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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Musical Interlude

Something a bit unusual for this Resurrection Sunday

The Bells by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943):

From the YouTube blurb:
The Bells, Op. 35, is a choral symphony written in 1913. The words are from the poem "The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe, freely translated into Russian by the symbolist poet Konstantin Balmont. Sung in Russian.


I. Allegro ma non tanto: The Silver Sleigh Bell
II. Lento: The Mellow Wedding Bells
III. Presto: The Loud ASlarum [sic] Bells
IV. Lento: The Mournful Iron Bells
More information HERE at Wikipedia

Spring-rebirth photos I recently took in our yard after the — long, brutal winter:

Crocuses in our front yard

Crocuses in our front yard

Daffodils in our side yard

Daffodil at the west side of our house

Blessed Easter Sunday!  

Happy Spring!


  1. Have a wonderful and blessed Easter, AOW.

  2. "If with all your heart ye truly seek me, Ye shall ever surely find me," thus saith our God.

    I believe we are so troubled now, because too many of us have stopped trying to find Him, and have abandoned ourselves to cynicism, suspicion, resentment, fear and contempt instead.

    Don't fret. Don't fume. Trust in the Ultimate Power of Goodness, instead, and have a HAPPY EASTER!

  3. Your photos are lovely. I shall enjoy the Rachmaninoff a bit later –– a wonderful, very welcome departure from staid Tradition by the way.


    1. FT,
      I wanted to post some music for Easter, but I also wanted to post something "not the usual." I almost chose Rachmaninoff's Vespers, which I dearly love.

  4. Too hot for crocuses here. I miss them.


  5. _ With the First Arbutus _

    Pink, small, and punctual,
    Aromatic, low,
    Covert in April,
    Candid in May,

    Dear to the moss,
    Known by the knoll,
    Next to the robin
    In every human soul.

    Bold little beauty,
    Bedecked with thee,
    Nature forswears

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

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Hear the sledges with the bells ––

    Silver bells!

    What a world of merriment their melody foretells!

    How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,

    In the icy air of night!

    While the stars that oversprinkle

    All the heavens seem to twinkle

    With a crystalline delight;

    Keeping time, time, time,

    In a sort of Runic rhyme,

    To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

    From the bells, bells, bells, bells,

    Bells, bells, bells ––

    From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.


    Hear the mellow wedding bells ––

    Golden bells!

    What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!

    Through the balmy air of night

    How they ring out their delight!

    From the molten-golden notes,

    And all in tune,

    What a liquid ditty floats

    To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats

    On the moon!

    Oh, from out the sounding cells

    What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!

    How it swells!

    How it dwells

    On the Future! –– how it tells

    Of the rapture that impels

    To the swinging and the ringing

    Of the bells, bells, bells,

    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

    Bells, bells, bells ––

    To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!


    Hear the loud alarum bells ––

    Brazen bells!

    What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!

    In the startled ear of night

    How they scream out their affright!

    Too much horrified to speak,

    They can only shriek, shriek,

    Out of tune,

    In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,

    In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,

    Leaping higher, higher, higher,

    With a desperate desire,

    And a resolute endeavor

    Now -now to sit or never,

    By the side of the pale-faced moon.

    Oh, the bells, bells, bells!

    What a tale their terror tells

    Of despair!

    How they clang, and clash, and roar!

    What a horror they outpour

    On the bosom of the palpitating air!

    Yet the ear it fully knows,

    By the twanging

    And the clanging,

    How the danger ebbs and flows;

    Yet the ear distinctly tells,

    In the jangling

    And the wrangling,

    How the danger sinks and swells,

    By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells ––

    Of the bells,

    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

    Bells, bells, bells ––

    In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!


    Hear the tolling of the bells ––

    Iron bells!

    What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!

    In the silence of the night,

    How we shiver with affright

    At the melancholy menace of their tone!

    For every sound that floats

    From the rust within their throats

    Is a groan.

