Saturday, April 21, 2018

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #1 by Mimi Minigawa

Rachmaninoff and Siloti( his early mentor)-looks like twin brothers to me.

I have posted Rachmaninoff Concertos #2 and #3 a few months ago. Today, I like to share with you his #1 that he composed when he was only 18 years old. There are several You-Tube recordings in the Web, But I like this recording by pianist Mimi Minagawa. Minigawa is a young American pianist born in Houston, Texas, USA. Enjoy!

Mimi was a full music scholarship at the University of Michigan. She participated at the Cincinnati World Piano Competition and won second place at the Lima Symphony Young Artists Competition, College Division. She was also a winner of the School of Music, Theatre.& Dance Concerto Competition.

Her other awards are: honorable mention at the MTNA Competition in East Central; Jacob Flier Piano Competition Winner Recital; winner of Jacob Flier International Piano Competition; full scholarship recipient at Rice University Preparatory Program; scholarship recipient at Piano Summer at New Paltz; scholarship recipient at St. Pius X High School; full scholarship recipient at the Hotchkiss School Summer; Portals Chamber Music Program; and first prize at the Hong Kong Youth and Children Piano Competition.

Here's some information on Rachmaninoff from Wikipedia:

Sergei Rachmaninoff composed his Piano Concerto No. 1 in F♯ minor, Op. 1, in 1891, at age 18. He dedicated the work to Alexander Siloti. He revised the work thoroughly in 1917.

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor of the late Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the romantic repertoire.

Born into a musical family, Rachmaninoff took up the piano at age four. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892 and had composed several piano and orchestral pieces by this time. In 1897, following the critical reaction to his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his enthusiastically received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901.

After the Russian Revolution, Rachmaninoff and his family left Russia and resided in the United States, first in New York City. Demanding piano concert tour schedules caused his output as composer to slow tremendously; between 1918 and 1943, he completed just six compositions, including Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Symphony No. 3, and Symphonic Dances. In 1942, Rachmaninoff moved to Beverly Hills, California. One month before his death from advanced melanoma, Rachmaninoff acquired American citizenship.

The work is in three movements:

1.Vivace (F♯ minor)

This contrast with the later works can be heard from the opening bars, where a brass fanfare precedes a flourish of double octaves and chords on the piano — a musical gesture similar to the Schumann and Grieg piano concertos. This flourish occurs later in the movement, as well, an important factor in the symmetry of the movement. The main theme (like the other themes in this work common to both versions) is short by Rachmaninoff's standards but already shows the sequential devices and arch-like design inherent in his later works.

2.Andante cantabile (D major)

This reflective nocturne is only 74 bars long. The texture is less cumbersome in the revised version; the harmonies remain the same but are enlivened by occasional chromatic notes.

3. Allegro scherzando (F♯ minor → F♯ major) [1917 version: allegro vivace]

Rachmaninoff replaced an initially drab opening with a fortissimo passage alternating between time signatures of 9 8 and 12. This movement is in sonata-rondo form, in which the development is a lengthy section in E flat major. A maestoso reemergence of the concerto's main theme was eliminated. In the original version he had attempted to use this theme in an upward sequential treatment similar to what he would do later in the Second and Third Concertos. The problem here was that the theme did not lend itself so easily to this treatment, thus sounding contrived. It also came too late in the movement to have the right expansive effort prevalent in the other concertos.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Summary of My Research Publications

My election to the USP Council of Experts, 1995-2000 ( Reelected for another five years of service from 2000-2005)

While googling myself, I found the following site that listed the summary of my 8 research publications when I was still working for the three private companies, Chemagro Corp,. Shell Development and Stauffer Chemical Companies. Not included are my work for the Food and Drug Administration. It's humbling to see some of my research work published in the Internet. There are also 58 research publications that cite/refer to my publications.

Note that both my master's degree and doctorate degree thesis are in this list.

