From today's featured article
Blood on the Floor is a suite in nine movements composed for orchestra and jazz trio by Mark-Anthony Turnage (pictured). It was composed between 1993 and 1996, during which Turnage's brother died of a drug overdose, causing drug culture to be one of its main themes. It is also influenced by the paintings of Francis Bacon and Heather Betts; the title is an adaptation of Bacon's Blood on Pavement. The composition has been described as being part of the third stream genre and is written as a concerto grosso featuring a blend of classical, jazz, non-western and electronic instruments. It contains space for soloists to improvise in four of its movements. The suite shows elements of non-functional harmony and has complex rhythmic changes, often changing metre every bar. Motifs recur throughout the work. It was premiered in London in May 1996, and received a mixed reception from critics. Some enjoyed the suite's fusion of classical and jazz music, while others found it to be an unfulfilling combination. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that the hall of worship of Okunoin holds more than 10,000 perpetually lit lanterns (pictured), some of which are said to have been burning for more than 900 years?
- ... that the slave António Corea may have been the first Korean to visit Europe?
- ... that an Indian rhinoceros, sent as a gift to Pope Leo X in 1515, was immortalised as Dürer's Rhinoceros after dying in a shipwreck?
- ... that Robert H. Brooks passed as a white man to join an all-white unit?
- ... that the 1928 Liechtenstein embezzlement scandal cost 1.8 million Swiss francs, the equivalent of two yearly state budgets?
- ... that Maxine North swore never to return to Thailand after the death of her undercover CIA husband, but ultimately settled there and introduced bottled water to the country?
- ... that a review of the board game Imhotep stated that it can be chaotic and "extremely mean"?
- ... that Franz Jakob Späth's fortepianos were favorites of Mozart, but Beethoven refused to play them?
In the news
- Following the general election, Feleti Teo (pictured) is appointed Prime Minister of Tuvalu.
- The Odysseus robotic lander of the IM-1 mission performs the first commercial soft landing on the Moon.
- At the British Academy Film Awards, Oppenheimer wins Best Film and six other awards.
- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in a corrective labor colony near Kharp, at the age of 47.
On this day
- 1704 – Queen Anne's War: French and Native American forces raided the English settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing more than 50 colonists.
- 1944 – The Admiralty Islands campaign during the Pacific War of World War II began when American forces assaulted Los Negros Island, the third largest of the Admiralty Islands.
- 1960 – The deadliest earthquake in Moroccan history (damaged building pictured) struck the city of Agadir, killing at least 12,000 people.
- 2004 – Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown following popular rebel uprising.
- 2012 – Construction of Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest tower and third-tallest structure, was completed.
Today's featured picture
Les Huguenots is an opera in five acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. One of the most popular and spectacular examples of grand opera, it sets a French-language libretto by Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps and premiered in Paris on 29 February 1836. This watercolour illustration shows the costume designs by Eugène Du Faget for the first performance of Les Huguenots. The three roles depicted and the premiere cast, from left to right, are Marguerite (Julie Dorus-Gras), Raoul (Adolphe Nourrit) and Valentine (Cornélie Falcon).
Illustration credit: Eugène Du Faget; restored by Adam Cuerden