Goethe was and always be one of the greatest poets and thinkers of universal culture and his many quotes are also a treasure. What else can I say about his monumental “Faust” (which has inspired more operas than any other work!) I consider Faust the greatest work of German literature in every aspect, in morality, religion and philosophy. And finally, as a literature, lieder and Opera fan, I can not forget the influence of Goethe’s works for many composers: Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Gounod, Massenet, Berlioz, Boito, Wagner, just to name a few… I will post below some musical links related to Goethe. And as a final note… and for remembering Goethe’s travels to Italy… I want to give my love and support to my dear Italian friends after the horrible news of the earthquake in Italy.

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Ignacio Padilla (1968-2016)

Lamento comenzar el blog de este mes de Agosto con el lamentable fallecimiendo del escritor, cuentista, narrador, investigador Cervantista Ignacio Padilla quien lamentablemente fallecio en un percance automovilístico.

 

 

«Lamento el fallecimiento de Ignacio Padilla, un hombre de letras en el más amplio sentido de la palabra. Mi pésame a su familia», escribió en su cuenta de Twitter el secretario de Cultura de México, Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, sobre el hecho ocurrido el sábado.

Ignacio Padilla fue un profundo investigador de la obra “Don Quijote de la Mancha” de Miguel de Cervantes y el 10 de febrero de 2011, el escritor se convirtió en miembro de la Academia Mexicana de la Lengua.

Desde fines de los 80, Padilla publicó unos 30 libros como Subterráneos(1989), La catedral de los ahogados (premio Juan Rulfo para Primera Novela 1994), Si volviesen sus majestades (1996), Amphitryon (premio Primavera de Novela 2000), Espiral de artillería (2003), La gruta del toscano (Premio Mazatlán de Literatura 2007) y El daño no es de ayer (2011).

En 2016 publicó el libro de ensayos Cervantes y Compañía, por el aniversario 400 de la muerte del autor del Quijote.

Descanse en Paz, Ignacio Padilla

 

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The 15 best films of Ingmar Bergman

July is the month that we remember Ingmar Bergman, the greatest (along with Andrei Tarkovsky, Akira Kurosawa and Federico Fellini) as one of the greatest film Directors and  writers of history of cinema.

Ingmar Bergman was born on July 14 of 1918 and passed away on July 30 2007 and that is why in this month we are remembering this unforgettable and remarkable Swedish Film Director in which his films are masterpieces of art cinema.

Ingmar Bergman has inspired many other filmmakers such as Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky in which he said “I am only interested in the views of two people: one is called Bresson and one called Bergman.” and Bergman likewise had great respect for Tarkovsky, stating: “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest director”.

In a world in which we are filled of many “commerical blockbuster films from Hollywood”… thankfully, we have the Art Houses in which we can admire the real art cinema… the art of Ingmar Bergman.

Here are the 15 best films of Ingmar Bergman:

“The Seventh Seal”

“Persona”

“Wild Strawberries”

“Cries and Whispers”

 

“Fanny and Alexander”

“Shame”

 

“Through a Glass Darkly”

 

 

“Winter Light”

 

“The Silence”

 

“Hour of the Wolf”

“The Passion of Anna”

“Face to Face”

 

“The Magic Flute”

 

“Autumn Sonata”

 

“Saraband”

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Yves Bonnefoy (1923-2016)

Yves Bonnefoy, the greatest French poet of the second half of the twentieth century, passed away, this last July 6 at age 93. Yves Bonnefoy was one of the most sophisticated voices of the XX Century literature.

 

 

Yves Bonnefoy was a Poet, art historian and translator.  He was a professor at the Collège de France and a multiple times candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature.

He translated many works of Shakespeare which are considered among the best in French.

Yves Bonnefoy wrote many essays about Picasso, Balthus, Giacometti, Mondrian, Alechinsky and Miró.

One of the last interviews with Yves Bonnefoy was at the International Book Fair, in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, back in 2013…….

“Why is it necessary to think in poetry?” That was the question that Yves Bonnefoy made in his press conference at the International Book Fair of Guadalajara, when he received the award FIL for literature in Romance languages.

