Past Postings

Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.


On Christmas Day

On Christmas Day,
The birds I heard
Chirping in the holly;
Like angels are said to sing.
But, oh -- so very jolly.

How small was the babe
That was born this day
For us to all be glad.
How laughs my heart
To hear them sound
In merry round upon round.

On Christmas Day
The birds I heard,
Cheeping amid the berries;
Like angels are said to sing.
But, oh -- so very merry.

Let the little then
Ever have their way
On this most holy day.
And would that we
With love so gay
Could joying sing too always.


When the ghost is protected by no man,
Thrice vulnerable and more he is
Into descending damned.

In this respect "Speelburg" is actually right and smart to hide his identity. If the ghost can't get "S" to represent him then the ghost (unless he can fool others that "S" is more than only a manikin or mechanical tool) must receive the hotter heat. And how absurd to think that this billionaire with assorted staff cannot even identify himself, let alone face me who am most isolated and impecunious, speaks even more to how trivial and irrelevant a figure he really is; and who, based on his obvious immaturity, isn't even qualified to play in the game to begin with; so that, once again, all the damnation must fall upon the ghost, and who as a spirit can be more easily damned than "Speelburg," a flesh and blood person. And if the ghost summons and calls in angels then to shield him (i.e. when "S" is recognized as or made absent), then simply flinch not for a moment, nor be soft soaped, but (with good grace, of course, as always) lay on and damn them as well. (Yes, I know. But don't forget Trenton either.)


There was a good Rome and a bad Rome. There was a good Greece and a bad Greece, etc. -- with, of course, by some a fair amount of sliding in between (i.e. good and bad) but that at last solidified and found themselves annealed by fate into essentially the one or the other.

Hey Cousin It-Uncle Fester combo (and who can't stop gossiping all the live-long day) -- go back to Dr. Frankenstein already and demand that refund I spoke to you about earlier (there is no point to this.)


On the social and human level, true, I realize and admit I am little better than a dead man. Yet still shall I have the last laugh. For come the day, on the higher level and cosmic order of things, I will insist on and am going to have a permanent and irrevocable restraining order placed on you and your heaven.


Sure we all love to follow the glamorous stars and all their private doings. But well it is, especially at this time of the year, to put aside for a moment the transient and ephemeral, and pause and remind ourselves of that ultimate revenge pregnancy that Mary startled Joseph -- and the world -- with two thousand years ago.


In continuation of our brief survey and semi-introduction to early baroque composers (see, let's flip back the calendar some one hundred years prior to such as Biber and Purcell, and where we find the earliest giants -- and giants they truly were -- of "modern" music. At the time of the Italian Renaissance, it was assumed by some scholars that (in addition to the part of the chorus) ancient Greek tragedies had been sung rather than merely spoken; so that it was then with the view to further realizing and resurrecting this ostensibly age old practice that opera as we know it was first invented. Before that music took the form of church hymns and secular pleasure and occasional music (with respect to the latter, such as we find in the case of the troubadours; as well as martial and court music); the sacred providing majestic and complex harmonies, and the secular furnishing forms of melody readily accessible to more commonly felt emotions. Subsequently, these two strands were applied and merged in the creation of the new and nascent form of musical drama we now know as opera -- with and needless to say magnificent and, as many will feel, nigh on miraculous results; as you presently have the opportunity hear.

First of our samples is "Hodie Christus natus est, Gloria" ("Gloria" from the mass "Today Christ is born") by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594), as rendered by the Gabrieli Consort under the direction of Paul McCreesh.

Moving ahead some decades later after Palestrina, we have the astonishing and revolutionary compositions of Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643); as examples of which here are two excerpts from his "l'Orfeo," based on the story of the bard Orpheus' visit to Hades to retrieve his departed wife Euridice. The first comes from the Nicholas Harnoncourt & Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production (with the role of "La Musica" being sung by Trudeliese Schmidt.) The second is taken from another re-creation of the work; done by Spanish conductor and musician, Jordi Savall (with Furio Zanasi as Orfeo.)

Jacopo Peri (1561–1633) also composed what has become a famous opera drawing on the Orpheus tale -- indeed, is credited with being the very first opera, and from which comes this prologue; brought to us here by Accademia degli Imperfetti. (The filming is rather impromptu, but the performance itself is a very good one.)

To close, we have two extracts from the religious oratorios of Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674) The YouTube video is of Jérôme Correas & Les Paladins presenting a portion of "Jephte" (Jephthah); while the mp3 single track download that follows, "Et Proelibantur Venti," is from Carissimi's "Jonas" (Jonah) played by Diego Fasolis with Coro Della Radio Svizzera and Sonatori Della Gioiosa Marca.

  • "Et Proelibantur Venti" from "Jonas"
  • ~~~~~~*~~~~~~

    Should things show signs of becoming at all strained and hectic this holiday season, fail not to avail yourself of that dread and unholy oath: "All hail the lunk-head religion (of doing the wrong thing a certain way)" -- repeating as necessary or desirable.