Video

VOTD: Do You Believe?

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I picked this up from another blog. I loved The Conjuring franchise movies. Were Ed & Lorraine Warren for real? Are the hauntings real? The guy who posted this video stated that he knew someone that was friends with a family that lived in the Amityville house in the 1990s. They reported nothing weird. He also stated that he had another friend that knew Ronald Defeo, Jr. and that person stated that Defeo was totally messed up. Apologies, up front, for all the adverts…and that stupid fish. Submitted for your approval… ~Vic

Flick Friday: Enchanted 2007

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Enchanted IMDb Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Fifteen years ago, today, the #1 movie at the box office was Enchanted. Directed by Kevin Lima and written by Bill Kelly, it starred Amy Adams (Giselle), Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Idina Menzel, Rachel Covey, Susan Sarandon (Queen Narissa) and Julie Andrews (The Narrator).

The beautiful Princess Giselle is banished by evil Queen Narissa from her magical, musical, animated land and finds herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern-day Manhattan. Shocked by this strange new environment, that doesn’t operate on a “happily ever after” basis, Giselle is now adrift in a chaotic world, badly in need of enchantment. [When] Giselle begins to fall in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer, who has come to her aid, even though she is already promised to a perfect fairy tale Prince back home, she has to wonder…can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?

IMDb Storyline

In the animated fairy tale kingdom of Andalasia, Narissa, the corrupt, ruthless queen and dark sorceress, schemes to protect her claim to the throne, which she will lose once her stepson, Prince Edward, finds his true love and marries. Giselle, a young woman, dreams of meeting a prince and experiencing a “happily ever after”. Edward hears Giselle singing and sets off to find her. She and Edward are instantly attracted to each other and plan to be married the following day. Disguised as an old hag, Narissa intercepts Giselle on her way to the wedding and pushes her into a well, where Giselle is magically transformed into a live-action version of herself, [then] transported to New York’s Times Square in the real reality.

Partial Wikipedia Summary

Trivia Bits:
The actresses who provided the voices for three previous animated Disney Princesses made appearances in this movie…Jodi Benson (Ariel/The Little Mermaid 1989), Paige O’Hara (Belle/Beauty and the Beast 1991) and Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas/Singing Voice 1995). Also, Dame Julie Andrews, who starred as the title character in Disney’s live-action Mary Poppins 1964, provided her voice as The Narrator and Idina Menzel, who played Nancy, voiced Queen Elsa in Disney’s Frozen 2013 and Frozen II 2019.
One of the elderly male dancers appeared in Mary Poppins 1964 as a chimney sweep.
♦ Disney had originally planned to add Giselle to the Disney Princess line-up. [The] Giselle doll was featured with packaging, declaring her with Disney Princess status. [Disney] decided against it when they realized they would have to pay for life-long rights to Amy Adams’ image.

I’ve never seen this but, it looks cute. The sequel came out on November 18, 2022. ~Vic

Trailer 2007

Sequel Trailer 2022

Tune Tuesday: Tell Me Pretty Maiden 1902

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Levy Sheet Music Image One
Image Credit: jhu.edu

One hundred & twenty years ago, the #1 song of 1902 was Tell Me Pretty Maiden by Byron G. Harlan, whistler Joe Belmont and the Florodora Girls. According to Tsort, there are almost NO charts from before 1920. I plugged in today’s date on Playback FM and this is what I got. You can peruse Tsort’s Site Generation Page, describing source charts and consolidation. They seem to have their own method for old stuff and, apparently, Playback FM agrees.

Wikimedia Image Two
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Florodora is an Edwardian musical comedy. After its long run in London, it became one of the first successful Broadway musicals of the 20th Century. The book was written by Jimmy Davis, under the pseudonym Owen Hall, the music was by Leslie Stuart with additional songs by Paul Rubens and, the lyrics were by Ernest Boyd-Jones, George Arthurs and Rubens.