In that unforgettable press conference, Yves Bonnefoy explained about the huge importance of poetry in the contemporary world.

Because he said, “The Poetry, is the more direct approach with the truth of life”.                “There is not only poetry in the poems, Bonnefoy said,  poetry,  can also be found in texts of Shakespeare or Cervantes”.

Yves Bonnefoy first studied Mathematics and later, in Paris, influenced by Gaston Bachelard y Jean Hippolite, he decided to study Philosophy and science.

Influenced by Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Jouve and Sartre, the work of Bonnefoy is characterized by its philosophical dimension (of the movement and the immobility of Douve, 1953; Dans le leurre du Seoul, 1975). And as already mentioned above, he was an author of essays on art and poetic (a réve fait unto Mantoue, 1967; Le nauge rouge, 1977; The Poésie et l’Humanité, 1984).

One anecdote that Yves Bonnefoy  used to remember was the day that when he, and along with historian and critic Jean Starobinski, went to visit Borges, who was in a hospital in Geneva. When the visit was finished, Bonnefoy and Starobinski started to leave the hospital and Borges suddenly began to shout: ” N’oubliez pas Verlaine, n’oubliez pas Verlaine!” (“Do not forget Verlaine, Do not forget Verlaine”!). While Bonnefoy and Starobinski  walked away from the room, still blasted the voice of Borges in the corridors of the place. By the word – said Bonnefoy on poetry- began to exist again. It will be so.

Yves Bonnefoy  was honoured with a number of prizes throughout his creative life. Early on he was awarded the Prix des Critiques in 1971.

Ten years later, in 1981, The French Academy gave him its grand prize, which was soon followed by the Goncourt Prize for Poetry in 1987.

Over the next 15 years, Bonnefoy was awarded both the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca and the Balzan Prize (for Art History and Art Criticism in Europe) in 1995, the Golden Wreath of Struga Poetry Evenings in 1999, and the Grand Prize of the First Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Awards in 2000.

Toward the final years of his life, Bonnefoy was recognized with the Franz Kafka Prize in 2007 and, in 2011, he received the Griffin Lifetime Recognition Award, presented by the trustees of the Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2014, he was co-winner of the Janus Pannonius International Poetry Prize.

Rest in peace, Yves Bonnefoy

 

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin, New Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera.

I am very, very happy to announce that today, Thursday, June 2nd, the Opera World received with happiness the annoucement of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the New Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera.

 

This is the first time in four decades that the Metropolitan Opera has a new Music Director.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who is actually the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is one of the most brilliant conductors of this generation and all Opera lovers around the world, specially the MET followers are more than happy of having Maestro Nézet-Séguin as the new Music Director.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin brings a special energy and passion while conducting and it is always a huge pleasure and joy to watch him conduct and I feel that Peter Gelb and the MET Council made an excellent and very wise choice.

All of us who watch and follow the Operas of the MET are very, very lucky to have Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the new music Director.
I have seen him conduct many operas and concerts, including the recent MET’s production of Verdi’s masterpiece “OTELLO” with Aleksandrs Antoņenko, Željko Lučić and Sonya Yoncheva in which in my opinion, it was one of the greatest performances of Otello ever precisely because of the brilliant and marvelous conducting of Maestro Nézet-Séguin.

Another extraordinary Opera experience was with the MET’s 2014 production of Dvorak’s “Rusalka” with Renée Fleming and Piotr Beczala in which Maestro Nézet-Séguin brought more poetry to the already beautiful music of Antonín Dvorak.

Another wonderful moment of Maestro Nézet-Séguin that I loved and I highly recommend to all music lovers to listen is the marvelous “The Nutcracker” concert. In this concert, you will notice the passion and love that Maestro Nézet-Séguin has for music:

BUT, unfortunately, we will still have to wait for a few more years though, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will not officially take up the Met post until the 2020-21 season, leaving the company without a full-time music director in the meantime.
I feel that, after the also extraordinary and legendary Maestro James Levine made his annoucement of his retirement in this last spring, we all are very lucky to have now Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the new Music Director of the MET and I want to congratulate to Peter Gelb for this excellent decision.

And……

CONGRATULATIONS Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin!!!!!!!!

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