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Mary Jane Freeman

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Beethoven: Sparks of Joy!

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy — Opus 110 well-known, presents a gamut of settings, much like a great drama.

Opus 110 is the most popular of Beethoven’s late sonatas. The opening is lyrical and warm, and is followed by an exuberant Scherzo, whose themes were borrowed from two folk tunes – “Unsa Kätz häd Katzln ghab” (Our cat has had kittens) and “Ich bin lüderlich, du bist lüderlich” (I’m a dissolute slob, and so are you). The specific force of the allusions may not be felt, but their boisterous, comic character is clear.
However, it is the extraordinary third movement that dominates discussion of this sonata. Its principal elements are an Arioso dolente  (lamenting song) and a three-voice fugue, which unexpectedly loses heart and gives way to a second Arioso even more despairing than the first. Suddenly, the fugue is repeated, but this time the theme is turned upside-down, and it ends on a note of triumph with a flourish of arpeggios.
Seong-Jin Cho was just 17 years old when he performed this sonata at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]


To Go To Mars, We Need Nuclear-Powered Rockets

NPR Gets It Right, for Once: To Go To Mars, We Need Nuclear-Powered Rockets

Feb. 25, 2021 (EIRNS)—National Public Radio reported yesterday on comments by Roger Myers, an independent aerospace consultant and co-chair of a panel convened by the National Academies to study nuclear propulsion. “If we decide to send humans to Mars, nuclear propulsion is likely to be central to that journey,” Myers stated. A new report just issued by Myers and colleagues says that spending by NASA is “going to have to be ramped up significantly if we’re going to hit 2039” for a nuclear-based mission.

NPR explained, “The idea of using nuclear reactors for propulsion dates back to the earliest days of the U.S. space program. In the 1950s and 1960s, scientists with what was then called the Atomic Energy Commission developed a series of nuclear rockets. The program was conducted in collaboration for NASA and developed working prototypes. But it was cancelled in the early 1970s, after it became clear the missions for which it was needed, to travel to Mars and the Moon, were unlikely to go forward.

“Nuclear-powered rockets are needed both to minimize the travel time to Mars, as well as to reduce the amount of time astronauts would have to stay there before being able to return. Under normal fuels,” astronauts would be required to stay on Mars for 500 days while waiting for a planetary alignment that would let them get back to Earth using as little propellant as possible. Nuclear power, by contrast, could allow the mission to be completed with less fuel and in a shorter amount of time. Because of the extra thrust provided by nuclear rocket motors, astronauts would be able to take a shortcut back to Earth by spiraling around the Sun and Venus. The mission would also mean a shorter first stay on Mars of only about a month, as opposed to 500 days.”


Great Leap Backwards: the Green Deal Swindle

Soaring European “Carbon” Market Encourages London, but Worries Remain that U.S Is Not Securely on Board

Feb. 25, 2021 (EIRNS)—London’s The Economist magazine on Feb. 24 hailed the 60% surge in prices on the European carbon-emissions trading market since last November as a sign that the market is finally “Coming into Its Own,” as it headlined its report. The European market is far-and-away the biggest carbon trading operation in the world. The Economist points to the entry of some 230 “investment funds” into the trading—speculators like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and big hedge funds—as signalling that the market is “joining the financial mainstream.” And they are entering, because “carbon seems like a one-way bet.” The European Union’s Dec. 11th order to increase the required cuts in emissions by 2030 to 55% of 1990 levels, instead of “only” by 40%, combined with the entry of the big speculators, sent emission “allowance” prices soaring, with bets that the price will rise (“long positions”) doubling since November.