The original London production opened in 1899, where it ran for a very successful 455 performances. The New York production, which opened the following year, was even more popular, running for 552 performances. After this, the piece was produced throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. The show was famous for its double sextet and its chorus line of “Florodora Girls“.

Wikipedia Summary

It appears that the Harlan & Belmont version, with the Florodora Girls was very, very popular. Second Hand Songs also lists a Frank Stanley as part of the team. UC Santa Barbara lists Frank Banta on piano and calls the group the Edison Sextette.

Silly Sunday: Mask Swing

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This is so cute. Best use for those damn masks. ~Vic

Weird S*** Wednesday: Sky Show

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Your guess is as good as mine. ~Vic

Song Saturday: Painless

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Returning to my Samsung playlist… ~Vic

Story Sunday: Can Opener Bridge

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Can Opener Bridge Image One
Photo Credit: Amusing Planet
Photo Author: Mark Clifton
Click for a larger view.

At 11 foot 8 inches [sic], the Norfolk Southern-Gregson Street Overpass, located in Durham, [NC] […], is a bit too short. The federal government recommends that bridges on public roads should have a clearance of at least 14 feet [but], when this railroad trestle was built in the 1940s, there were no standards for minimum clearance. As a result, trucks would frequently hit the bridge and get its roof scrapped [sic] off.

Durhan resident Jürgen Henn has been witnessing these crashes for years from across the street where he worked. Wishing to share these hilarious mishaps with the rest of the world, Henn set up a video camera in April 2008 and began recording them for his ever popular website 11foot8.com. By the end of 2015, more than one hundred trucks had their tops violently ripped off. These scalping videos, which are also available on his YouTube Channel, have racked up millions of views bringing this particular bridge, nicknamed “the can opener”, a fair amount of international fame.

As Jürgen Henn explains in his website [sic], the bridge cannot be raised because doing so would require the tracks to be raised for several miles to adjust the incline. North Carolina Railroad doesn’t want to pay for the enormous expense it would entail. The bridge cannot be lowered either because there is a major sewer line running only four feet under the street.

Can Opener Bridge Image Two
Photo Credit: Amusing Planet
Photo Author: Mark Clifton
Click for a larger view.

Instead, the city authorities installed an alert system that detects when an over-height truck tries to pass under and flashes yellow warning lights several feet ahead of the bridge. [However], many drivers either do not pay attention or fail to heed the warning and crash into the bridge. The railroad department, who owns the bridge, installed a heavy steel crash beam in front of the bridge that takes most of the impact, protecting the actual structure of the train trestle. This crash beam is hit so often that it had to be replaced at least once.

As far as both parties are concerned, the city of Durham and North Carolina Railroad, adequate steps have been taken to solve the problem. The railroad authorities’ concern is with the bridge and the rails above, not the trucks, [hence], the beam. The city, on the other hand, has posted prominent “low clearance” signs from [three] blocks away, leading up to the trestle, over and above the automatic warning system that is triggered by vehicles that are too tall. Apparently, these measures are not enough to prevent accidents. On average there is one crash every month.

When Henn interviewed a few drivers as they deflated their tires to lower their vehicles enough to free them, some told him that they didn’t know their trucks’ heights, while others insisted they didn’t see the signs. Durham officials are now trying out a new tactic. A few months ago, they installed a traffic signal at the intersection before the bridge and hooked up the height sensor to it. When an over-height truck approaches the intersection, the light turns red and stays red for a long time. The light eventually turns green but, the city hopes that the long delay will give the drivers enough time to realize their truck will not fit under the bridge. Unfortunately for the drivers, and to the delight of the rest, the bridge continues to shave the tops of over-height vehicles.

