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January 20 2014

European Citizens Call for the Protection of Media Pluralism

For updates follow @MediaECI on Twitter and 'like' the Facebook page European Initiative for Media Pluralism.

Website: MediaInitiative.eu. For updates follow @MediaECI on Twitter and ‘like’ the Facebook page European Initiative for Media Pluralism.

“European institutions should safeguard the right to free, independent and pluralistic information”. The quote, from the Media Initiative website, summarizes the main idea behind a pan-European campaign that aims at urging the European Commission to draft a Directive to protect Media Pluralism and Press Freedom.

The Media Initiative is running a European Citizens’ Initiative - a tool of participatory democracy “which allows civil society coalitions to collect online and offline one million signatures in at least 7 EU member states to present directly to the European Commission a proposal forming the base of an EU Directive, initiating a legislative process”. The petition is available in 15 languages and can be signed online:

Protecting media pluralism through partial harmonization of national rules on media ownership and transparency, conflicts of interest with political office and independence of media supervisory bodies.

A short video presents the campaign:

Reposted bycheg00 cheg00

March 15 2013

Japan's Jaded Public Pushes for Nuclear Truth Post-Fukushima

Two years after the powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami off the northeastern coast of Japan triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Japanese people are becoming increasingly frustrated with the government's reluctance to come clean on the risks associated with nuclear power.

A Japanese citizen advocacy group called Let’s Decide Together organized a large protest on March 10, 2013 [ja] to call for a national referendum on the future of nuclear power in Japan, the latest of many citizen-led efforts to shape the country's energy policy away from nuclear power since the Fukushima disaster, the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

In the wake of the tsunami, critics around the world blasted the Japanese government for withholding information about the meltdown from the public, delaying local evacuations and exposing some people unnecessarily to high levels of radiation. The World Health Organization has concluded that those in the most contaminated areas around the Fukushima plant have elevated risks of contracting cancer, from a 7 percent increased risk of leukemia for males exposed to the radiation as infants, to a 6 percent increased risk of breast cancer for females exposed as infants.

Nuclear Free Now Global Demonstration Hibiya,Tokyo Photo taken and shared by Masahiko Murata

Nuclear Free Now Global Demonstration Hibiya, Tokyo. Photo by Masahiko Murata

Though public pressure after the accident led to the shutdown of all but two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently announced that plants that pass the country's new and stricter safety guidelines could be brought back online within the year.

But the government's emphasis on safety has not calmed Fukushima residents and activists around the country who demand more information about the dangers of nuclear power, no matter how bad the news may be.

The Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety, co-hosted by the Japanese government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from December 15-17, 2012 in the city of Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture, not far from the nuclear power plant, exposed the growing gap between the government and its people on the matter of nuclear energy.

The conference, in which 117 countries and 13 international organizations participated, was held to discuss and strengthen nuclear safety as well as learn from the Fukushima disaster.

Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan summarized [ja] the intent of the Fukushima government conference, spotlighting the government's commitment to its safety campaign:

事故から1年9ヶ月しか経っていない中で今回の会議を福島で開催することにより,原子力安全の強化の重要性につき強いメッセージを発信することができたものと考える。また,IAEA原子力安全行動計画の策定から1年を経たタイミングで国際社会の取組についてハイレベルで議論が行われたことにより,国際的な原子力安全を更に強化していくことにつながると期待される。

We believe that by holding a meeting in Fukushima Prefecture only one year and 9 months after the accident, we were able to send a strong message about the importance of strengthening nuclear safety. In addition, our high level discussions about efforts taken by the international community were held just one year after the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety was developed. This will ensure that we further strengthen the international safety.

At the same time, many anti-nuclear organizations organized their own conferences. The Nuclear Free Now Organizing Committee hosted its Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World 2 in Hibiya, Tokyo on December 15 and 16, 2013 and the Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes organized a demonstration calling for the end of nuclear energy that departed from Hibiya park. More than 5,500 people participated in the two days of events in Tokyo.