The Economist has spent much of the past week, however, in various articles, including a monster piece of over 3,500 words, ruminating about how to ensure that the United States joins the murderous decarbonization frenzy in the way it must, if London is to have a shot at imposing this scheme upon the entire world. “While few question Mr. Biden’s sincerity to turn things round, America’s ability to keep to its word on climate change looks vulnerable to the next Republican election win,” one article warned. Another reminded readers that the U.S. Congress has not passed any overall climate legislation since 2009, which forced Barack Obama to impose the desired messages by executive orders, which, however, were then overturned by President Trump. If Biden is unable to impose a sufficiently aggressive decarbonization program, no matter how strong John Kerry is, The Economist warns in its typically British way, the United States will lack “the license to persuade, shame, and where appropriate, bully” other countries—such as China.

While it presents many a suggestion, scenario, and order as to how to handle U.S. politics to secure London’s goal, the rag’s controllers make clear that they are pinning their hope of cracking opposition, on tightening the cut-off of financing to any who don’t play ball. Republican business donors being squeezed by “asset managers,” can be lined up behind “Biden’s” net-zero carbon plans. A January statement of support for a “durable climate policy” with “well designed market mechanisms” from the American Chamber of Commerce, once considered “an implacable adversary” to the Green fraud, is viewed as another hopeful sign that pressure from the corporate sector might break Republican and conservative Democrat opposition.


Beethoven: Sparks of Joy!

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy — Wonder and human ingenuity got us to Mars, and this Beethoven song reflects upon such human qualities.

The ongoing exploration of Mars by scientists of three nations leads one to ponder the true nature of mankind and our exciting prospects for the future.
One of Beethoven’s most beautiful songs is  Abendlied unterm gerstirnten Himmel (Evening Song Under a Starry Sky), which describes the effect on the soul of gazing into the night sky and contemplating the immensity of creation. In the first strophe, the thousands of stars in the night sky make the soul feel immense, lifting it out of the dust. In the second strophe, the soul feels as if it is looking “zurück ins Vaterland” (back into the fatherland), while in the next two strophes the soul soars heavenward, finally reaching “Meine Leiden schönen Lohn” (the beautiful reward of my suffering). 
It’s sung here by Peter Schreier, with text in Spanish, English, and German. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]


Beethoven: Sparks of Joy

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy — Op. 109 is the predecessor to the Hammerklavier.

The Opus 109 sonata is a much smaller work than its immediate predecessor, the “Hammerklavier”. It has a fantasy-like first movement followed by a quick prestissimo, and the whole is capped with a marvelous theme and variations, which Beethoven instructed was to be played “song-like, with the most intimate expression.” Here Daniel Barenboim performs. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]


Beethoven: Sparks of Joy

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy — Op. 106, “Hammerklavier,” enfolds soul-wrenching drive with those unknown last moments of a Mars landing.

The Opus 106 “Hammerklavier”, Beethoven’s 29th sonata, is one of the most demanding works in the entire keyboard repertoire. Magnificent in scope, enormous in length, it contains a soul-wrenching Adagio movement and ends with an incredible double fugue. One might compare the finale to NASA’s “seven minutes of terror” as the Mars spacecraft makes its final descent and landing on the Red Planet!
Beethoven remarked to his publisher Artaria that this sonata would be “a hard nut to crack”, and that it would have pianists gnashing their teeth for the next 50 years. In fact, Beethoven’s London publisher released only the first three movements (rearranged so that the Scherzo followed the Adagio) because it was felt that England had no pianists at the time capable of playing the finale.
Although Beethoven had already used the term “Hammerklavier” for the Opus 106, it has become universally accepted as the name for this immortal work. Here is a superb performance by Vladimir Ashkenazy. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]


Beethoven: Sparks of Joy

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – Op. 101 begins his “late period” sonatas.