    And the people -ah, the people - 

    They that dwell up in the steeple,

    All alone,

    And who tolling, tolling, tolling,

    In that muffled monotone,

    Feel a glory in so rolling

    On the human heart a stone ––

    They are neither man nor woman ––

    They are neither brute nor human ––

    They are Ghouls:

    And their king it is who tolls;

    And he rolls, rolls, rolls,


    A paean from the bells!

    And his merry bosom swells

    With the paean of the bells!

    And he dances, and he yells;

    Keeping time, time, time,

    In a sort of Runic rhyme,

    To the paean of the bells,

    Of the bells ––

    Keeping time, time, time,

    In a sort of Runic rhyme,

    To the throbbing of the bells,

    Of the bells, bells, bells ––

    To the sobbing of the bells;

    Keeping time, time, time,

    As he knells, knells, knells,

    In a happy Runic rhyme,

    To the rolling of the bells,

    Of the bells, bells, bells ––

    To the tolling of the bells, ––

    To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

    ~ Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849

    [I hoped that might help some to enjoy Rachmaninoff's music more than they would otherwise, and besides, it's a great and winderful thing in itself.]


  8. Yeah, how's all that global warming working there?

    Beautiful and welcome images! For us, it was spading all the compost into the garden yesterday to get ready for spring planting, and weeding the raspberry patch.

    I hope you've had a beautiful and blessed Easter.

    1. Baysider,
      Raspberries! Yum!

      We never had a patch here although one of our neighbors did.

      But blackberries? They grow wild all over the place.

  9. Happy Easter.
    Unlike FT, I will never look forward to listening to Rachmaninoff (smile) but appreciate the GORGEOUS pictures. We don't have daffodils and crocuses growing anywhere around here :-) I think it's worth the snow to see those gorgeous signs of spring, but don't beat me over the head for having said so when I live in this interminably nice climate :-) * (though I'd LOVE some SEASONAL weather.. We're supposed to get RAIN TUESDAY..hurrah!)

    Baysider; save me some raspberries :-)

    1. Z,
      I'd like the snow a lot better if not for all the shoveling.

      Ice is even worse, though. And so treacherous.

      You don't like Rachmaninoff? Why?

    2. They ain't worth 9 feet of the white crap/

    3. Z - how about figs? They're coming, too. We have blossoms on the berries.

    4. No, I don't like R.....why? Too modern :-)
      I have a big gap between just before him and Leon Russel, or Motown (smile) NO ...I LOVE BIG BAND MUSIC! :-)

      Baysider, yes, figs! thanks!!

    5. Z,
      Too modern?


      I find him a transitional composer.

      BTW, I like some Motown music and most Big Band music.

      I'm very fond of the music of certain Crooners.

      One great thing about music: So much variety!

  10. I hope you enjoyed your Resurrection Sunday with Mr. AOW.

  11. Regards spring, it is very similar here and it is just getting started. We seem to be more "May showers bring June flowers" but these guys are out as well as Hyacinth. All the other items haven't even started yet.
    If you like the spring colors, it might be worth watching a little of the Masters tournament even if you don't like golf. Augusta Natl Golf Club in GA is magnificent this time of year. Azela, Dogwood, etc.

    1. PS the tourney runs Thursday thru Sunday.

    2. Kid,
      The azaleas and the dogwoods haven't started blooming here in the D.C. area, of course. Too early in this latitude -- especially this year. We've been having a lot of unseasonably cold weather to the point that I can't yet put my spider plants onto our front porch.

      The peonies are finally starting to send up some shoots, but those shoots are barely visible. Often, we have peonies to cut for bouquets by Mother's Day, but I doubt that the peonies will be blooming by Mother's Day this year.

      Mr. AOW and I don't often watch golf tourneys, but we may take a look at the one you mentioned just to see the flowers.

  12. Hope you had a blessed holiday my friend! :)


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