Also, the Fukushima Action Project, organized by a committee of citizens from Fukushima Prefecture in collaboration with the Nuclear Free Now Organizing Committee, coordinated various action from December 14-16, 2012 including a symposium by the Mayors for a Nuclear Power Free Japan network to coincide with the government conference.

On the first day of the government conference, about 200 citizens gathered in front of the conference venue in Fukushima to submit a formal request to the IAEA. The request called on the IAEA to disclose the data from a health survey of children, ensure accountability, and encourage the Japanese government to decommission all nuclear power plants immediately.

"KOUIUKOTO" (This is what's really happening) by Misato Yugi (CC BY-NC-SA 2.1 JP)

“KOU-YU-KOTO” (This is what's really happening) by Misato Yugi (CC BY-NC-SA 2.1 JP)

In its introduction, the request explained the Fukushima people's distrust of the IAEA's involvement in the area:

We have learned that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will establish two research centers in Fukushima Prefecture, as part of the Prefecture's ”Environmental Creation Center.” Based on the nature of the IAEA, we perceive it to be a global nuclear power promotion industry, emphasizing the peaceful use of nuclear and understating its risks. It is quite difficult to imagine and understand what such an institution is planning to do coming here to Fukushima. Many of us affected by the nuclear power plant disaster are questioning whether these research centres will have any benefit for those affected, and are concerned about the real intention.

It also emphasized the uncertainty that local residents are forced to live with as long as the government presses safety campaigns over information about the reality of the situation:

All that the government has done is to conduct a “safety campaign,” by telling people that “there are no immediate health risks”, or “it is alright to be exposed to 100μSv of radiation per year.” The residents of Fukushima are forced into a difficult decision between the fear of radiation, which cannot be seen or smelled, and the authorities’ “safety campaign,” which is causing great distress and fraction between families, friends and neighbors.

The agency replied [ja] to the request on January 17, 2013, stressing that they are not a decision-maker when it comes to nuclear matters in Fukushima or the rest of Japan:

IAEAとして、加盟国に対して原発を導入すべきである、原発の運転を継続すべきである、あるいは原発を停止させるべきであると言う立場にはありません。しかし、加盟国が厳守力発電を導入する、あるいは継続するという決定をした場合には、それらの原発が国際的な安全基準を十分満たし、周辺国の懸念にも十分対応する形で安全かつ持続的に運転されるよう支援するということがIAEAの役割です。

IAEA is not in a position to say to the member states that you should adopt or continue or stop the operation of the nuclear power plants. However, if the member states consider the introduction of nuclear power or make the decision to continue operating nuclear power plants, IAEA plays a role in examining whether the nuclear power plants are sufficiently safe and meet international safety standards. IAEA will support the operation of the nuclear power plants to be sustainable and safe with sufficient consideration to neighboring countries.

Demanding the truth

"KOUIUKOTO" by Misato Yugi (CC BY-NC-SA 2.1 JP)

“KOU-YU-KOTO” (This is what's really happening) by Misato Yugi (CC BY-NC-SA 2.1 JP)

The two “Red Dot” radiation illustrations in this post were drawn by artist Misato Yugi and have become widely known in post-Fukushima Japan. The illustrations try to show how dramatic the situation would be if radioactivity were visible.

But without red dots marking radioactivity in real life, the Japanese people are left to demand the truth about the dangers from the government and other agencies.

Ourplanet-TV, a non-profit media station, captured a member of the Fukushima Women's Network against Nuclear Power Plants [ja] doing just that on December 15 near the government conference venue, asking for the facts surrounding nuclear power from IAEA spokeswoman Jill Tudor.

