Friday, 7 February 2014

The Royal Danish Navy's frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes in Øresund

The Royal Danish Navy's Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F362) was this morning going northwards in Øresund. The 138.7 m x 19.75 m air defense frigate was launched in December 2010 and commissioned in June 2011.

HDMS Peter Willemoes in the Sound this morning. Note the helicopter - a Westland Lynx?

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The 1905 Gordon Bennett Cup motor race

M. Clementel, the cabinet minister in charge of the French colonies,
congratulates the winner.

The 1905 Gordon Bennett Cup was a major motor racing event held on 5 July on the Auvergne Circuit in France. The race, with 18 entries from six countries, was won by the French driver Léon Théry, who had been the winner already in the 1904 race.

Théry, who drove a 96 hp Richard-Brasier, drove the total distance of 549.4 km in seven hours, 2 minutes and 42seconds, an average speed of 77.85 km/h.

Two Italian entries, Felice Nazzarro and Allessandro Cagno, both driving FIATs, finished second and third. Charles Stewart Rolls, the co-founder of the Rolls-Royce car manufacturing company, who drove a Wolseley, was the best British entry. He finished eighth.

German favourite Camille Jenatzy did not finish the race.

German favourite Camille Jenatzy (Mercedes), who had won the race in 1903, disappointingly was not able to finish the race.

When the British learned to love the "frogs": L'Entente Cordiale in practice in 1905

In April 1904 Great Britain and France signed a series of agreements, the Entente Cordiale, which marked the end of almost a thousand years of conflict between the two nations and their predecessor states.

The French naval visits to Cowes and Portsmouth in the summer of 1905 created a veritable wave of enthusiasm for everything French in Britain. Several of the big London dailies published editions in French during the visit. Over 100 000 people from all over England travelled to Portsmouth in order to see the visiting French naval ships. A Swedish weekly reported that "before the French departed, the sons of John Bull had learnt to sing La Marseillaise with the same éclat that the French seamen sung the British national anthem."

British and French navy officers listening to the Marseillaise on board the Royal Navy's
flagship Edward VII. The officer in the middle group with a wide belt is the commander of
the visiting French navy squadron, admiral Caillard.

French journalists enjoying a sumptuous meal on board a Royal Navy ship together
with their British hosts. Note the bottles of champagne on the table! 

The "luxury train" which brought the visiting French Navy
seamen to London.

French seamen warmly welcomed by the Londoners.
A London newspaper boy selling a French edition of a London daily.

French navy cadets getting to know young British ladies.

Admiral Caillard conversing with an elegant lady.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A tribute to Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras - two great musicians and introducers of early music

The great Catalan soprano Montserrat Figueras (1942 - 2011) at the
Fes Festival of World Sacred Music and Dance in June 2010.

Jordi Savall i Bernadet, the Catalan viola da gamba master, conductor and composer and his wife, the great soprano Montserrat Figueras have been major figures in the field of Western early music ever since the 1970s. After Montserrat Figueras sadly passed away in 2011, Savall has continued to perform with his orchestras and the couple's two children Ferran and Arianna, both gifted musicians and singers.

Jordi Savall at the Fes Festival

What a joy it was on Sunday (Mezzo television channel, February 2) to watch one of the last recorded concerts with Montserrat Figueras performing together with her husband, along with Hesperion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya and a raft of Israeli, Palestinian, Iraqi, Greek and Armenian guest artists. The programme, called "Jerusalem, Peace in Heaven and on Earth: A magical journey from Sufi music to Hebraic lamentations" was recorded in June 2010 in Morocco, at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music and Dance.

On the same evening Mezzo also showed a concert (recorded in July 2013) from the monastery church in Fontfroide with Jordi Savall conducting his Le Concert des Nations in a program consisting of Bach's suites and concerti.

A truly great evening for friends of early music! Thank you Mezzo!


If you are interested in Jordi Savall's and Montserrat Figueras' recordings, the best place to get information is here

Monday, 3 February 2014

A foggy February morning

The sun of yesterday disappeared. Instead we got a foggy morning here in Hittarp:
A foggy morning in Hittarp

The return of the sun

In January we did not see much of the sun in the Øresund region. However, yesterday the sun made a nice showing, including at sunset:

The sun was warmly welcomed visitor in Øresund yesterday.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

An Imperial Russian army "cook brigade" close to the front line during the Russo-Japanese war 1904-1905

"An army marches on its stomach."
   -- Napoleon Bonaparte

During the Russo-Japanese war 1904-1905 the Russian commanders were aware of Napoleon's words, and tried to organize the army food service as well as possible. The picture shows members of an Imperial Russian army "cook brigade" close to the front line somewhere in Manchuria.

The Helsingborg - Helsingør ferries in winter

The Helsingborg - Helsingør ferries depart even on the coldest winter days: