Texoblogosphere: week of June 3rd

The thoughts and prayers of the Texas Progressive Alliance are with the families and friends of the Houston Fire Department as we bring you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff discusses why the special session won’t wrap up as quickly as first thought.

We said goodbye to Michele Bachmann and Susan Combs on the same day last week. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs tried hard to hold back the tears (of laughter), but ultimately submitted to the overwhelming schadenfreude in anticipation of a few Texans who might next wear the crown.

Dos Centavos provides a response to HB 5 by a statewide coalition of Latino groups who have much to say about the education assessment bill.

Texas’ plan to finance roads is privatized gains and socialized loses. WCNews at Eye on Williamson the poor performance of corporate toll roads in Texas, But you can drive 85 mph on it.

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas bloggers.

Colin Strother joins the blogging world with a comparison of Battleground Texas today to the Assorted Republicans of Texas 30 years ago.

Concerned Citizens offers its own take on how BGT is perceived by its boosters and detractors.

Texpatriate wonders what the heck is going on in Galveston.

Texas Vox asks how ExxonMobil will adapt to the climate change it is helping to create.

Mean Green Cougar Red wants to know how safe our bridges are.

Lone Star Ma is upset about the politically-motivated death of CSCOPE.

Beyond Bones celebrates the sequencing of the coelecanth genome.

Music Musings- Vetrate di Chiesa by Ottorino Respighi

I wanted to start something new for the blog… A discussion and promotion of music that I enjoy. And it doesn’t always have to have a direct political connection.  

But the first in the series kinda does? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Upon hearing the news that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has picked State AG Jeffrey Chiesa to be the Interim United States Senator, one of my favorite musical works flooded the old noggin. BTW congratulations Garden Staters, you’ve got a Republican in the Senate… at least for a brief period. 
Vetrate di Chiesa (Church Windows) is an orchestral suite by Italian Composer Ottorino Respighi. He’s perhaps best known for his other orchestral work, the Pines of Rome. But this piece from 1926 is every bit at as exciting as his other works, or anything else in the era of Neo-Classicism. In fact, many would separate his work aside from the Neo-Classicist composers (Stravinsky, Satie, Hindemith) because of his careful study of older composers like Vivaldi and Marcello. It’s an on-going debate among Musicologists.

The second movement, Saint Michael the Archangel, is a particular favorite with its huge wind and string flourishes over a relentless brass phalanx. The sense of visual imagery created (you literally see the stirring of a thunder storm from the sounds) remind us just how masterful Repsighi’s orchestration abilities were. And this piece was in fact orchestrated, as it was originally based off of a piano etude he had composed years before in 1919. 

One more interesting fact… though Respighi himself was born in 1879 and died in 1936, his wife Elsa lived until 1996, reaching the tender age of 102. She was a tireless champion of the composer’s work.

Well anyway, check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments!!