The video is available here [ja].:

覚えておいて欲しいこと、それは、福島県はもう脱原発を決めた、ということです。それからもうひとつ、IAEAはぜひチェルノブイリの真実を語ってください。チェルノブイリの健康被害の真実を語ってください。[...] 最後にお願いです。今日から3日間行われている会議で、原発の安全性ではなくって、原発の危険性について語ってください。そして世界中の原発をなくすという、そういう会議に切り替えてください。

We want IAEA to remember, Fukushima prefecture has already decided to renounce nuclear power [ja]. There is one other thing. Please tell us the truth about Chernobyl, Please speak the truth of the health effects after Chernobyl. Lastly, in the three-day conference starting from today, please talk about the dangers of nuclear power, not the promotion of the safety of nuclear power plants. And please switch the agenda to eliminate the nuclear power plants in the world.

Another member in the footage also appealed to Tudor to let the Fukushima people have a say in nuclear matters:

私たちのことを抜きに、福島のことを決めないでください!

Please don’t decide on anything about Fukushima without the Fukushima people, us!

Kyania, who evacuated from Fukushima to Kyoto with her child after the nuclear meltdown, has documented her experience in a blog. On December 21, 2012, she published a document composed by citizens submitted to Fukushima Prefecture protesting the presence of IAEA in Fukushima overseeing decontamination and other aspects of the disaster clean-up. She also reinforced [ja] how important it is for people to know what is going on after the disaster in order to protect themselves:

国民の一人、一人が、自分と家族を守るのは自分自身である事を自覚し、情報を取り続けて下さい。
そして、あなたの思いが溢れた時には、私達と一緒に、ご自分が出来る事を、どんなに小さい事でも良いので続けて頂きたいです。

Each and every one of us should realize that only you can protect yourselves and your families, so keep collecting information on your own. If you feel butterflies in your stomach, I want you to continue taking actions on what you can do, no matter how small they are.

The thumbnail image used in this post is taken and shared by Masahiko Murata.

February 19 2013

January 24 2013

Parallels Between Religious and Copyright Wars

Rick Falkvinge, the founder of Pirate Party, reinterprets the wars of religion that devastated Western Europe in the XVI and XVII centuries in terms of the current struggle to control information through overbearing legislation related to copyright and freedom of expression:

The religious wars were never about religion as such. They were about who held the power of interpretation, about who controlled the knowledge and culture available to the masses. It was a war of gatekeepers of information.

January 01 2013

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in memoriam Mihaela Ursuleasa (* 27th September 1978 in Brașov/Kronstadt Romania / Rumänien; † 2nd August 2012 in Vienna/Wien, Austria/ Österreich,  romanian pianist / rumänische Pianistin

yt-playlist

Franz Schubert 1797-1828  
Trout Quintett / Forellenquintett D. 667
(1819)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trout_Quintet

Artists:
 
Julian Rachlin,
Mischa Maisky,
Nobuko Imai,
Stacey Watton

Mihaela Ursuleasa

 more about and with her:
http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2012/08/reports-tragic-death-of-an-international-pianist.html
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mihaela+Ursuleasa
https://www.google.com/search?q=Michaela+Ursuleasa

December 27 2012

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Es hat sich halt eröffnet, das himmlische Tor ( Now as has been opened the heavenly gate) - YouTube - Tiroler Weihnachtslied - Tyrolian Christmas Song ( no English translation available - lyrics in Tyrolian [Austria and Northern Italy] dialect - belongs to the German-Bavarian dialect group )

yt-permalink

---------------------------------------------

http://www.volksliederarchiv.de/text5728.html

Es hat sich halt eröffnet, das himmlische Tor
die Engelein, die kugalan ganz haufenweis hervor
die Bubalan, die Madalan, die mach'n Purzigagalan
bald aufi bald abi, bald hin und bald her
bald unterschi bald überschi, das freut sie umso mehr
Halleluja, halleluja, alle, alle, alleluja

Jetzt håb ma hålt dås himmlische Gwammel erblickt
es håt uns Gott Våter an Botn zuagschickt
Wir sollten uns vereinen zum Kindlein auf die Roas
verlåssn unsre Öchslan, die Kälber und die Goaß
verlåssn unsre Öchslan, die Kälber und die Goaß