The Opus 101 is generally regarded as the first of the “late period” sonatas, in which Beethoven takes advantage of the expanded range  and sturdier construction of the “Hammerklavier” to produce works of extraordinary power and richness of effect. In fact, in the Opus 101 Beethoven uses the low “E” for the first time – a note that didn’t exist on earlier instruments.
This is emphatically not a “Romantic” work. The Romantic movement was unleashed after the Congress of Vienna in order to supplant artistic rigor and replace it with “anything goes” licentiousness, in order to corrupt the musical tastes, and hence morality, of the public. Beethoven was  always a Classical composer.
The sonata, which Beethoven jokingly suggested be called “the difficult-to-play A major sonata” is performed magnificently by Emil Gilels. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]


Beethoven: Sparks of Joy

Beethoven’s sonata Op. 90 follows Napoleon’s defeat.

Five years would lapse before another piano sonata appeared since Napoleon’s storming of Vienna. During these years, Beethoven composed his Mass in C, and organized a successful revival of his opera, now called “Fidelio”.
The Opus 90 sonata was composed following the defeat of Napoleon and during the preparations for the 1815 Congress of Vienna – the conference of royals and their functionaries which restored the feudal system over war-ravaged Europe, unleashed the Romantic movement, and ruthlessly suppressed all efforts to replicate the new American model of government in Europe. 
The sonata has two movements, and is played here with great passion by the Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]


Beethoven: Sparks of Joy

Beethoven’s rebuke of Napoleonic forces; a sonata for Archduke Rudolph.

Napoleon’s forces approached Vienna in April of 1809, forcing the nobility to flee to their country estates, and Beethoven to shelter in his brother’s cellar, with pillows strapped over his ears to preserve what little hearing he still had. 
The departure of his friend and patron, the Archduke Rudolph, was the occasion for Beethoven’s next piano sonata, “Das Lebewohl” (The Farewell), Opus 81a. In the first movement (“Das Abschied” – The Parting) he writes the syllables “Le-be-wohl’ over the opening theme, which he returns to throughout. The second movement, called “Abwesenheit” (Absence), is a poignant depiction of longing, and  leads directly to the third movement, “Das Wiedersehen” (The Return), in which Beethoven celebrates the anticipated homecoming of his patron with unbounded joy and exuberance. 
It is important to note that from this point on Beethoven abandoned the use of both the French and Italian languages in his compositions, instead giving all tempo and other instructions in German, and he was furious when his publisher gave this sonata the name Les Adieux.
András Schiff gives an outstanding interpretation of this marvelous work. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]


LaRouche Warned: No Development, then Death

Life Expectancy Plunged in U.S. in First Half of 2020

Feb. 18, 2021 (EIRNS)—Preliminary estimates issued today by the CDC indicate that life expectancy in the United States dropped by a huge one year in the first half of 2020 alone, largely as a direct and indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The average drop for Black Americans was a stunning three years; for Hispanics nearly two years. This is a lawful expression of what Lyndon LaRouche warned for 50 years would happen if society’s Potential Relative Population Density drops below the actual population: the total population and its average life expectancy will follow into the abyss, sooner or later.

“This is a huge decline,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees the numbers for the CDC, according to a report published by AP. “You have to go back to World War II, the 1940s, to find a decline like this.” Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a health equity researcher and dean at the University of California, San Francisco said: “What is really quite striking in these numbers is that they only reflect the first half of the year … I would expect that these numbers would only get worse,” said.

In 2019, average life expectancy in the US was 78.8 years—75.1 for males and 80.5 for females. In the first half of 2020, it had dropped to 77.8 years for all Americans. “As a group, Hispanics in the U.S. have had the most longevity and still do. Black people now lag white people by six years in life expectancy, reversing a trend that had been bringing their numbers closer since 1993,” according to AP.

Dr. Otis Brawley, a cancer specialist and public health professor at Johns Hopkins University, stated: “The focus really needs to be broad-spread of getting every American adequate care. And health care needs to be defined as prevention as well as treatment.” He said “our mishandling of the pandemic” is largely responsible for the drop in life expectancy. “We have been devastated by the coronavirus more so than any other country. We are 4% of the world’s population, more than 20% of the world’s coronavirus deaths.”


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