The Infamous Can Opener Bridge
Amusing Planet
Kaushik Patowary
December 17, 2016

I can attest to this bridge, personally. I lived in Durham for two years in the middle 90s. Why those folks don’t turn off onto Peabody Street or Pettigrew Street, coming from the other side, I don’t know. They just plow right under it. It is right behind Brightleaf Square. ~Vic

Jürgen Henn’s Website
Henn’s YouTube Channel

Additional:
11 Feet, 8 Inches… (99% Invisible/Kurt Kohlstedt/08-29-2016)
Durham’s Bridge of Death Will Decapitate Any Tall Truck (Bloomberg/John Metcalfe/10-25-2012)
Trucks Have Hit This Low Bridge More Than 100 Times… (Vox/Timothy B. Lee/01-06-2016)
A Little Off The Top… (Indy Week/Danny Hooley/01-06-2016)
Norfolk Southern–Gregson Street Overpass (Wikipedia)

Compilation of Crashes

Funny Friday: Stress Reducer

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I’ve had this one for a while. It’s dated November 2007 but, I don’t remember where it came from. ~Vic

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Five-Pick One-Sisters (1991-1996)

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Sisters Pinterest Image One
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Five pick.

I didn’t catch the first season of this show during its original run but, started watching during season two (it was a while before I got to see season one). I was immediately hooked by the quirky interaction between the sisters and their day to day lives in Winnetka, IL and, I was already a Patricia Kalember fan due to the short-lived Kay O’Brien TV show. ~Vic

Created by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, the series begins one year after the death of the family’s father, Dr. Thomas Reed, a workaholic, played in flashbacks by three different actors but, mostly by Peter White. The matriarch of the family is Beatrice (Elizabeth Hoffman), a long-suffering, neglected wife, who turns to alcohol to deal with the doctor’s multiple affairs. She has four daughters:

Alexandra…”Alex” (Swoosie Kurtz), the eldest. She married a plastic surgeon that had affairs on her and she divorced him, retaining some wealth. After battling breast cancer, she became a talk show host. She frequently butts heads her daughter, Reed Halsey (played by three different actresses, most notably Ashley Judd). She eventually remarries.

Sisters TMDb Image Two
New grouping with Charley, on the left.
Image Credit: TMDb

Theodora…”Teddy” (Sela Ward), the second daughter. At the beginning of the series, she is returning from California and is shocked to discover that her ex-husband, Mitch, is engaged to her youngest sister, Frankie. She, drunk, temporarily, stops the wedding with a shotgun (she inherited Beatrice’s drinking habits). An artist in school, she becomes a fashion designer, helming three different companies. She goes on to marry twice more…to Det. James Falconer (George Clooney), the cop that investigated her daughter Cat’s rape (he was killed in an explosion) and Dr. Gabriel Sorenson (Stephen Collins), the doctor that saved her life when she was shot in the head.

Georgiana…”Georgie” (Patricia Kalember), the third daughter. She is the stay-at-home mom with the most level head of all the sisters. A part-time real estate agent, she is the one the other sisters come to for guidance. She and her husband, John, have two sons, the youngest surviving leukemia. She carries and gives birth to Thomas George, Frankie & Mitch’s son. After trouble with her first son, she has an affair with her therapist, separates from John, has a second affair with a much younger classmate in college and, eventually returns to John.

Francesca…”Frankie” (Julianne Phillips…Springsteen’s first wife), the fourth daughter. She is a highly paid executive, a workaholic like her father and discovered that she was infertile. Georgie becomes her surrogate for her baby. Her work habits break apart her marriage to Mitch. Afterwards, she quits her job and buys a local diner. She eventually moves to Japan for another job.

Charlotte…”Charley” (a doctor, originally played by Jo Anderson, then Sheila Kelley) as the unknown, fifth, illegitimate daughter that shows up in the fourth season, looking for a bone marrow donation (a shift in the story-line as Julianne Phillips prepared to leave the show). The nicknames are a product of their father wanting boys and never getting one. The four older sisters tagged Charlotte with her own nickname.

