Friday, September 11, 2015

A Compendium of Lesser Known Facets of Powerful Figures in Human History

I thought that it might be fun, as  a form of digression from the usual blog format, to glue together a number of  lesser known aspects of some the figures of the past millennium   that I have written about during the past seven or eight years:
Dwight D. Eisenhower -The General chosen by President Roosevelt to lead  the 20th century's most important  military operation called Overlord, which history has named  "D" Day, the beginning of the liberation of  Occupied Europe. Also, the bearer of a speech(his farewell as President)warning of a  military/industrial complex, which was the first  prescient forewarning of a new and dangerous time we are the inhabitants of.
Eisenhower  loved to paint, and did so to assuage so many pressures created simply by being a rung on the ladder of history. He was really quite good at painting - take a look. There is, I believe, a permanent collection at Eisenhower College. And there are other paintings hanging elsewhere.
Wolfgang Mozart - how many composers could work on as  many as a half dozen works simultaneously?
Not many - imagine the beginning and completion of  his last three symphonies in one summer (1788), which includes his longest symphony (the "Jupiter"),  his final work in the symphony form, whereas it took
Johannes Brahms - about 21 years to begin and end his first symphony.
I am NOT comparing; simply noting- a gentle reminder that each of us is a fingerprint. Brahms was and is one of the greats.
Reinhard Heydrich - a  member of the Hitler Hierarchy , and, arguably, the most efficient incarnation of pure evil outside of Hitler himself. I have always felt that had he not been assassinated in 1942, he would very well have become Hitler's successor upon the tyrant's suicide in 1945.
This monster's father had founded the Halle Conservatory of Music in Germany, and was himself an accomplished violinist, who could have followed his father's footsteps -sadly, Fate led him down a different road. If you want to know pure evil, read about  this man.
Frank Sinatra - One of America's best remembered pop vocalists, especially in mid-20th century. His recordings continue to be heard around the world today.
Ever see his paintings? There are  many hanging today. I think that you will be happily surprised at his gifts as a painter; especially if you happen to be a fan of his.
Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl -The only person in history to work for both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler - really! Imagine being called, in the 1920's, "Hitler's Pianist."  Look him up - truth can indeed be stranger than fiction. 
Muzio Clementi - When Beethoven died, the authorities who entered his home to list the possessions of the great composer found that in his personal music library, Beethoven had more of Clementi's piano music than Mozart's. Why? This builder of pianos was a composer as well, as you know. But do be reminded that Clementi may well be considered the first of the "modern" composers of the piano - the first true 'romantic?'
Adolf Hitler - If  the young Hitler been able to effectively paint the human figure into his watercolors, would the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna, which had twice rejected him, have allowed him entrance?
The twentieth century would then almost assuredly have taken on a totally different form.
There are many more examples of multi- talented figures - George Gershwin and Tony Bennett, for instance, and THEIR painting abilities -and so on and so on...
Enough!           

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