Amadeus: Revisiting a Classic

“Are we going to appall you with something confidential and disgusting? Let’s hope so.”

So begins the trailer for the movie Amadeus, which you can watch here.

Amadeus tells the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s professional life from the point of view of his rival, composer Antonio Salieri. Salieri narrates a tale that takes you through the different beginnings each man had, and how they wound up at the same palace in competing positions. This film also addresses the question of whether or not Salieri murdered Mozart.

This film is absolutely wonderful. The acting is superb, the settings are elaborate, the costumes are beautiful, and the music is, of course, top-notch. The only drawback to this film is the lack of historical accuracy. However, while this may not be anyone’s biography, it is still one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Did you know that F. Murray Abraham (Salieri) and Tom Hulce (Mozart) took lessons while filming so they could learn how to conduct and play the piano?

Also, the director chose relatively unknown actors (at the time) to play the roles because he wanted viewers to be able to think of the characters as actual people, not famous actors pretending to be characters.

Setting: The second-half of 18th-century Vienna.

Was this movie based on something?  It was based on a play, also called Amadeus. The plots of both are very similar.

What is this movie rated? R for brief nudity.

Is there any objectionable content? Yes, including, but not limited to, sexual content, crude jokes, on-screen deaths, and some violence. There are also scenes involving Salieri questioning and rejecting his religion.

Can children watch this? Not recommended for anyone younger than a teenager.

What themes are found in the movie? Religious devotion, music, rivalries, and the line between madness and genius.

Who would like this? Anyone who enjoys watching historical fiction, or who enjoys Mozart’s music. It is also great for people who love movies that have a lot of depth to them.

Rating: Five stars.

This movie is available as both a DVD and Blu-ray.  And don’t forget to check out the soundtrack!

If you’d like to know more about Mozart, click here. We have many books about the legendary composer and, of course, many CDs featuring his music.

7 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. If you think poetry’s “not your thing”, you might be surprised to find out you already enjoy it, you just didn’t know it was poetry. Stretch your creative mind and embrace poetry in one of its many forms during National Poetry Month. Here are 7 ways you can celebrate:

1. Borrow a book of poetry from the library. The great thing about poetry books, you don’t need to read them cover-to-cover to enjoy them. Find a few poems that speak to you.

2. Check out a CD and read the song lyrics. Songwriting is a form of poetry. Don’t know where to start? Try:

3. Read a novel told in verse. Don’t know where to start? Try:

4. Attend the Poetry Open Mic Morning at CPL on April 8.

  • Teens and adults are welcome to bring their own original poetry to share, recite a poem by a classic author, or just sit back and enjoy the verses.

5. Create a poem on the Magnetic Poetry Board in our lobby.

  • Sometimes it’s easier when the words are all there, you just need to gather them together.

 

6. Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27, 2017.

  • Select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others throughout the day, including on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

7. Watch a “poet” movie. A few ideas:

 

 

Ceòl na h-Alba (Music of Scotland)

wallacesco-368349William Wallace is a Scots folk hero who, it is believed, was born around April of 1270. Wallace was a Knight who fought for Scottish independence from English rule, and was immortalized in the Oscar-winning film Braveheart, at least in name. Braveheart, while an entertaining drama, is about as factual on Scottish history as a tub of Cool Whip is the equivalent to Whipped Cream.

Braveheart’s soundtrack, while pleasant,  is also a modern composition, in the style of 468e4c6be98b994f6e8abf87e1f95732Scottish music but not containing a single actual Scots tune. This begs a greater question: what’s the difference between Scottish Music and Irish Music? Aren’t they the same, but with bagpipes? The question might just get you decked for saying that.

Truth is, they are quite similar, passing traditions back and forth. If you listen to folk steeped in the music, there are subtle differences in rhythms, traditional Scots music tends to be in the key of A (there’s only so much you can do on a bagpipe), while the Irish prefer drums and the key of D. Scots tunes tend to be more “snappy,” while the Irish are more “driving” (the Clancy Brothers version of “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye” all but jumps out and strangles you through the speakers). But, as in anything, the styles change song to song. Each will tell you theirs is better.

brigadoonIrish music tends to be better known for several reasons. Far more people have emigrated from Ireland than Scotland, a country with the same population as Dallas-Fort Worth. The Irish tended to have more children than the Scots, so they beat them on sheer numbers as well. Many of Scotland’s great ballads get lumped in with English, but Scottish music is far from unknown. Amazing Grace, played on bagpipes though it’s an English hymn, is a funeral standard. Pipe bands are often a staple of parades. There is the Broadway play Brigadoon by Lerner and Loewe, complete with kilts and dancing. There’s a 1954 film version, but even for its day it’s rather awful. If any film needs a full Hollywood reboot, this one is 60 years overdue.