Åft sein mir nåcher gången, i und du a,
kerzengråd nåch Bethlehem, juchheißa, hopsassa.
Seppele, du Schlanggele, nimm du dei gmöstes Lampele,
und Michl, du a Henn, und Jost, du an Håhn,
und i nimm mei foasts Fakkele und renn damit davon

Geh, Veitl, mir wöllen die Gscheitern hålt sein
Wir betn 's Kindlan ån im Ochsenkrippelein
Büabale, wås mågst denn håbn, mågst eppa dechta unsre Gåbn?
Mågst Äpfl oder Birn, oder Nussn oder Kas
willst Zwötschgen oder Pflaumen oder sist a sölles Gfraß?

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Text und Musik: Die erste Strophe dieses Liedes zeichnete Karl Liebleitner (1858–1942) im Jahre 1898 vom Druckereibesitzer Hans Mößmer in Wien auf. Erstmals veröffentlicht wurde es von Franz Friedrich Kohl und Josef Reiter in der Sammlung Echte Tiroler Lieder, Bd. 1, Leipzig 1913, S. 1. Die weitere Strophen finden sich u.a. in Alpenrose (1924, dort als Volkslied aus Tirol )

December 14 2012

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December 02 2012

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[...]

Der Innsbrucker Wissenschaftler, der den Skandal um die Tiroler Kinderheime aufdeckte, spricht gegenüber dem KURIER nicht nur von einer „ökonomisch völlig unvernünftigen Privatisierung, die die Republik Österreich, das Unternehmen und die Mitarbeiter schädigte“. Sondern auch über Missachtung des Aktienrechts, politische Interessen, Ideologie, Budgetnöte und „extrem viele Ungereimtheiten“. Nachzulesen im dieser Tage erschienenen Buch „Ohne Filter“ (StudienVerlag).

Der Anfang vom Ende begann in den 90er-Jahren, als die Austria Tabak (AT) den Sportartikelkonzern HTM, einen Sanierungsfall, übernahm. Dem Vorstand unter Beppo Mauhart war klar, dass das Tabakmonopol auf Dauer nicht zu halten war, man suchte wie die Big Player der Branche nach Diversifizierungen. Als die AT aufgrund hoher Wertberichtigungen für HTM erstmals vorübergehend in die roten Zahlen rutschte, überschlugen sich die Ereignisse. Innerhalb von nur sechs Wochen, nachdem der AT-Aufsichtsrat das Sanierungskonzept beschloss, wurden Mauhart und der gesamte Vorstand zum Rückzug gezwungen und HTM an den schwedischen Investor Johan Eliasch verschenkt. Der zahlte einen symbolischen Kaufpreis von 727.000 Euro und erhielt als Draufgabe das Sanierungskonzept sowie 87 Mio. Euro, die von der AT für die HTM vorgesehen waren. Rechnungshof und EU-Kommission attestierten, dass dieser Deal „nicht die kostengünstigste Alternative“ war.

„Stark auffällig, da darf man sich was denken“, kommentiert Schreiber dabei die Rolle des Investmentbankers Michael Treichl. Der Bruder von Erste-Group-Chef Andreas Treichl war für Warburg als Berater beim Kauf der HTM tätig. Dann arbeitete er am Sanierungskonzept mit, fädelte den Verkauf an seinen Freund Eliasch ein und zog schlussendlich in den Aufsichtsrat von HTM ein.

[...]

Austria Tabak – in Rauch aufgelöst | KURIER.AT 2012-12-01

September 10 2012

Croatia: Promoting Solar Energy at Terraneo Music Festival

UNDP's Voices from Eurasia blog reports on the ecological education program of this year's Terraneo music festival in Šibenik, where guests, among other things, could “test-drive Croatia’s only solar-powered car and bicycle.” In charge of the festival's “solar booth” were Marko Capek and Robert Pašičko, who “also sang songs about [solar energy], changing the lyrics of Sunshine Reggae and other favorites.”