Supporting Characters:
John Witsig (Garrett M. Brown), Georgie’s husband.
Mitch Margolis (Ed Marinaro), Teddy’s high school sweetheart, ex-husband & Frankie’s ex-husband.
Catherine “Cat” Margolis (Heather McAdam), Teddy & Mitch’s daughter that goes on to be a cop.

Much of the show is full of flashbacks, particularly the interactions of the sisters growing up.

Trivia Bits:
♦ Patricia Kalember’s husband in real life, Daniel Gerroll, had a recurring role in season five. He played psychiatrist Dr. David Caspian, who was counseling her character Georgie.
Julianne Phillips and Patricia Kalember also co-starred in Fletch Lives.
♦ Elizabeth Hoffman was a minor, recurring character on Stargate SG-1 and played Eleanor Roosevelt in two mini-series: The Winds of War (1983) and War & Remembrance (1988-1989).

Scene & Opening Theme

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Four-Pick Two-The X-Files (1993-2018)

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Scully & Mulder IMDb Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Four pick.

I’ve stated, before, that I was born and raised in law enforcement. I’ve also worked in law enforcement (non-sworn) at two different agencies, one state and one county (think of me as the blond chick on Criminal Minds, sitting in front of a computer screen…though I am not blond). It can be an interesting job if you’re lucky enough to be employed with an agency that doesn’t take its political self too seriously (virtually impossible these days). I’ve met and worked with a couple of FBI agents. They were nice, everyday guys, back in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’ve seen and heard a lot of things.

The Sci-Fi geek that I am, I’m not presenting this show in that light. This show is, first and foremost, law enforcement. These are the folks, alongside first responders, to arrive at the scene of the accident, the scene of the disaster or the crime scene. In the case of these FBI agents, they investigate the weird shit. That being said, I do have a very full binder of X-Files non-sport cards and chase (special) cards, plus, all of the original series-run DVDs. ~Vic

The X-Files IMDb Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Created and written by Chris Carter, there were many other writers, including David Duchovny (Agent Fox Mulder), Gillian Anderson (Agent Dana Scully) and Stephen King but, this was Carter’s baby. It starred Duchovny and Anderson as the dynamic duo, investigating all manner of odd, macabre, out-of-this-world or just plain gross happenings. In later years, Duchovny reduced his presence on the show and eventually left. In 2000, Robert Patrick (Agent John Doggett) was brought in as a new partner for Gillian Anderson. In 2001 Annabeth Gish (Agent Monica Reyes) showed up and, with the upcoming departure of Anderson, became Patrick’s partner. There was some chatter that the show would live on with Patrick and Gish but, it never materialized. Gish returned in the series revival but, Patrick did not. Neither of them were in the X-Files feature films.

Other regular cast members were Mitch Pileggi (Asst. Dir. Walter Skinner), William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man), Nicholas Lea (Alex Krycek), Chris Owens (Jeffrey Spender, son of the Cigarette Smoking Man) and James Pickens, Jr. (Asst. Dir./Dep. Dir. Alvin Kersh). Secondary, popular characters were Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund & Bruce Harwood (The Lone Gunmen), Don. S. Davis (Captain William Scully, Agent Scully’s father), Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully, Agent Scully’s mother), Melinda McGraw (Melissa Scully, Agent Scully’s older sister), Pat Skipper (Bill Scully, Jr., Agent Scully’s older brother), Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat), Steven Williams (Mr. X), Rebecca Toolan (Teena Mulder, Agent Mulder’s mother), Peter Donat (William Mulder, Agent Mulder’s father) and five separate actresses portrayed Samantha Mulder, the agent’s abducted, younger sister. Agent Scully also has a younger brother, Charles but, except for flashbacks, the character is uncredited.

Agent Reyes & Agent Doggett IMDb Amazon Image Three
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Addendum: Honestly, I was hoping the show would continue on with Agents Doggett & Reyes. They had a lot of really good on-screen chemistry and I liked both actors. After nine years, I had grown weary of Duchovny’s primadonna attitude. When the series was revived, the magic was gone and I wasn’t impressed. Naturally, they turned Agent Reyes into a bad character and killed her off.

