Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Unusual concertos [89]: Saxophone quartet

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - realizing 80+ this time.

The eighty ninth concerto is the fourth to deal with a larger group of players rather than a single or double instrument. The saxophone quartet (image credit) is a musical ensemble composed of four saxophonists, typically employing soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. I have selected the concerto for saxophone quartet and orchestra by Tristan Keuris, in the version by the Rascher Saxophone Quartet and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under Otto Tausk. It is available on a Quattro CD box.

Go here

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Erwin Blumenfeld

Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1967) was a photographer and artist born in Germany. He was best known for his fashion photography (Vogue and Harper's Bazaar), and celebrity portraiture. This shot of Audrey Hepburn wearing a head piece designed by the photographer, with a mirror placed behind her head to create the repeating image, has become iconic. More about Blumenfeld in the Wikipedia entry linked to below.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Galapagos

Partially because he has been less active on Flickr, but it has been far too long since my Flickr friend aftab featured in this blog. Well, here he is, with one of those beautiful wild life shots that he excels in. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday afternoon

We have finally come around to updating our web site again, with the added benefit that I can post some of my wife's latest creations in the blog the coming months. Here is a beautiful miniature oil painting (20x20 cm) that packs a lot of atmosphere in such a small space.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 31. La solitudine (Laura Pausini)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #31, we find one of my favourite Italian songs of all time, Laura Pausini's La solitudine (Loneliness, #1 in 1994). A great pop ballad about a love lost, nothing special about that, but with a gorgeous melody and sung with great emotion and panache. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, May 22, 2015

No wonder (that I love you)

The sheet music cover for this Joe Burke song from the late 20s (I'd guess) is one of the most beautiful in this genre. It would make a perfect wall decoration.

web site

Thursday, May 21, 2015

N

This album cover is as minimal as the title itself, but shockingly effective. It is the fourth album by Tokyo trio Nisennenmondai, whose experimental pop/rock sounds have been well received by critics, if perhaps not by the general audience.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Guinness world record: Facial massage

This photograph combines a clear illustration of a news story with excellent composition. It shows a group of one thousand customers receiving a facial massage at a sports center in Jinan (China) earlier this month, a Guinness world record for "the largest group of people having beauty treatment in the same location", according to local media. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Undisclosed/Reuters).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tour de Kampen

Maybe I should do this more often, as more often than not I'm very satisfied with the outcome. This shot is a digital merger of seven photographs taken during the start of the local bicycle race. Good responses at Flickr, probably just missing out on Explore.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/500)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Harvey Esparcia

An excellent example of the use of negative space in a logo. This is the personal logo from Filipino designer Harvey Esparcia - just an E and a negative H.

web site

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 32. Can't stay away from you (Gloria Estefan)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #32, we find Gloria Estefan's beautiful ballad, Can't stay away from you (#1 in 1989). In the charts, the song was billed alternately as a Gloria Estefan solo record or one with her band the Miami Sound Machine. Effectively, this is a solo effort though, the exciting Caribbean rhythms of the Sound Machine having been replaced by lush instrumentation. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, May 15, 2015

Piezoelectric violin

I have not been able to find out what it sounds like, but in terms of design, the piezoelectric violin designed by MONAD Studio (Eric Goldemberg, Veronica Zalcberg and musician Scott F. Hall) for an installation at Javits Center in New York, April this year, takes first prize.

web site

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Unusual concertos [88]: Cornet

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - realizing 80+ this time.

The eighty eighth concerto deals with the cornet, a brass instrument very similar to the trumpet, distinguished by its conical bore, compact shape, and mellower tone quality. It was invented in 1814, and has made little appearance in classical music. In my CD collection, I have one concerto for cornet and orchestra by Dexter Morrill, in the version by Mark Ponzo and the Northern Illinois Philharmonic under Brian Groner. It is available on a Centaur CD.

Go here

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ribbon Chapel Hiroshima

This elegant wedding chapel was constructed on a resort near Hiroshima, Japan (image source). It was designed by Hiroshi Nakamura. The 15 m tall building rises above the trees with criss-crossing spiral stairs that come together at the top. The double helix chapel was designed for weddings – lovers ascend separate staircases, then meet at the viewing platform at the top. More on this building can be found in the link below.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tulip fields

Earlier this month, we managed to see some of the tulip fields that the Netherlands are so famous for. These were just 20 minutes by car from our home, but for years we had failed to see them in time. I posted a series of photographs on Flickr, but for the blog I decided to include a digital art version of one of these, created with the free software SuperPhoto (painting mode) that came with my laptop. The link leads to the original photograph.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Vogue October 1936

When I saw this vintage Vogue cover, I just had to post it for my wife. The combination of a painter pallet and artistic hat is straight up her alley. The cover was designed by René Bouët-Willaumez.

link

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dynamics

Another co-production with my wife. She took a print on canvas of my photograph Peugeot Headlight (blogged here), added some paint and more importantly magazine cut-outs, to create a beautiful piece of mixed media art.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Saturday, May 09, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 33. Fernando (ABBA)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #33, we find one of ABBA's many hits, Fernando (#1 in 1976). Only one year after their runaway Eurovision Songfestival win with Waterloo - but what a great step forward in so many respects. This sensitive ballad showed that the Swedish quartet had much more to offer than many thought. The song was written for and included on Frida's solo album, but the band decided to re-record it as a single (strangely enough, it never made a regular album). Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, May 08, 2015

The New Yorker September 1928

Here we have another beautiful vintage cover for the New Yorker, with a lovely caricature of the life of the wealthy. This was after all the Great Gatsby age.

link