[…] Just to illustrate, Austria, which has only two thirds of Croatia’s sunshine, uses 20 times more solar power than Croatia. […]

June 18 2012

Ukraine: President Yanukovych's European Assets

On OpenDemocracy.com, Ukrainian journalist Serhij Leschenko writes about President Viktor Yanukovych's “luxury residence and the money trail that leads to London”: “Having completely rejected such European values as human rights and democracy, the Ukrainian president uses Europe as a place to hide his dirty money with impunity. European leaders who are critical of Yanukovych could put pressure on him through his European assets – deeds, not words.”

April 18 2012

Video: Worldwide UN Youth Competition for Short Films on Human Rights

Students between the ages of 10 and 20 worldwide are invited to produce short films (max. 3 min) on the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a special focus on sustainability, migration / refugees and global warming for the Video competition for the 2012 this human world Film Festival in Vienna. via YPMN

March 14 2012

Europe: Will ACTA Treaty Pass After Protests?

[All links forward to French articles unless stated otherwise.]

As of the end of the month of February 2012, the mobilization efforts of Internet users against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) [en] were still going strong. In fact, they may have begun to bear fruit.

By including infringements against the author's rights in its scope, this international treaty, which addresses intellectual property rights, also affects Internet content.

The ratification debates which were placed on the European Parliament's agenda on February 29, were put on hold in expectation of the opinion of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The issue of the treaty's conformity with European Community law was brought before the court on 22 February by the European Commission.

No ACTA - Strasbourg. Photo by Christophe Kaiser on Flickr, CC-license-BY

No ACTA - Strasbourg. Photo by Christophe Kaiser on Flickr, CC-license-BY

Taurillon, the “magazine of young Europeans -France” describes “Europe's about-face on ACTA“:

Si l’avis est négatif, l’ACTA n’a plus aucune chance en Europe. Mais en cas d’avis positif, le recours à la CJUE représente le double avantage de redonner au traité une certaine crédibilité, et de repousser son adoption à une époque suffisamment lointaine pour que la polémique se soit tassée et que l’opinion publique regarde ailleurs.

If the opinion is negative, ACTA no longer stands a chance in Europe. However, if there is a positive opinion, appealing to the ECJ would mean a double advantage by giving the treaty a certain credibility, and also pushing back implementation to a time that is far enough away when public debate has settled down and the public's attention is focused elsewhere.

Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson for la Quadrature du Net urges on the European deputies:

Les eurodéputés doivent résister à la stratégie de la Commission européenne, qui cherche à gagner du temps et à transformer le débat en une simple discussion juridique, et pour cela continuer à travailler au rejet d’ACTA. ACTA vise à imposer une tendance pour une politique globale du droit d’auteur qui est toxique pour l’Internet libre et pour les libertés. Le Parlement européen est le dernier rempart : il doit agir et adopter une position claire et forte, faute de quoi il laissera le champ libre à la Commission pour imposer une répression inacceptable.

The Eurodeputies must resist the European Commission's strategy of attempting to gain time and turning the debate into a simple legal discussion, thereby continuing to work towards ACTA's rejection. ACTA aims to impose a tendency for a global policy of author's rights that is toxic for the free Internet and for freedom. The European Parliament is the last line of defense: it must act and adopt a firm and clear position, otherwise it will leave the field wide open for the commission to impose an unacceptable repression.

For trucbuntu, there is no question of remaining passive while waiting for the Court to adjudicate:

Les citoyens de toute l’Europe peuvent contacter leurs représentants dans les commissions Commerce International (INTA) et Industrie (ITRE), qui se réunissent cette semaine pour discuter d’ACTA, et leur demander de continuer à travailler au sein de leur commission pour le rejet d’ACTA.