If Ancient Scottish Ballads aren’t your thing, and you think bagpipes sound like boiling rodstewartdm1306_468x431witches, there’s a much better chance you’ve enjoyed modern Scottish music. So many of the songs we hear today and think of as American or British acts are actually the work of Scots, since accents aren’t always that obvious in song. Perhaps the best known Son of Scotland would be Rod Stewart, the gravel-voiced rock singer who worked his way from rock to swing music. Annie Lennox of The Eurythmics is a Scottish lass. Sheena Easton, KT Tunstall, Mark Knopfler, now solo but formerly the lead singer of Dire Straits, David Byrne of The Talking Heads, the folk group The Corries, Average White Band, and current smooth hit-maker Paolo Nutini (yeah, that had me fooled, too – his father was Italian, his mother Scotch, and he was born in Scotland). Add in Ian Anderson (lead singer for Jethro Tull), Lulu (you might remember her for the theme from the Bond film “Man With the Golden Gun”), Big Country (a one-hit wonder in America), Gerry Rafferty, Simple Minds, and the Celtic folk group Capercaillie.

200px-wallace_tartan_vestiarium_scoticumThat’s a lot of tartan pride!

So whether you like traditional Celtic folk, the plaintive reels of a good piper, or feel like rocking out to Maggie May, sit back and raise a pint to old William Wallace, a patriot who died keeping his country and culture from being lumped with Ireland and England.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in March

Two concerts this month, plus fun and informative programs on everything from Aromatherapy to  Starting a Business! Here are the highlights from our March Events Calendar:

rrpcwmScents and Sensibility

Thursday Mar 2, 2017, 6:30  –  8:00 PM

Learn about the medicinal benefits of various herbs and essential oils and create your own 8-ounce herbal reed diffuser. This 90 minute hands-on workshop includes all materials. Seating is limited and registration is required.

holaCuentos y Cantos

Friday Mar 3, 2017, 10:00  –  10:45 AM

¡Hola y bienvenidos a Cuentos y Cantos! Join Miss Lauren for a bilingual storytime in English and Spanish. We’ll read books, sing songs, learn new words, and have fun in two languages! For children ages 0-5 with a parent/caregiver. No registration required.

Atwater-Donnelly Trio

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Sunday Mar 5, 2017, 2:00 PM

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed performers, Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly  blend gorgeous harmonies and play an astonishing array of instruments, showcasing traditional American and Celtic folk songs and percussive dance featuring Irish step dancer Kevin Doyle. This concert is free to the public, no registration required.

small-businessStarting and Running a Small Business

Tuesdays,  Mar 7, 14, 21, 28 2017, 6:00  –  8:00 PM

The basics of starting and running a small business will be presented in a series of four programs to be hosted by SCORE, a network of business mentors, at the Cheshire Public Library, in the month of March.  The sessions will take place on Tuesday evenings – March 7, 14, 21, and 28, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  Space is limited, please register early!

 

difference-between-noodles-and-pastaCookbook Club: Pasta and Noodles

Wednesday Mar 8, 2017, 6:30  –  8:00 PM

March is Noodle Month!  Bring your favorite pasta/noodle cookbooks (from the library or home) to discuss, and a pasta/noodle dish to share with the group. Must be at least 18 years of age or older to participate.  By attending the program, participants acknowledge that they may choose to consume food that has not been prepared in a commercial kitchen. Registration is required.

11140269_574342509385891_2126848489443040348_n-e1446648369259Adult Knitting Night

Wednesdays Mar 8 and 22,  2017, 6:30 PM

Come socialize, learn, and share your techniques with other knitters.  Experience the relaxing and calming effect of knitting. Advanced adult knitters welcome, no supplies or instruction will be given. We will meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesday every month, no registration required.

logo-cwhf300 Years of Connecticut’s Remarkable Women

Thursday Mar 9, 2017, 6:00 PM

Please join us as we celebrate Women’s History Month with a tribute to 300 Years of Connecticut’s Remarkable Women presented by The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. This multi-media program will discuss well-known figures like Ella Grasso, Katharine Hepburn and Marian Anderson and lesser known heroines like Maria Sanchez, Barbara McClintock and Hannah Watson. Registration is required.

caldecottCelebrate the Caldecott!

Saturday Mar 11, 2017, 11:00 AM  –  12:00 PM

Join us as we celebrate some of our favorite Caldecott Medal books! The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published that year. This hands-on family friendly program will include art activities and games featuring some of the past award winners. For all ages, registration is required.

imagesFood Your Kids Will Eat!

Monday Mar 13, 2017, 6:30  –  7:30 PM

Do you have a favorite recipe that your family loves?  Do you have a recipe that freezes well that you can heat up after a long day at work?  Well this program is for you.  Bring a sample of your favorite dish, and the recipe to share with the group. We’ll share ways of getting kids to eat the food you prepare! Must be at least 18 years of age or older to participate.  By attending the program, participants acknowledge that they may choose to consume food that has not been prepared in a commercial kitchen. Registration is required.

