July 4th, 2009


Улетай на крыльяхь вҍтра

For years I have been fascinated by the Gliding Dance of the Maidens chorus from the Polovtsian dances of Borodin's opera, Prince Igor. That earwormy tune has been subject to various interpretations over the decades since it was first produced. Collapse )

This entry is long enough, and if you have listened to even one of these clips you are probably thoroughly earwormed for the rest of the day, but I just want to give one last shout out to Natasha Morozova, here performing in Sydney. I'm off to enjoy the good weather now.

The Torchwood Three

The BBC have broadcast three Torchwood plays over the last three days, available only with difficulty for those of us outside the UK. But my determination overcame the difficulty, and I managed to listen to all three.

Individual discussions of each below the cut, but one common slightly disappointing factor is that John Barrowman seems to be under sedation for all three plays. I guess he is just one of those actors for whom the visuals are essential - certainly, having seen him on stage, he seems to love the thrill of interaction with his fellow-performers, which perhaps is rather different in a sound booth (and I'll note again that I wasn't impressed with his reading of The Ancestor Cell). In the first and third plays it doesn't matter so much since Jack is less prominent, but it rather takes the shine off The Golden Age. (I will add that the female guest stars in all three plays were excellent.)

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So, three worthy additions to the Torchwood canon. There is no internal order to the plays, so if you can only listen to one make it The Dead Line.

The Democratic Unionist Party

For as long as I can remember, I have been aware of the Democratic Unionist Party, founded by the Reverend Ian Paisley in 1971 and now the largest Unionist party in Northern Ireland.

Now I discover that there is another Democratic Unionist Party (referred to by its members as الحزب الإتحادي الديموقراطي‎) in Sudan, founded in 1967. I doubt very much that Ian Paisley and Desmond Boal were aware of it when they rebranded and slightly expanded the Protestant Unionist Party four years later, but I shall be on the lookout for parallels as I do my weekend reading of African history.