Citizens of all of Europe were able to contact their representatives in the International Trade (INTA) and Industry (ITRE) Committees, who met on February 29 to discuss ACTA. Many citizens requested their representatives to reject the proposal.

The website of the European Parliament explains the procedure and the issues of the treaty [en] that are under scrutiny, and has published ‘What you should know about ACTA‘ [en], a page of questions and answers. The ACTA workshop of the European Parliament has been the object of a storify [en] made by the Parliamentary services (link via Global Voices contributor Asteris Masouras [en]).

The organization AVAAZ submitted a petition to the European Parliament on 29 February with 2.4 million signatures against ACTA. The petition is still open:

Nous sommes vraiment proches de la victoire — notre pétition forte de 2,4 millions de signatures a ébranlé les responsables politiques partout en Europe et stoppé les censeurs. La Commission européenne est à présent en position de faiblesse et espère que la Cour de justice donnera son feu vert au traité ACTA en lui soumettant une question juridique très limitée qui recevra certainement une réponse positive.Mais si nous faisons résonner nos voix aujourd'hui, nous pouvons faire en sorte que la Cour examine tous les impacts légaux du traité ACTA et publie un avis qui fera toute la lumière sur cette attaque contre nos droits qu'est ACTA.

We are really close to victory — our petition, with 2.4 million signatures has shaken up those politicians in charge throughout Europe and stopped their censors. The European Commission is currently in a position of weakness and is hoping the Court of justice will green light the ACTA treaty by bringing before the court a very limited legal question, that will without doubt receive a positive response. But if we make our voices heard today, we will be able to get the court to examine all the legal implications of ACTA and publish an opinion that will bring to light the real attack against our rights that is ACTA.
No ACTA - Strasbourg. Photo Christophe Kaiser on Flickr, CC-license-BY

No ACTA - Strasbourg. Photo Christophe Kaiser on Flickr, CC-license-BY

Anti-ACTA parties continue to  strengthen their resources. New protests were set for 10 March, and torrentnews gives a list, with this appeal:

La liste n’est pas exhaustive, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter pour la compléter ;)

si certains se sentent l’âme d’un reporter- photographe en herbe, nous recherchons également des personnes pour faire un petit article photo du déroulement de la manif, rien de bien compliqué, comme fait ici pour Nice, Marseille,Bordeaux et Strasbourg.

The list is not exhaustive, do not hesitate to contact us to complete it ;)

If any individuals see themselves as budding photojournalists we are also looking for people to do a small photo story on how the protest unfolds, nothing too complicated, as it happens in Nice, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Strasbourg.

For details on the elements of the debate, see also these linked articles from the Tribune on February 29, and Myeurop, on March 3. On Global Voices, see the laws SOPA/PIPA that set a precedent in the USA, here [en] and here [en]. Since the beginning of the protests, ACTA seems to have lost a lot of political momentum.

The title of this post is inspired by the end of the article “La liberté sur Internet : le filtrage de la discorde” which was published by the Institute of Research and Legal and Information studies and Communication (I.R.E.D.I.C.). It puts into perspective Internet blocking and debates the adoption of ACTA.

The original article in French was published on March 4. For background on the ACTA proposal, more articles can be found here [en].

March 13 2012

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yt-account - tschurifetzen

playlist - 02myytlogin

Helmut Qualtinger liest aus Karl Kraus'

"Die letzten Tage der Menschheit"

January 25 2012

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January 19 2012

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January 13 2012

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// oAnth - " Im nächsten Leben werd ich auch Sohn " (entnommen den Kommentaren auf Fb )
Reposted fromcarfreitag carfreitag viakreimlink kreimlink

December 08 2011

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Play fullscreen
das ist eine !
Maria  spielt bei einer Kulturveranstaltung an der WU Wien ein Stück eines Josef  Programms vor.
Reposted fromkellerabteil kellerabteil

December 07 2011

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November 19 2011

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Play fullscreen
J. H. Schmelzer-Sonata III in G minor

Uploaded by evoimeneovde on Jul 24, 2010

// Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (c.1620--23 -- between 29 February and 20 March 1680) was an Austrian composer and violinist of the Baroque era. Almost nothing is known about his early years, but he seems to have arrived in Vienna during the 1630s, and remained composer and musician at the Habsburg court for the rest of his life. He enjoyed a close relationship with Emperor Leopold I, was ennobled by him, and rose to the rank of Kapellmeister in 1679. He died during a plague epidemic only months after getting the position.

