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The Wood Nymph


The Wood Nymph (in Swedish: Skogsrået; subtitled ballade pour l'orchestre), Op. 15,[a] is a programmatic tone poem for orchestra composed in 1894 and 1895 by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The ballade, which premiered on 17 April 1895 in Helsinki, Finland, with Sibelius conducting, follows the Swedish writer Viktor Rydberg's 1882 poem of the same title, in which a young man, Björn, wanders into the forest and is seduced and driven to despair by a skogsrå, or wood nymph. Organizationally, the tone poem consists of four informal sections, each of which corresponds to one of the poem's four stanzas and evokes the mood of a particular episode: first, heroic vigor; second, frenetic activity; third, sensual love; and fourth, inconsolable grief.




The wood nymph


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Björn, "a tall and handsome lad", is announced by a heroic brass fanfare. His strength and good looks have aroused "the cunning spirits", and on his way to a feast one summer evening, he is entranced by the "singing" woods. The opening music, "breezy" and triumphant in C major, recalls the Karelia Overture, Op. 10 (not to be confused with the Karelia Suite, Op. 11) which Sibelius had written in 1893,[19] and betrays no sign of Björn's impending fate. Björn's theme is recapitulated at the end of the second section.


Björn "willingly but under duress", plunges deep into the magical Nordic forest and is enchanted by evil, mischievous dwarves, who "knit a web of moonbeams" and "hoarsely laugh at their prisoner". Considered by some critics to be the tone poem's most striking section,[8][22] the "proto-minimalist" music in A minor is at once hypnotic and delightfully propulsive: Sibelius repeats and reworks the same short motif (belonging initially to the clarinets) into a rich woodwind tapestry, quickening the tempo and adding off-beat horns and pulsating trombones, to produce what Murtomäki has described as a "modal-diatonic sound field".[23]


Björn encounters and is seduced by a beautiful wood nymph (skogsrå). The sensual, midsummer-night music in C-sharp major is "bathed in an erotic afterglow";[22] a solo cello cantilena, joined by horn and pizzicato strings, representing the nymph's erotic advances. "Who could resist," Glenda Dawn Goss has written in mock defense, "her [the nymph's] throaty solo cello voice, her sensuously swaying movements, a white limb glimpsed, honey-smooth, beneath a moon-white gown, a sweetly heaving breast?"[25]


With its focus on sexual fantasy, The Wood Nymph differs sharply from the Rydberg poem Snöfrid which Sibelius set in 1900. In Snöfrid, Gunnar, the patriotic hero, resists a water nymph's sensuous "embrace" to instead "fight the hopeless fight" for his country and "die nameless". The contrast between Björn and Gunnar, Murtomäki argues, reflects Sibelius's own personal transformation: crowned a "national hero" following the 1899 premiere of the Symphony No. 1, Sibelius wished to demonstrate that he had "outgrown his early adventurism" and learned to place country before "libertine" excess.[36] Murtomäki's conclusion, however, is not universally accepted. David Fanning, in his review of the edited volume in which Murtomäki's essay appears, has savaged as "dubious" and "tendentious" such autobiographical speculations. Per Fanning: "For Murtomäki every half-diminished chord seems to be a Tristan chord, with all the symbolic baggage that entails...Such half-baked hermeneutics baffle and alienate...enthusiasm has occasionally been allowed to run riot".[37]


Wood nymphs are a type of minor nature deity known as dryads. Typically, as their name suggests, they are found in wooded areas. Wood nymphs are generally docile creatures, but when provoked by a threat to their home or family, they can become violently aggressive. One wood nymph, who went by the name Mrs. Butters, was known to have killed 200 Nazis after escaping their capture.


Mish designed the Wood Nymph Collection inspired by his fascination with tree bark gathered in his Millbrook woods. He finds great pleasure in searching for the most beautiful specimen to base his designs. Mish also continually explores surface and texture in his work.


Of the six symphonic poems by the Czech composer Zdenek Fibich, the third -- Toman and the Wood Nymph, Op. 49 -- is both the best composed and the most dramatically effective. Composed in 1875, Fibich's work is based on a Czech folk story: on Midsummer's Eve, a young man disappointed in love turns to an alluring wood nymph for consolation only to die in her supernatural arms. This narrative structure serves as Fibich's musical structure, the horn theme of the young man returns in a rondo and the lush string theme of the wood nymph is both an episode and, in combination with the horn theme, the work's emotional climax. Fibich's gifts as an orchestrator are abundantly displayed in the colorful woodwind writing, the discreet strummed chords of the harp, and the marvelously evocative writing for horns and tympani.


Mrs. ButtersSeason(s)15SpeciesWood NymphStatusAliveTitle/AliasEvil Mary Poppins (by Dean)OccupationMen of Letters bunker housekeeper (formerly)AffiliationMen of LettersWinchester FamilyJack Kline (Nephilim)Portrayed byMeagen FayMrs. Butters is a wood nymph who was the housekeeper of the Bunker for the Men of Letters since WWII until the destruction of the American chapterhouse in 1958, and briefly in 2020.


Mrs. Butters is the name given to a wood nymph by the Men of Letters, as her true name is incomprehensible in any human language. At some time during World War II, she was captured and experimented on by the Thule Society before being found by the Men of Letters after she massacred over 200 Nazis. After learning that wood nymphs can become violently hostile when their home or family is attacked, Cuthbert Sinclair offered Mrs. Butters a home at the Men of Letters Bunker, to protect and take care of its members, which she gladly accepted.


It perches with wings closed, so the upperside of the wings are rarely seen. The underside of the forewing is brown and has a 2 large, black, yellow-ringed eyespots with white pupils. Usually, just one of these spots is visible on a perched individual. Common wood nymph (C. p. pegala) has a yellow patch surrounding the eyespots. Dull-eyed grayling (C. p. nephele) does not. A single thin, dark, wavy line separates the darker forward portion of the wings from the usually somewhat paler rear portion.


How butterflies overwinter varies from species to species, explained Kent McFarland, a conservation biologist with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Monarchs, for example, migrate to warmer climes; other adult butterflies, such as the mourning cloak, survive our winters by crawling beneath tree bark and entering a stage called diapause, in which their metabolic and respiratory rates slow down. Sometimes species only exist as eggs in the winter. Still others become pupae and emerge as butterflies in the spring. McFarland said that overwintering in the caterpillar stage, as the wood nymph butterfly does, is not unusual.


In late spring, the lengthening days and warmer temperatures signal the wood nymph caterpillars to end their hibernation. Having spent their whole lives without a single meal, they emerge ready to pack on the weight. They feed mostly at night, which helps them to avoid predation. Within a few weeks, they form a chrysalis and metamorphose into butterflies by mid-summer.


Common wood nymph butterflies are brown, with two ringed eyespots on the upper wings. The lower wings also have eyespots that are smaller and vary in number. Their range is vast, from southern Canada to most of the continental United States.


By mid-August, they die. According to McFarland, the adults live only a few weeks to a month at best. I wait until the last few stragglers disappear, before taking the cutting shears to the oregano. The herb garden looks neater, but no longer magical. Next July, it will again grow floppy and messy, and I will know that the wood nymphs are on their way.


The work Blue, 2006, is a quirky three-dimensional piece that is reminiscent of the amped up colors and forms found in a Dr. Seuss book. The flattened, stylized leaves and pom-pom flowers emanate from a coiled electric-blue stalk whose origin is four curved legs that rest precariously on the plinth. Exhibited together these works orchestrate a chorus of invented forest creatures that aspire to transport viewers to a magical, imaginative woodland. 041b061a72


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