Saturday, 16 June 2012

A day on the beach - long ago

Today, with the weather being the way you can see on the picture above, the Øresund beaches were empty.  However, this gray and rainy day offered a good opportunity to look at some old photo albums in my possession, with pictures of people enjoying a day on the beach in places as far apart as California and Finland

The Santa Barbara beach in the 20s
Long Beach in the early 20s
The Terijoki beach in Finnish Karelia in the 30s. Finland´s most famous beach is now in Russian hands.
Enjoying a day on the beach in Terijoki

Friday, 15 June 2012

Cunard´s Queen Elizabeth on its way to Copenhagen

Cunard´s newest ocean liner, the MS Queen Elizabeth, entered the Sound at about 5.45 this morning on its way from Stockholm to Copenhagen. Somewhat earlier a Danish pilot embarked the Queen on the request of the skipper on this cruise, captain Christopher Rynd.

The 294 x 36m QE, as she is affectionately known, joined the Cunard fleet in October 2010, when she was named by Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony in Southampton.

The QE, which has a guest capacity of 2,068 and a crew of 1005, is almost identical in design to her sister ship Queen Victoria, although the stern is steeper in order to give her a slightly higher number of cabins.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Vivica Genoux - Queen of the Coloratura

"The mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux was the very incarnation of Baroque sensuality in a dazzling program, in which the ensemble Concerto Köln supported her with panache." (review from an earlier concert)

The coloratura must be one of the most difficult vocal techniques to master in classical music. That is why it is a blessing to hear a superb coloratura singer, like the Alaskan born mezzo soprano Vivica Genaux.

Genoux´ baroque recital with the oustanding Concerto Köln at last year´s Schwetzinger Festival was  a joy to watch on the French-German ARTE channel and later again on the German SWR.

The "duo" with oboist Benoit Laurent was perfect in "Piange quel fonte"

Genoux´ interpretation of the great Händel aria "Sta nell´ Ircana" from the opera "Alcina" was without doubt one of the highligts of the evening. But at least for this viewer/listener the "Piange quel fonte" from Johann Adolf Hasse´s opera "Nuna Pompilio" was a revelation. 

Genoux´ voice is maybe not as velvety as the voices of some other leading mezzos, but she compensates by her flawless technical skill and ability to interpret.

The Concerto Köln and Vivica Genoux in the beautiful Schwitzingen rococo  theater.

Hasse is still perhaps not very wellknown internationally, but he wrote some beautiful tunes! And it turns out tha Vivica Genaux has a special affinity to Hasse´s music. This is what she said in an interview in

“I’m a huge fan of Johann Adolph  Hasse’s music. Hasse was one of the most important international composers of the 1700’s along with Händel and Haydn, but for various reasons has had to wait a bit longer for a real revival. I’m doing my best to be a strong proponent of his music because while his music may not be as harmonically 
complex as Händel’s, he had a very special way of composing for the voice. Hasse’s music has a 
more open framework around the vocal line, meaning the voice has much more freedom with
rubato than one generally finds in either Händel or Haydn, where I often feel the voice is treated 
more like an instrument. With Hasse, I really feel like I’m breathing with the music, and the vocal 
line is free to undulate, stretch, punctuate, or stab according to what the text and emotion require.”

Monday, 11 June 2012

Flower power in Helsingborg

                    This flower power was on show in Helsingborg last week.


The city gardeners are doing a nice job. These flowers were on display on June 27:

A seagull

             Just a local seagull checking food availability in the Sound the other day.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

MSC Lirica in the Sound

Tonight the MSC Lirica (253 x32m) passed by in the Sound on its way from Copenhagen to Amsterdam.