Microsoft PowerPoint

3-part class, Wednesdays Mar 15, 22, 29, 1:30-2:30 PM

This class will provide introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint and is divided into three powerpoint-2013-logo-iconsessions.
You will learn how to:
– Create a new presentation.
– Modify presentation themes.
– Add and edit text.
– Add new slides to a presentation.
– Insert clipart images and shapes to slides.
– Add sound and video to a slide presentation.
– Insert and edit animations and slide transitions and much more.   Registration is required.

img_0623READ Photo Week

Monday Mar 20 – Saturday Mar 26, 2017

Kids, show off your love of reading! Stop by the Children’s Room any time from Monday, March 20th to Saturday, March 26th to get your photo taken with a favorite book. Take a book from our shelves or bring a book from home, select a snazzy background, then smile and say “read”! During National Library Week from April 10-16, come pick up your photo and enjoy our brand-new display featuring all the readers at Cheshire Library.

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-4-07-09-pmSAT/ACT Preparation

Thursday Mar 23, 2017, 6:30  –  7:30 PM

Want to learn about free resources such as practice SAT/ACT tests and eBooks available to you free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?  Attend this free session and learn about Learning Express a digital service that will help you master the SAT/ACT.  Registration is required.

baerman-squaredNoah Baerman Trio

Sunday Mar 26, 2017, 2:00 PM

Noah Baerman is an acclaimed jazz pianist/composer, educator, author, and Artistic Director of the non-profit Resonant Motion. For this program, Noah and his trio will demonstrate some of the nuts and bolts of instrumental jazz in lay terms, but without watering down the music itself.  This concert is free to the public, no registration required.

26832947885_23920e0bc2_bAuthor Talk : The Brass Valley by Emery Roth

Monday Mar 27, 2017, 6:00  –  8:00 PM

They called the steep valley of Connecticut’s Naugatuck River, “Brass Valley,” because from the time the world began running on steam and bearings, trolleys and soot, the Naugatuck Valley came to be where most of the world’s brass manufacturing happened.  Author and photographer, Emery Roth will talk about his new book, Brass Valley: The fall of an American Industry,  a book of pictures and stories about how it all happened.

 

 

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Seeking Rest in a Busy World

Rest is hard to find. Our homes, schools, and public places are filled with sound and activities. People talk, electronic devices ping, beep, and trill. Machines hum. We are plugged in 24/7.

Our lives have become a hive of constant connection. We are never alone! And quiet time is so necessary for well-being. A recent study looked at the benefits of time alone. It turns out, even extroverts need alone time and that time spent alone makes people feel more rested, which contributes to their well-being.

james_tissot_-_quietAnd the activities that people in the study found the most restful?
1. Reading.
2. Being in a natural environment.
3. Time spent alone.

So grab a book and head outside for some quality alone time. It’s good for body and soul.

 

Want to know more about the benefits of rest? Try these titles. Just want to relax? Check out the downloadable music suggestions at the end of this post. For a full list of relaxation resources, click here.

jacket-aspxSilence : the power of quiet in a world full of noise / Thich Nĥát Hạnh. (Hardcover)
One of the world’s most beloved teachers and Zen masters shares a profound, concise, and practical guide to understanding and developing our most powerful inner resource—silence—to help us find happiness, purpose, and peace.

jacket-aspxThe art of stillness : adventures in going nowhere / Pico Iyer. (Hardcover)
Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer think that sitting quietly in a room might be the ultimate adventure? Because in our madly accelerating world, our lives are crowded, chaotic and noisy. There’s never been a greater need to slow down, tune out and give ourselves permission to be still.

jacket-aspxStillness speaks / Eckhart Tolle. (ebook)
If you connect to the stillness within, you move beyond your active mind and emotions and discover great depths of lasting peace, contentment, and serenity.

 

 

jacket-aspxRelaxation revolution : enhancing your personal health through the science and genetics of mind body healing / Herbert Benson and William Proctor. (Downloadable Audiobook)
Using the mind to quiet the body not only eases stress, it actually alters the activity of thousands of genes, promoting wellness. Science now proves that relaxation not only changes how a patient feels physically and emotionally, it has the power to transform genes, molecules, cells, and other physiological functions to relieve a variety of afflictions.

vector-musical-1Downloadable Music

Positive thinking, vol. 1 – music for meditation, relaxation & yoga

Guided meditation guided relaxation & guided imagery for the body and mind

Classical music for relaxation vol.1

Spa music: relaxing music for massage therapy, spa, yoga, stress relief, meditation and sleeping

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