Addendum #2: I also have to mention that the theme song changed, just slightly, at some point. The first theme has a solid, continuous echo sound. The second theme is a double-repeating echo sound. Why it changed, I don’t know (it drove me crazy). It is never mentioned but, it did happen. Listen, below.

Trivia Bits:
♦ As stated in my last draft, Mark Snow created the X-Files theme, the Starsky & Hutch theme for Season Three and many others.
♦ Gillian Anderson was nearly replaced when she got pregnant during the first season.
♦ Props from Mulder’s office are preserved at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in LA. The I Want To Believe poster kept disappearing from the set.
♦ The agents badges read “Federal Bureau of Justice, United States Department of Investigation” as making a fake FBI badge is illegal.
♦ Gillian Anderson has stated that she based her approach to the role of Dana Scully on Jodie Foster’s performance as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
♦ Dana Scully was named after the famous sports journalist Vin Scully. Mulder is the maiden name of Chris Carter’s mother.
♦ Chris Carter lists All the President’s Men (1976) as one of his inspirations for the series. There are numerous references to the film, including the shadowy informer Deep Throat, meetings in underground parking garages and hints at conspiracies which stretch all the way to the F.B.I.

X-Files Original Opening

X-Files Second Opening…Can you hear the difference?

Thumbnut Thursday: New Religion

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Actually, this should be labeled “Thumbnuts”, really. Boggles a thinking mind. ~Vic

Silly Sunday: Cubism

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This thing is 20 years old. I don’t even remember where I got it from. ~Vic

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Three-Pick Three-Starsky & Hutch (1975-1979)

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Starsky & Hutch IMDb Amazon Image One
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Three pick.

I was raised in law enforcement. My dad was a Probation/Parole Officer, his younger brother, a city cop in our hometown and my first cousin became a deputy. Some years later, when my dad re-married, my stepmom was Parking Enforcement for the same city police department. I grew up watching every manner of cop TV show you could find, from re-runs of Dragnet to Hawaii Five-O to Kojak to The Rookies to Baretta to Adam-12 to The Rockford Files to Police Story…and everything in-between. My personal favorite was Starsky & Hutch. I had a “thing” for Paul Michael Glaser. His picture was one of four photos I kept as a kid and young teen. The others were Lindsay Wagner, Olivia Newton-John and John Schneider. I later regretted my attachment to him. I didn’t remember most of the episodes but, I was reintroduced to the show in the 90s with re-runs. ~Vic

Created and written by William Blinn (Brian’s Song, The Rookies, Eight Is Enough & Pensacola: Wings of Gold), it starred David Soul (Det. Sgt. Kenneth Richard “Hutch” Hutchinson), Paul Michael Glaser (Det. Sgt. David Michael Starsky), Antonio Fargas (Informant Huggy Bear) and Bernie Hamilton (Captain Harold C. Dobey). In the Pilot TV Movie, Captain Dobey was played by Richard Ward. Sgt. Hutchinson was from Duluth, MN, was divorced and was a reserved, intellectual type. Sgt. Starsky was from Brooklyn, NY, was an Army veteran, had street-smarts and, could be intense & moody. Informant Huggy Bear was a flashy, ethically ambiguous bar owner that provided the two Sergeants with whatever street action knowledge he could gather. Captain Dobey was their barking & gruff but, fair boss. He had his hands full with those two. One of the main characters of the show was Starsky’s red, 1975 Ford Gran Torino (four of them, actually), nicknamed the “Striped Tomato.” In the show, Hutch calls the car that name in the episode Snowstorm (10-01-1975) but, that crack actually came from Paul Michael Glaser when Aaron Spelling showed him the car (First Season DVD Collection). Hutch’s vehicle was a beat-up, tan, 1973 Ford Galaxie 500, whose horn would blow when the door was opened.

