26
Nov
10

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer ~ Animal Painter

(1807-73).  Landseer was an English animal painter who learned drawing from his father, John, the engraver and writer.  He also studied at the Royal Academy.  His work trended from a healthy animation to an anthropomorphism that sagged into unfortunate sentimentality.  His “Shoeing” (1844, Tate Gallery) and “Rout of Comus” (1843 Tae Gallery) exhibit his best style.  The four bronze lions at the base of Nelson’s monument in Trafalgar Square, London (unveiled 1867), are his.  He was elected Royal Academician (1831) and knighted (1850)

Reference:  The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropaedia) 
25
Nov
10

Wanda (Louise) Landowska ~ Harpsichordist

Harpsichordist

A Polish-born harpsichordist who initiated the revival of the harpsichord in the 20th century.  She was born on July 5, 1879 in Warsaw and died on August 16, 1959 in Lakeville, Connecticut.  She studied composition in Berlin in 1896, and in 1900 went to Paris where, influenced by her husband, Henry Lew, an authority on folklore, she made researches into old music and keyboard instruments.  She taught at the Schola Cantorum, first played the harpsichord in public in 1903, and in 1909 published, with her husband, Musique ancienne, a study of 17th– and 18th-century music.  She remained until the beginning of World War II the principal exponent of 17th– and 18th-century harpsichord music, particularly that of Bach and Couperin, on whose works she wrote several studies.  In 1925 she founded a school for the study of old music at Saint-Leu-La-Forêt, near Paris, and in 1941 settled in the United States.  Among the modern works she inspired were the harpsichord concerti of Manuel de Falla and Francis Poulenc.  Early in the 20th century her theories of technique were the basis of contemporary harpsichord playing.

Reference:  The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropaedia) 
17
Nov
10

Helmut E(rich) Landsberg ~ U.S Climatologist

Lansberg was born on February 9, 1906 at Frankfurt am Main.  A German-born U.S. climatologist who explored the effect of climate on living matter, microclimates meteorology, aerosols, seismology, and subsidence of mines.

Landsberg began as seismologist and climatologist at Frankfurt (1903-31), becoming supervisor in seismological and meteorological research at the Taunus (Ger.) Observatory (1931-34).  An early study was of the velocity of earthquake waves.  He went to the United States in 1934, joining the faculty of Pennsylvania State College before removing to the University of Chicago in 1941.  He became chief of industrial climatology with the U.S.  Weather Bureau¸ now the U.S. national Weather Service, Washington, D.D. (1946), and thereafter held various government posts before becoming director of the Environmental Data Service, Environmental Science Services Administration, Silver Springs, Md. (1965)  he particularly studied Pleistocene climate and biennial atmospheric pulses.

Reference:  The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropaedia) 
14
Nov
10

Letitia Elizabeth Landon ~ Poet and Novelist

Novelist

Letitia Elizabeth Landon also known as L.E.L.  she was born on August 14, 1802 in London and died October 15, 1838 in Gold Coast Colony, now Ghana.  She was a poet and novelist who, at a period when women were conventionally restricted in their themes, treated that of passionate love.  She is remembered for her high-spirited social life and mysterious death and for verse that reveals a lively intelligence and intensity of feeling.

Her first volume of verse came out in 1821; it and the eight collections that followed were extremed popular, and she was in great demand as a contributor to magazines and the many annuals produced in the 1820s and ‘30s as gifts for ladies.  Her four novels (published 1831-42) were also successful.

She captivated London society by her wayward charm, and her exploits were the talk of the town.  An engagement to John Forster, journalist and man of letters, ended unhappily.  In 1838 she married George Maclean, governor of Cape Coast Castle.  She died of poisoning soon after her arrival in Africa after taking prussic acid, presumably by accident.

Reference:  The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropaedia) 
11
Nov
10

Alfred M(ossman) Landon ~ Unsuccessful Republican Candidate for President

Gorvernor of Kansas (1933-37)

He was called “ALF” Landon.  Born on September 9, 1887 in West Middlesex, Pa.  Was once a governor of Kansas (1933-37) and unsuccessful Republican candidate for president of the United States in 1936.  Landon went with his parents to Independence, Kan., in 1904.  After receiving a law degree from the University of Kansas (1908), he entered the oil business.  In 1912 he attended the Bull Moose Convention and campaigned in Kansas for the Progressive Party presidential candidate, Theodore Roosevelt.  Thereafter his political affiliation remained with Kansas progressivism.  In World War I he served in the U.S. Army chemical warfare service.

