The Glories of the West: Viehscheid im Allgäu

More from those “culture-less” Europeans! A traditional celebration of transhumance, the Viehscheid (cattle drive) in Allgäu (also celebrated elsewhere in Bavaria and throughout the Alps, including Austria and Switzerland) is a centuries-old tradition that is celebrated in the valley with brass bands and a fair. It celebrates the ceremonial return of the cattle (and their herders), in the Autumn, from the mountain pastures where they have spent the summer months, grazing on the grass of Alpine meadows.

Transhumance, form of semi-nomadic pastoralism, is organized around the migration of livestock (such as cattle, goats, or sheep) between mountain pastures in warm seasons and lower altitudes the rest of the year. The herd-folk, who accompany their cattle to higher elevations during the warm season, typically have permanent homes, and families, in the valleys. The return of the cattle and their herders is therefore an occasion of great celebration, both for those who have been away all summer, and those who have been anxiously awaiting their return in the valleys below!

In the Allgäu region, no less than 30,000 cows and calves spend their summer in the mountains, before being driven down into the valley with great ceremony and celebration in the Autumn. It is time when all dress in their best trachten (traditional clothing, in its original form dating to the mid-to-late 1800s, and nowadays typically worn on festive occasions), and even the cattle are bedecked with bells, flowers, and greenery to celebrate the occasion!

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God Save the Queen!

A rousing rendition of the British National Anthem, “God Save the Queen”!

Lyrics follow:

God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen!
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen!

O Lord our God, arise!
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On Thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all!

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour:
Long may she reign!
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice:
God save the Queen!

The Glories of the West: Vienna, Austria

Create places your ancestors would recognise and your descendants will be proud of. Beauty and Tradition will always matter. Vienna, Austria.

Source: Architectural Revival | Facebook.

This one has much better and more appropriate music – as one might expect, from Architectural Revival! Respectful salute to Austria, which seems to be making progress in dealing constructively with its immigrant crisis. Perhaps there is yet hope for Europe, after all!

The Glories of the West, Old Midsummer, and a blessed Feast of St. John the Baptist!

In honor of this (“Old”) Midsummer’s Day – the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist – Sumer is icumen in (“Summer is a-coming in”)!

(… and of course, more of the culture that we Europeans don’t have…! *wry smile*)

Glories of the West: Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums | YouTube

The glories of the West take many forms! This includes here in these United States, in this case in Colonial Williamsburg, the original capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia – “the Old Dominion,” the first colony in America settled by English settlers, in 1607, and a state with a rich history. Here we see the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, performing in an important ceremony:

Graduation march of Johnny Shideler and Chris Hochella, corps members and friends for eight years. Recorded July 15, 2014, in a downpour.

The Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums are not professional musicians; they are local schoolchildren who volunteer to play 18th century music in 18th century attire for the benefit of visitors and others. This is no light task! From their website:

The Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums – also known as the Field Music of the Virginia State Garrison Regiment – carries forward the tradition of military music. Since 1958, visitors in The Revolutionary City have enjoyed the musical performances and experienced the history of America’s Revolution.

Colonial Williamsburg’s field musicians are drawn from a waiting list of young community applicants. Boys and girls begin their education in military music at age 10 and practice weekly for the next eight years, until after they have graduated from high school. These young people talk with the public about the role of music in the 18th-century military. They teach younger members the music and history lessons needed to continue the tradition of the field musicians.

The Fifes and Drums appear in more than 700 performances each year. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is justifiably proud of each of these truly remarkable young Americans, past and present. They have come to symbolize what is best about our community, our history, and our museum.

Nota Bene: “Boys and girls begin their education in military music at age 10 and practice weekly for the next eight years, until after they have graduated from high school. These young people talk with the public about the role of music in the 18th-century military.” The brief clip linked above is from the graduation march honouring two members who have “aged out” of the Fifes and Drums – and conducted in pouring rain, a mark of dedication if I have ever seen one!

For those who have liked what they’ve heard so far, here is a longer montage of performances by the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums:

The Glories of the West: “This is Germany,” from Love Germany

The glories of the West, as expressed in Germany! Need I say more…?

Okay, I’ll grant you, I’d have been happier if they’d used more glorious music than the modernistic electro-pap in the background… can’t have everything, I guess! 🙄 😏

Glories of the West: Beethoven – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (Hilary Hahn, violin)

More of the culture that “Europeans don’t have”….!