When it comes to Musical History, it is undeniable that Ludwig van Beethoven is one of its greatest icons. Ill-tempered, rough, deaf (it all could be linked, of course) we know just that side of his personality which was, surely, richer. Yet we all (maybe not all: while writing this, I have VH1 running on … More Beethoven and the traitors: new boy band in town
Now, we have this man. And the man is a king, mind you. A great king. One who, allegedly, dared to say that He was the State. And, by the way, there is this tale of this man not really being the king, but a twin, or a lookalike, the real king being imprisoned behind … More Tous les matins du monde le Roi danse. Music in the Sun king’s era through French films.
Now, we have this man’s story. Nice, military guy, went to Middle-East. Got shot, serious injury in a hand; captured by the enemy, spent some time in prison in Northern Africa, where he was close to being beheaded. Finally he was released, went back home, wrote a book. Now, you are thinking. About the man, … More Would-be Movie Hero Writes a Book…
So, this is R.Cespedes reporting live for History News from the center of the Gallipoli battle, here at the Suvla Bay landing beaches. We hear reports about things going quite badly: the landing spots missed in several cases, as it has been usual along the last months. But, at least, reports from the front say … More Live from a failure. Last acts of heroism and nonsense from Gallipoli.
Whilst getting ready for this paper I was quietly watching the television, late at night, when a story came to help me. The show was a documentary about Waterloo. The story was, roughly, about a private and his food on the morning of the battle, or rather, about the lack of food. So as the … More Napoleon’s Forgotten Tin Cans
There are not so many opportunities to find, in the same book, knowledge, literary prowess and entertainment. Historical research, moreover, is prone to lack at least one of the former (not wanting to stir polemics, though, I would not mention which one). But in this particular case you can find all of them, plus accuracy, clear … More Blood and snow; Myth and poetry. The White war re-visited.
So we have left the Allies quite dumbfounded at the event of not being able to break the Turkish defences by sea. Churchill, First Lord, was keen on keeping the pressure. To no avail. Fisher was of the opinion that the field Commander (or Sea Admiral in the case) was best to assess the situation; … More Gallipoli Part II
Not happy to be a British (or Dominion) soldier and be sent to the surroundings of Constantinople. Somehow, the area is a magnet for disaster, whether you are trying to help or destroy the Russians, it doesn’t matter the Turks being your allies or the target, and always hand in hand with the French. Come … More GALLIPOLI I: KNOCKING ON THE SULTAN’S DOOR
A man with a strong personality is that one who, commissioned in a time of war to make a musical portrait of a fellow countryman decides that he wants to depict Wal Whitman, a famous peacemaker. That the man ended up working on a portrait of Abraham Lincoln reflects not only the seriousness of times … More Ghost from war past
So, what about an opera about a Tsar, written by a serf’s grandson and which was rejected by the Maryinsky Theatre just because (allegedly) it lacked a leading female character, then turning into a massive success (but not with the Imperial family) only to be adapted, shortened, reconstructed and who knows what else after its … More A Tsar and a musician walk into a bar…