Working as a Pesticides Residues Method Development Chemist at Stauffer Chemical Company, Richmond, California, 1980's

For details and other publications read:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

My Haughty and Racist Neighbor and Me

The other day I wrote a short note about my haughty and possibly racist neighbor based on his attitude towards me. However, after he read my biography and bucket list, his attitude suddenly changed and now friendly to me. This experience illustrates that racism is due to ignorance. The following are some of the best quotes I found in the Internet for your reading pleasure.

Attached is my most widely read and commented article (hub) I wrote about Filipino Discrimination in the US and my own and family experiences here in the US way back in the 1960's in Kansas City, Missouri

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Recent Wedding Reception at Chateau Du Mer, Marinduque

It is heartening to know that Chateau Du Mer Hall is still providing a venue for a wedding reception in spite of my physical absence. My thanks to Siony Jambalos( my sister-in-law), Edwin and Cecile ( caretaker couple) and Jimmy ( my grounds keeper and gardener) to make this event possible even in my absence. Attached below is a recent video of the Jandusay-De Castro wedding reception.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Antonio A Nieva and Jose Antonio Vargas-Added to My Pinoy Pride List

Two years ago, I wrote in one of my hubs a list of names I called my Pinoy Pride List. There were 20 names of accomplished Filipino-Americans or Filipinos in that list. Here's my article as published in my account.

Today I am proud to add two names to this list.

1. Antonio A. Nieva-Writer and Filipino-American veteran of World War II. Tony Arevalo Nieva is my wife's uncle and father of Ronie and Pepi Nieva. For details of his life and book read the following:

2. Jose Antonio Vargas- DACA and Dreamer's Act Activist. For his biography and accomplishments read the following.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Sound Track of the Movie-The Hours by Philip Glass

Its time for some great music: Macrine and I just finished watching an old movie-the Hours. The movie was great and sad but what really attracted our attention was the music or sound track of the movie. Macrine kept asking me during the movie, what was the title of the music during some of the dramatic scenes, because she thought it sound familiar. So I did my web search ( Wikipedia) and was not surprised that this sound track received numerous awards as follows:

The album won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (lost to the score of the film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers).

The Hours is the original soundtrack album, on the Elektra/Nonesuch label, of the 2002 film The Hours, starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. The original score was composed by Philip Glass. Not all of the music in the film was composed specifically for it: earlier music by Glass, including a theme from his opera Satyagraha, was also featured and credited separately at the end of the film.

Michael Riesman and Nico Muhly arranged the soundtrack for piano solo. This score was published in 2003 as a 64-paged book containing most of the tracks (excluding "For Your Own Benefit", "Vanessa and the Changelings" and "The Kiss").

Here's the sound track for your listening pleasure:

Track listing
Song title
The Poet Acts
Morning Passages
Something She Has to Do
"For Your Own Benefit"
Vanessa and the Changelings
"I'm Going to Make a Cake"
An Unwelcome Friend
Dead Things
The Kiss
"Why Does Someone Have to Die?"
Tearing Herself Away
Choosing Life
The Hours

Total time

Note: This is the first time that both Macrine and I enjoyed the music sound track more than the story line of a movie. The movie had received also numerous awards for acting ( Nicole Kidman), but to us the score composed by Philip Glass is outstanding and worth our time. It is a sad movie with two suicides and one attempted suicide. The acting however is superb particularly the child actor playing the boy, Richard. Kidman, Moore and Strep were also fantastic. We highly recommend this movie if you have not seen it.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday and the Holy Week Celebration in Marinduque

This year Macrine and I were not able to spend Holy Week in our second home-the Island of Marinduque. However every Holy Week reminds us that the Philippines is indeed a nation of Festivals. One of the highlights of the Easter Celebration in Marinduque is the Gasan-Gasan Street dancing Competition.

Attached is my hub written a few years ago, but still very applicable today.

Personal Note: Macrine and I just finished watching the Papal Easter Mass and Benediction live from the Vatican-St Peter's Square . It was a memorable TV experience and it reminded us of our 7 days vacation in Rome, Italy a few decades ago.

Again, Easter Greetings to all my readers, friends and relatives all over the world.

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Simple Celebration of Macrine's 82nd Birthday

Dodie is not on the photo, since he decided to take a short nap after lunch since he was still suffering from jet lag after 6 weeks of cruise and vacation in New Zealand and Australia.

Yesterday at about Noon we celebrated Macrine's 82nd birthday with a simple lunch of Honey baked Ham, potato salad, pancit ( for long life), dinuguan, puto ( rice cakes), green salad, and home-made bread ( brought by our neighbor-Lina Edison). For dessert we had Cheese Cake and Ice Cream. Today March 26 is her real birthday date along with our grand daughter Elaine King and first cousin Yong Elizalde Nieva.

Besides Me and David III our guests were Ian and Sara DiCampli, Lina Edison ( our neighbor), Dodie, Ditas, Carenna and Jean Maeda. I was surprise to see Dodie as well as Jean. Dodie and wife Ruth are still suffering from jet lag, since they just arrived from a 6-week cruise and vacation in Australia and New Zealand. Jean was not sure of attending since she just got out working from the night shift. Thank you Jean and Dodie for attending. Your Manang and Mom was teary eyed after you left.

Ian shared some good news. He and Sara are now residing in a condo by themselves in mid town Sacramento. I was happy to learn they are getting independent as young adults. I know Ian does not want me to mention about great grand kids, but looking at how happy Ian and Sara together makes me wonder, the time of Macrine and I to have great grandchildren appears in the very near future.

Ditas had some good news also. The room extension of her residence in Sacramento is now finished. A grand opening for Yoga and Art Classes had been scheduled for April 22. Here's her announcement in FB:

SAVE the DATE- Sunday, April 22nd (Earth Day) for the GRAND OPENING of my new outdoor yoga and art studio! Art classes and Kundalini Yoga coming to East Sac! #createsacredspace #alongiyardscapes.

Thank you all for coming, special thanks to Ian and Sara for the miniature orchid arrangement and to Ditas and Dodie for the fresh flowers.

Friday, March 23, 2018

A Birthday Today and Two this Coming Monday at the Katague Household

Macrine and the 4D's and Me on her 80th Birthday, March 26, 2016.

Today March 23 is Ditas birthday, my youngest daughter. We had a grand celebration during her 50th birthday three years ago as posted in the following posting.

Here's a short bio of Ditas latest accomplishments:

This coming Monday, March 26 will be Macrine's 82nd Birthday and Elaine King -my grand daughter-daughter of Dinah. We will have a simple celebration this Sunday with just relatives and a our next door neighbor and friend. I will purchase Pinoy delicacies and goodies from our neighborhood Filipino Grocery store and restaurant.

Details on Elaine birthday is on her FB page:

The following are some of the photos taken 2 years ago during Macrine's 80th Birthday.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Binging On Another Award Winning TV Series-Homeland

I just finished 8 seasons of an award winning TV series-Shameless. I searched for another award winning series in Showtime. I found the Series Homeland and now starting Season 1. Incase you have not heard of this TV series, here's a summary from Wikipedia.

Homeland is an American spy thriller television series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War (Original title Hebrew: חטופים‎, translit. Hatufim, literally "Abductees"), which was created by Gideon Raff.

The series stars Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a Central Intelligence Agency officer with bipolar disorder, and Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody, a U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper. Mathison had come to believe that Brody, who was held captive by al-Qaeda as a prisoner of war, was "turned" by the enemy and poses a threat to the United States. The series focuses on a storyline that evolves from this premise, together with Mathison's ongoing covert work.

The series is broadcast in the U.S. on the cable channel Showtime, and is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios (formerly Fox 21). It premiered on October 2, 2011. The first episode was made available online, more than two weeks before the television broadcast, with viewers having to complete game tasks to gain access.

The series has been renewed for a seventh and eighth season; the eighth is planned to be the series' final season by the creators. The seventh season premiered on February 11, 2018.

The series has received generally positive reviews, with its first two seasons gaining universal critical acclaim. It has won several awards, including the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama and the 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series for its first season, the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama for its second season, as well as the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, respectively.


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