George Frederic Handel
Something for the Weekend. I always find the Handel composition Music For the Royal Fireworks (1749) to be stirring. It was written to celebrate the ending of the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the peace of Aix-La-Chappelle in 1748. It turned out to be merely a truce before the start of the Seven Years War, the big war of the Eighteenth Century, known as the French and Indian War in America, and initiated by a 22 year old George Washington! Counting the fighting in America which began in 1754, it should properly be known as the Nine Years War. Continue reading
Something for the weekend. The overture from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus. Judas Maccabeus is a musical tribute to the revolt of the Maccabees, 167-160, against the attempts by Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes to forcibly convert the Jews to paganism. The revolt was not simply against the Selucids, but also against a sizable chunk of the population of Judea who were only too happy to embrace the ways of the Greeks. Led by Mattathias, the father of Judas and his brothers, collectively known as the Maccabees, the revolt started in 167 BC when Mattathias, in the village of Modein outside of Jerusalem, cut down an official of the Selucid empire who was attempting to cajole Mattathias, a priest of Yahweh, to offer sacrifice to Zeus. Mattathias and his sons then literally took to the hills, with Mattathias uttering a cry that has rung down the centuries: “Let him who is zealous for the Law, follow me!”
Mattathias, an old man at the start of the revolt, soon died, and leadership descended to his son Judas. Fighting a crafty guerilla campaign, Judas and his brothers, against all the odds, established an independent Jewish state. After the heroic days of the Maccabees, the new Jewish state eventually descended into a fairly squalid series of civil wars, which ultimately led to the Romans under Pompey the Great seizing Jerusalem in 63 BC. The Romans thereafter ruled Judea through puppet rulers. Our Catholic Bibles have First and Second Maccabees which retell the heroic saga of the Maccabean Revolt. This of course brings us to Mel Gibson, who has brought two heroic revolts to the screen and is apparently working on a third. Continue reading
(Joe Hargrave couldn’t be here, so this is his number one fan, Joepantsonfire, taking some time off from Catholic Fascist – that website created by that guy who hasn’t repeatedly lied about posting here under false identities - to bring you this)
Or shall I call it cultural imperialism? Oh how I long for the day when jack-booted enforcers roam the streets and corral people into compulsory attendance of Wagner operas!
Until that day, posts such as these will have to do.