Saturday, 10 March 2012

The real artists - Silent film stars of the 1920´s

Silent films are probably not going to make a major comeback, inspite of the several Oscars awarded to "The Artist". However, a certain interest in the film industry of the 1920´s is in the air. As my own modest contribution, here are a few pictures of some of the big silent film stars of that era:

Lucy Doraine
Ramón Novarro and Alice Terry

Douglas MacLean and Marguerite de la Motte

Greta Garbo was called "the most beautiful Swedish actress" already in 1925
Norma Talmadge
Leatrice Joy

John Gilbert and Norma Shearer

Friday, 9 March 2012

Three German navy speedboats in Øresund

Late yesterday afternoon three German navy speedboats - the S 72 Puma, the S 71 Gepard and the S 75 Zobel - passed Helsingør in hazy weather circumstances. The three 58x8m boats did not seem to be in a hurry, but the mighty roar of the engines indicated that they are capable of a speed of 80 km/hr.

The speedboats, which are based in Warnemünde, are participating in a Squadron Exercise. The first week of exercises ends with a visit to Copenhagen.

Here is a nice video of S 72 Puma accompanied by S 75 Zobel on the way back to Warnemünde from an earlier visit to Cadiz:

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The first oystercatcher this spring

Yesterday I saw the first oystercatchers in Øresund this spring. The one above was maybe in search of oysters, but mussles was what it found on the beach.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Patricia Kopatchinskaja - An amazing violin virtuoso

    "As an interpreter I am most interested in communicating the meaning and inner workings of the music I play. Curiosity drives me to explore many different musical frontiers and I'm ready to take the risks that this process entails."
    Patricia Kopatchinskaja

    It is always a great pleasure to see and hear young musicians succeed. The recent ARTE broadcast of Tchaikovsky´s Violin concerto with the amazingly talented Patricia Kopatchinskaja as soloist was one such occasion. I have never seen this concerto played in a more passionate way - without loosing anything of the technical brilliance! No wonder that Miss Kopatchinskaja´s star is rising fast. The excellent Sinfonia Varsovia was directed by Jean Jaques Kantorow, one of the great violinists of our time, and an outstanding conductor, too.
      I noticed that the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with Patricia Kopatchinskaja is now available on YouTube:

    Tuesday, 6 March 2012

    The first flowers of spring

    As always, Snowdrops and Winter Aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) were the first spring flowers in my neighbourhood also this year. It appears that some of them have been around for a few days already, but I got sight of them only today. Anyway, a most welcome sign of spring!

    The snowdrops reminded me of William Wordsworth´s nice little poem from 1819:  

    To a snowdrop

    Lone flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
    But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
    Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
    Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
    Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay
    The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
    Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
    Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
    Shall soon behold this border thickly set
    With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
    On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
    Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
    Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
    And pensive monitor of fleeting years

    Monday, 5 March 2012

    The beauty of the French coastline

    The French-German ARTE television channel continues to shine with quality programming. One of the recent favourites of mine was the 3D broadcast of a documentary showing the most beautiful coastal areas in France.

    France has a combined coastline of 5.500 kilometres, with hundreds, if not thousands, of places of outstanding beauty. The makers of this documentary had chosen to highlight 20 coastal areas of particular interest. The sceneries are so beautiful that they immediately make you want to either visit or revisit the coastal pearls of France.

    Here are just a couple of shots from the film, which hopefully will soon be available on blu-ray and dvd:

    The French Alabaster coast in Normandy

    Another view of the Alabaster coast

    Pont de Normandie

    The historic town of Granville

    Classic yachts compete in Granville

    Mont Saint-Michel

    La Rochelle at night

    Sunday, 4 March 2012

    A Swedish Royal Yacht in the 1920s

    The arrival of the Swedish royal yacht in August 1925 was quite an event in Helsinki

    Sadly, royal yachts are nowadays an endangered species. Fortunately the Danish and the Norwegian royal families still uphold the tradition with HDMY Dannebrog - perhaps the most beautiful royal yacht ever - and the HNoMY Norge.

    In the 1920s the King of Sweden still had a beautiful yacht at his disposal for official visits. In August 1925 the yacht took King Gustav V and Queen Victoria to Helsinki on an official visit.

    King Gustav V and Queen Victoria on arrival
    The Swedish royal yacht in front of the President´s Palace in Helsinki

    The royal Swedish yacht arriving at the island fortress Sveaborg in Helsinki