Hutch Gran Torino Colt Python IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Hutch & His Colt Python
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Favorite Episodes:
The Fix (10-08-1975)
Running (with Jan Smithers/02-25-1976)
The Las Vegas Strangler Part I & Part II (with Lynda Carter/09-25-1976)
Nightmare (11-28-1976)
Starsky’s Lady (with Season Hubley 02-12-1977)
Long Walk Down A Short Dirt Road (with Lynn Anderson/03-12-1977)
Fatal Charm (with Karen Valentine & Roz Kelly/09-24-1977)
I Love You, Rosey Malone (10-01-1977)
Blindfold (with Kim Cattrall/09-26-1978)

Trivia Bits:
☆ Originally, Starsky was supposed to drive a green and white Chevy Camaro but, the producers had a contract with Ford.
☆ On numerous occasions, Paul Michael Glaser has talked about how much he hated the car, as well as playing Starsky and, that he had campaigned to be released from his contract.
Zebra Three was the radio call sign for Starsky, Hutch…and the car.
☆ Starsky and Hutch were based on Lou Telano and John Sepe.
☆ The Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver used by Hutch is the same pistol carried by David Soul in his role as Officer John Davis in Magnum Force.
☆ The show had four different opening theme songs with seasons two and four crafted by Tom Scott and sounding similar. Season one was crafted by Lalo Schifrin and season three crafted by Mark Snow, known for the X-Files theme.

Different Themes

Music Monday: St. Matthew Passion 1727

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Bach BWV 244 Image One
Author: Johann Sebastian Bach
1736
Title page of St. Matthew Passion
Image Credit: Wikipedia/Wikimedia

The St. Matthew Passion (Matthäus-Passion in German ~ BWV 244) is a Passion, a sacred oratorio written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, with libretto by Picander. It sets the 26th and 27th chapters of the Gospel of Matthew, in the Luther Bible, to music, with interspersed chorales and arias. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of Baroque sacred music.

The St. Matthew Passion is the second of two Passion settings by Bach that have survived in their entirety, the first being the St. John Passion, first performed in 1724. Little is known with certainty about the creation process of the St. Matthew Passion. The available information derives from extant early manuscripts, contemporary publications of the libretto, and circumstantial data, for instance in documents archived by the Town Council of Leipzig.

The St. Matthew Passion was probably first performed on April 11, 1727 (Good Friday), two hundred, ninety-five years, ago, today, in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig.

Wikipedia Summaries

In the early 1820s, the director of the Berlin Singakademie, Carl Zelter, got hold of a copy of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and rehearsed some of the choral movements in private. By great good fortune, two of his singers were Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn. In April 1829, despite strong opposition from some quarters, the twenty-year-old Mendelssohn, with the help of Zelter and his friend the actor Eduard Devrient, mounted the work’s first modern performance, albeit in an abbreviated form, given to mark what was then thought to be the centenary of its first performance. This Easter-time Berlin presentation was a stunning success and was followed by others. These led directly to a complete reassessment and revival of interest in all of Bach’s music for, baffling as it seems nowadays, Johann Sebastian Bach had fallen into near obscurity since his death nearly 80 years earlier.

Bach’s St. Matthew Passion: A Guide To The Sacred Masterpiece
UDiscoverMusic
Jeremy Nicholas
April 8, 2020

Beautiful music with beautiful voices. One tenor sounds just like a woman. ~Vic

Additional:
A Guide To Bach’s St. Matthew Passion
(Classical Music/BBC Music Magazine/05-26-2021)
Music History Monday: St. Matthew Passion (Robert Greenberg Music/04-11-2022)
Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 (Bach Cantatas Website/2000-2022)

Netherlands Bach Society
04-02-2019
Two Hours, 44 Minutes & 31 Seconds

Weird S*** Wednesday: Zombies

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This comes under the heading of “Things You Don’t See Everyday.” I wonder what they are on. ~Vic