It’s the birthday of the American musician, band leader, composer, and singer Louis Daniel Armstrong (1901-1971). He was the grandson of slaves and grew up in poverty in New Orleans, being shuttled back and forth between various dysfunctional relatives. He dropped out of school when he was eleven and spent some time in juvenile detention, but through it all, his love for music inspired and sustained him, and ultimately led to his becoming one of the most popular and influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century.
Few hearts to mortals given
On earth so wildly pine;
Yet none would ask a heaven
More like this earth than thine.
Then let my winds caress thee;
Thy comrade let me be—
Since nought beside can bless thee,
Return and dwell with me.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad.
Let us fear and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love one another.
In honor of the birthday of the musicologist, conductor, and composer Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), here is “Balletto” from the first suite of Ancient Airs and Dances, composed in 1917.