Schmelzer was one the most important violinists of the period, and an important influence on later German and Austrian composers for violin. He made substantial contributions to the development of violin technique and promoted the use and development of sonata and suite forms in Austria and South Germany. He was the leading Austrian composer of his generation, and an influence on Heinrich Ignaz Biber.
Schmelzer was born in Scheibbs, Lower Austria. Nothing is known about his early years, and most of the surviving information about his background was recounted by the composer himself in his petition for ennoblement of 1673. He described his father as a soldier, but in another document, the 1645 marriage certificate of Schmelzer's sister Eva Rosina, he is listed as a baker. Schmelzer does not mention his father's name, but Eva Rosina's marriage certificate does: Daniel Schmelzer. At any rate, it remains unclear where and from whom Schmelzer received primary music education. His activities before 1643 are similarly unknown--the composer is first mentioned in a document dated 28 June 1643, relating to his first marriage. He is referred to as a cornettist at St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), Vienna. The date of his arrival to Vienna is unknown, but he probably worked at the court chapel in late 1630s, in the employ of Ferdinand II and, after 1637, Ferdinand III. Schmelzer's colleagues at the chapel included such distinguished composers as Johann Jakob Froberger, Giovanni Valentini, and Antonio Bertali.

Schmelzer was officially appointed court violinist in 1649. Our knowledge of his position, duties, and activities is incomplete. He apparently rose to prominence as a violin virtuoso, as well as a composer, and enjoyed a close relationship with Emperor Leopold I, who was a well-known patron of the arts and a composer himself. Schmelzer started publishing his music in 1659. He was appointed vice-Kapellmeister on 13 April 1671. On 14 June 1673, after the composer petitioned for ennoblement, the Emperor raised Schmelzer to the ranks of nobility; Schmelzer now added von Ehrenruef to his name. Eventually, after his predecessor Giovanni Felice Sances had died, Schmelzer became Kapellmeister, on 1 October 1679. Unfortunately, he fell victim of the plague early in 1680, and died in Prague, where the Viennese court moved in an attempt to evade the epidemic.
Schmelzer attained a high reputation in a field (violin playing and violin composition) which at the time was dominated by Italians; indeed, one traveler referred to him in 1660 as "nearly the most eminent violinist in all of Europe". Schmelzer's Sonatae unarum fidium of 1664 was the first collection of sonatas for violin and basso continuo to be published by a German-speaking composer. It contains the brilliant virtuosity, sectional structure, and lengthy ground-bass variations typical of the mid-baroque violin sonata.

Schmelzer was the foremost Austrian composer of instrumental music of his day, and had an important influence on the Austrian violinist and composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704), who is believed to have been one of Schmelzer's students.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Heinrich_Schmelzer //



quote from the text to the video

-----------------------------------------------

there are no indications concerning the interprets - IMO it should be Music of the Spheres - read here more about the ensemble via https://magnatune.com/artists/spheres (the linked recordings have in the online version spoken adds during and between the diverse music pieces & movements).



August 01 2011

Lithuania-Austria: Continued Controversy Over Ex-KGB Man

Albatros of Litauen blog discusses [ger] the ongoing controversy between Lithuania and Austria, after authorities in Vienna let go of an internationally wanted ex-KGB officer, who allegedly was party to the January 1991 Vilnius killings of Lithuanians by soviet troops.

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