Archive for the ‘Music: The Power to Enchant’ Category


Today is Veterans Day, so some of you might like to know about an exhibit called War/Photography at the Brooklyn Museum.  Here is a link:    Brooklyn Museum link


Helmand Province, Afghanistan. By Louie Palu. ©

From the exhibit:  Helmand Province, Afghanistan. By Louie Palu. ©


US AIR FORCE ACADEMY CADET CHORALE   “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”


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Beachfront. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. 2010 By Paul Goldfinger.Copyright. Click left for full view.

Beachfront sunrise. 7:53 a.m. 2002. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger. ©  Click image for full view. Reposted from December 17, 2012.  Blogger Susan Heney reminded me of this post.


As a photographer, I much prefer sunrises to sunsets. Maybe it’s because photographs of sunrises are rarer than sunsets. After all, most people are still awake when the sun sets, but hardly anyone is up and about when the sun reappears early in the morning. But also, in my opinion, sunrises are more beautiful than sunsets, and speaking philosophically, more uplifting because beginnings are happier than endings.

Yet people love to see images of sunsets. To be honest, I almost never photograph a sunset or accept one for publication on Blogfinger (with very rare exceptions). I think they are corny and boring. Some of you will probably sneer at my opinion and consider me to be an  effete snob. One of the definitions of effete is  “decadent.” I like that, although I have never actually tried it — except when I sneak over to Days for an illicit hot fudge sundae, once or twice each summer.

Of course, this image has some special meaning this year, since the portion of the pier that is seen here is no longer present due to hurricane Sandy. The picture reminds me of the song from Annie –“Tomorrow”  (“The sun will come out tomorrow; bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun…”).  But that’s not the song for this photograph. Instead, I’m in the mood for John Rutter’s music, and here is his “Blow, blow thou winter wind.”   — Paul Goldfinger


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Sunset Park, Asbury Park, New Jersey. 2013By Paul Goldfinger ©

Sunset Park, Asbury Park, New Jersey. 2013
By Paul Goldfinger ©   Click for full view.


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day.”


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—Paul Goldfinger, Editor, Blogfinger.net

Some songs really need to be performed with a vocalist because the lyrics are so beautiful.  And that is true for the jazz classic “All the Things You Are.”  It was written in 1939 for a show called “Very Warm for May.”

Jerome Kern wrote the music while Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the words. These two musical geniuses collaborated for many great songs.  Here are some of the lyrics from the verse, so you can see how remarkable the words are:


“You are the promised kiss of springtime
That makes the lonely winter seem long
You are the breathless hush of evening
That trembles on the brink of a lovely song
You are the angel glow that lights a star
The dearest things I know are what you are
Some day my happy arms will hold you
And some day I’ll know that moment divine
When all the things you are, are mine”

But the music is so gorgeous on its own, that in the hands of a great jazz musician you can get this—Dizzy Gillespie and his sextet, recorded in 1945.

Dizzy Gillespie. (1917-1993). One of the most innovative jazz musicians, especially in be-bop and Latin jazz.



BONUS TRACK:  This time with the words.  Carly Simon from her 22nd album “‘Moonlight Serenade.”  (2005)

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Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Directed by Sergio Leone.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

This movie was made in 1984 by the great Italian director Sergio Leone.  It owes a lot to the 1972 film The Godfather, but it is wonderful in its own right.

The soundtrack is by Ennio Morricone whose association with Leone is well known.  (As in “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly”)

The video below shows the wonder of movie-making as done by a master, even if viewed as still images.  The acting is great, especially with the stunning Elizabeth McGovern (the adult Deborah), DiNiro (Noodles)  and James Woods (Max.)

“Deborah’s Theme” is magical and plays in the background of this video and, during the movie, when the beautiful Deborah glides across the screen.


Jennifer Connelly as Deborah

Jennifer Connelly as Deborah


There is an early scene where the teen-aged Deborah (played by Jennifer Connelly) is practicing her ballet moves while wearing a tutu. Noodles (later played by Robert DiNiro) is watching her through a small portal in the wall.

The whole scene is done as if in slow motion, and the music playing then is the song “Amapola.”  The clarinet carries the solo while a violin plays the counter melody. A lone guitar provides the rhythm. The total effect is exquisitely beautiful.


This version of  “Amapola”  is done in a nearly identical  tempo and effect as in the movie, although this cut, by Stuart Matthewman, is from the soundtrack of another film called Twin Falls, Idaho.  


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Ocean Grove Christmas. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Ocean Grove Christmas. By Paul Goldfinger ©


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Paul Goldfinger,  Editor. Blogfinger.net

If you attend an organ recital at the Great Auditorium or one of the more complicated classical performances such as the Verdi Requiem, you realize that there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of people who will enjoy this type of music in Ocean Grove. Classical music seems to go well with Sunday mornings; maybe because it has been performed so often in churches over the centuries.

This piece is from 17th century Italy. The echo parts remind me of the rear organ register in the Great Auditorium.

The performance is by a group that plays period instruments. Giovanni Fontana (1571-1630) was a composer of Baroque works. He wrote 18 sonatas and he died during a plague in Padua.   —Paul Goldfinger


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Tuscany. c. 1996. By Paul Goldfinger. © Click left for larger view

Cinque Terre, Italy.   c. 1996. By Paul Goldfinger. © Click left for larger view. Re-posted from 2013.


HOT CLUB OF SAN FRANCISCO. “Souvenir de Villingen” from the album Yerba Buena Bounce  (composed by Stephane Grappelli)

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By Eileen Goldfinger  (food editor at Blogfinger)

4 cups fish broth
1 cup water
6 ounces halibut, cut in 2 inch pieces
4 extra large sea scallops
7 ounces cooked lobster meat
1/2   32 ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes, hand crushed
1 sweet onion, diced
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 large leaves of Swiss chard,  remove center stem, slice leaves in 1/2 inch strips
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Use a heavy 5 quart Dutch oven with a lid.  Heat oil on medium heat, then add diced onions. Cook onions until they begin to soften, approximately 10 minutes.  Add the Anaheim peppers, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper;  stir and cook for another 10 minutes.  Lower the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the crushed tomatoes, return the heat to medium and cook for an additional 10 minutes

Remove fish from refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature.

Add the broth, water and Swiss chard to the pot, stir, bring to a boil, cover the pot, lower heat so the liquid simmers and cook for 45 minutes.

Taste the soup and adjust seasoning.

Add halibut to soup and cook for 5 minutes.  Next add scallops to soup and cook for 7 minutes.  Finally, add lobster and cook for 2 minutes.

Serve with grilled Ciabatta bread and sautéed slices of polenta.

Serves 2

Cook’s note: A more economical version could substitute any solid white fish such as cod loin for the halibut. The lobster could be replaced with shrimp.  A good wine with this is Cavit’s Pinot Grigio  (from Italy) served chilled. It is inexpensive and quite delicious.

Editor’s note:  This recipe is 100% heart healthy. Fish is a nutritious protein source which contains no saturated fat and very low amounts of total fat. Lobster and scallops are shellfish which contain only small amounts of cholesterol.  All these fish components are heart healthy due to their fish oils. Note that the cooking oil chosen is olive oil, which is a “good oil” high in monounsaturated fat.  Swiss chard is high in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.    This recipe originally posted on Blogfinger in 2011.  PG

MUSIC: To play while you enjoy your Italian Fish Soup by candlelight :  Puccini, from La Boheme, “Musetta’s Waltz”–Kiri Te Kanawa:

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Thornley Chapel. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. ©  By Paul Goldfinger.  2012.


SOUNDTRACK:  The London Philharmonic and Choir

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