After the war Landon returned to his oil business and Kansas politics.  He was elected governor in 1932 despite a bitter interparty struggle; his re-election in 1934 aroused widespread interest because he was the only Republican gubernatorial incumbent to win that year.  His victory led to the “Landon Boom” and to his presidential candidacy of 1936.  Although nearly 17,000,000 Americans voted the Republican ticket throughout the country, the final tally showed that Landon had won the electoral votes of only Maine and Vermont.  After the election he continued to take part in Kansas politics but did not again play in important role in national affairs.

Reference:  The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropaedia) 
08
Nov
10

Kenesaw Mountain Landis ~ Federal Judge

Baseball First Commissioner

Landis was born on November 20, 1866, Millville, Ohio and died November 25, 1944, in Chicago.  He was a federal judge and first commissioner of baseball who, as commissioner, was noted for his uncompromising measures against persons guilty of dishonesty or other conduct he regarded as damaging to baseball.

He was named after a mountain near Atlanta, Ga., where his father, a Federal soldier, was wounded during the Civil War.  Landis attended the University of Cincinnati and in 1891 was graduated from the Union College of Law, Chicago, where he practiced law.  In March 1905, Pres. Theodore Roosevelt appointed Landis U.S. district judge for the northern district of Illinois.  Two years later, Landis won nationwide fame by fining the Standard Oil Company more than $29,000,000 for granting unlawful freight rebates. (The decision was reversed on appeal.)  during World War I he presided at sedition trials of Socialist and labor leaders.

In 1915 the Federal Leagues’, a “third major league” operating outside the structure of organized professional baseball, brought suit against the American and National leagues.  The case came before Landis, who neither granted nor denied the injunction that was requested by withheld his decision until the Federal League had disbanded on terms satisfactory to all three leagues.  Following the “Black Sox” baseball scandal of the 1919 World Series, Landis was proposed for the office of commissioner.  Replacing the three-man National Baseball Commission, which had failed to deal adequately with the “Black Sox” problem, Landis took office in January 1920

Although disliked and even feared by some for his autocratic methods and patriarchal sternness, the commissioner held office until his death, and one of his decisions ever was reversed.  He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in December 1944.

Reference:  The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropaedia) 
05
Nov
10

Francesco, Landini (Landino) – 14th-century Composer

Landini was born on 1325 in Fiesole, Italy and died on September 2, 1397 in Florence.  He was a leading composer of 14th-century Italy, famed during his lifetime for his musical memory, his skill in improvisation, and his virtuosity on the organetto, or portative organ, as well as for his composition.  The son of Jacopo the Painter, he was blinded in childhood by smallpox.  He was crowned with a laurel wreath as the winner of a poetical contest at Venice in 1364.  In Il Paradiso degli Alberti del 1389 Giovanni da Prato described Landini as playing his songs so sweetly “that no one had ever heard such beautiful harmonies, and their hearts almost burst from their bosoms.”

Landini’s surviving works include 141 settings of ballate (91 for two voices, 42 for three, the rest in versions for both two and three voices), 1 French virelay, 12 madrigals, and a caccia.  His madrigals conform to the 14th-century type, consisting “of one to four stanzas … sung to the same music” and at the end “a ritornello of two lines set in a contrasting rhythm” (G. Reese, Music in the Middle Ages).  His favorite form, however, was the balata, an Italian song from modeled on the French virelay or on the native Italian lauda spiritual.  The melodies (top part predominating are vocal in character and highly ornamental.  As in other songs of the period, they are distinguished by elaborate patterning, syncopations, roulades, and an evident lack of emotional connection between the words and the music.  The songs were performed by voices, instruments, or, typically, a mixture of both.  Their stylized elegance, gay preciosity, and clear, limpid texture characterize all of Landini’s song.

One cadence formula common in 14th-century music, particularly that of Landini, is known as the Landini cadence, in which the leading tone drops to the sixth of the scale before approaching the final tonic note.

Reference:  The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropaedia) 



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