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Plataea

Plataea or Plataia Plataeae or Plataiai, was an ancient city, located in Greece in southeastern Boeotia, south of Thebes. It was the location of the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC, in which an alliance of Greek city-states defeated the Persians. Plataea was destroyed in the Peloponnesian War by Thebes and Sparta in 427 BC, rebuilt in 386; the modern Greek town of Plataies is built near its ruins. Herodotus tells that, in order to avoid coming under Theban hegemony, Plataea offered to "put themselves into Spartan hands". However, the Spartans refused this offer and, wishing to cause mischief between the Boeotians and Athens, recommended that the Plataeans ally themselves with Athens instead; this advice was accepted and a delegation sent to Athens, where the Athenians were agreeable to such a proposal. On learning that Athens had accepted the alliance, the Thebans sent an army against Plataea, but were met by an Athenian one. Corinth attempted to mediate the dispute, achieved an agreement that set the border between Thebes and Plataea.

In addition, Thebes made a commitment not to interfere with cities that did not want to be a part of a Boeotian state. However, after the Corinthians had left and Athenians were starting their journey home, they were set upon by the Boeotians. In the subsequent battle, the Athenians prevailed and set the river Asopus as the border between Thebes and Plataea. With Athens as their ally, the Plataeans were able to avoid subjugation by their neighbours and maintain their freedom. In honour of this debt, at the Battle of Marathon, Plataea alone would fight at the Athenians' side. Herodotus describes how, on the eve of battle and faced with the formidable Persian expeditionary force, the Athenians had despaired of the Spartans, or indeed anyone else, coming to their aid in what seemed to be impossible odds. Sentinels spied dust clouds in the north and feared that another Persian army, or a Persian ally, was on the way to the battlefield. Instead it was the Plataeans coming "panstratiá", i.e. having sent "every available fighting man" in Athens' hour of greatest need.

They were led by Arimnestos. In acknowledgement and gratitude of their ally's fidelity, the Athenians gave the Plataeans the honour of the left flank during the battle. After the battle, the Plataeans were allowed to share Athenian memorials and in the religious rites and games asking for the blessing of Athens' patron gods. In 479 BC Plataea was the site of the final battle that repelled the second Persian invasion of Greece. According to Herodotus, the Spartan general Pausanias led an allied Greek defense against Mardonius' Persian forces. Although they were vastly outnumbered, the Greeks were able to kill Mardonius. Accounts vary, but there is general agreement that the battle resulted in a significant number of Persian dead, with many more put to flight; this battle would mark the last time. The Greek victory at Plataea is commemorated by the Serpent Column erected at Delphi and now displayed in Istanbul. During the first year of the Peloponnesian War, the Thebans attempted to capture the city by surprise, but failed.

In 429 BC, the Spartan king Archidamus II himself led a siege of the city, forced to surrender in the next year. Plataea was razed to the ground by the Thebans. Thebes occupied the site of Plataea until 387 BC. Athens harbored the city's survivors; the Thebans were on the losing side in the Corinthian War and the 387 Peace of Antalcidas required Thebes disband its Boeotian League. This made possible the rebuilding of Plataea in 386. However, with the resurgence of Thebes and the creation of the Theban hegemony by Epaminondas, the Thebans destroyed Plataea again in 373. In 338 BC, after Philip II of Macedon defeated the Thebans at the Battle of Chaeronea, he reestablished Plataea as "a symbol of Greek courage in resisting the Persians", his son, Alexander the Great in 335 altogether destroyed Thebes, whereupon its territory was divided among the cities of Boeotia – evidently, the rebuilt Plataea shared in this territorial division. Greco-Persian Wars History of the Peloponnesian War Herodotus, The Histories, Book Six, section 108–111.

Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, on line version available "Plataea". Encyclopædia Britannica. 21. 1911. The battle of Plataea Plataea and the Fifth-Century Boeotian Confederacy by I. A. F. Bruce

String Quartet No. 3 (Villa-Lobos)

String Quartet No. 3 is the third of seventeen works in the medium by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, was written in 1916. A performance lasts twenty-three minutes. Villa-Lobos composed his Third Quartet in Rio de Janeiro in March 1916, it was first performed on 2 November 1919 at the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro, by a quartet consisting of Pery Machado and Mario Ronchini, Orlando Frederico and Newton Pádua, cello. The first North American performance took place on 16 January 1933 in Hollywood, performed by Samuel Albert and Doris Cheney, Raymond Menhennick and Lysbeth LeFevre, cello; the UK premiere was given by the Stratton String Quartet on 9 January 1934, at the Wigmore Hall, London. Because of the persistent percussive pizzicato patter in the second, scherzo movement, Villa-Lobos gave it the onomatopoeic, alliterative nickname "pipocas e potócas", this nickname is applied to the entire quartet; the quartet, like all but the first of Villa-Lobos's works in the medium, consists of four movements: Allegro non troppo Molto Vivo Molto Adagio Allegro con fuocoThe opening of the first movement establishes a motive that recurs throughout the quartet in various transformations.

At first, it recalls Prokofiev or Shostakovich, but is given a context more suggestive of Ravel. The pentatonic melodic contours and long ostinatos tend toward monotony and inexpressiveness, but the ostinatos give way to a more plastic and lively treatment in the movement; the second movement, Molto vivo, was listed in the programme for the premiere performance as "Scherzo satirico". Like the first movement, it is dependent on ostinatos, but in place of pentatonic melodies its thematic material utilizes the whole-tone scale; the third, slow movement, transforms the leitmotif into something resembling the theme of the piano piece Lenda do caboclo. The finale restates motives from all of the preceding parts the main subject of the first movement, to produce a cyclic formal closure. However, despite this motivic cross-referencing, Villa-Lobos does not take advantage of the possibilities this offers for the kind of rich thematic development found in the Viennese classical masters. Lisa Peppercorn agrees with Tarasti's assessment, stating that Villa-Lobos develops his musical ideas, but instead uses them as stereotyped, repeated formulas, in contrast to composers who relate their different themes, or have evolved them all from a common germ cell.

With specific reference to the Third Quartet, she finds the thematic material is "clearly stated and is suitable for development", but that Villa-Lobos fails to provide this development, essential to sonata form, instead letting the themes "take their course through the instruments as they were conceived". Paulo Salles, contests this view. According to his analysis, both of the main themes of the first movement are taken from the same germ motive, which permeates not only the exposition but the entire first movement of the quartet, "in a process of continuous variation", compares this high thematic density to the music of Joseph Haydn. Villa-Lobos emphasizes the beginning of the recapitulation in the first movement with a sudden change of register of the accompanying triplets. At bar 153, over an augmentation of the first cyclic theme, he introduces for the first time a figuration evoking the call of a Brazilian bird called sabiá da mata; this call occurs in several of Villa-Lobos's works, including the Fourth and Eighth String Quartets, but most notably in the second movement of the Bachianas Brasileiras No.

5, where text by Manuel Bandeira names the bird. This is the only moment in this quartet. Chronological, by date of recording. Villa-Lobos: Quatuors a Cordes Nos. 1–2–3. Quatuor Bessler-Reis. Recorded at Studios Master in Rio de Janeiro, July 1988 and September –December 1989. CD recording, 1 disc: digital, 12 cm, stereo. Le Chant du Monde LDC 278 1052.:, 1991. Issued as part of Villa-Lobos: Os 17 quartetos de cordas / The 17 String Quartets. Quarteto Bessler-Reis and Quarteto Amazônia. CD recording, 6 sound discs: digital, 12 cm, stereo. Kuarup Discos KCX-1001. Rio de Janeiro: Kuarup Discos, 1996. Heitor Villa-Lobos: String Quartets Nos. 3, 10 and 15. Danubius Quartet. Recorded at the Rottenbiller Street Studio in Budapest, 15–19 June and 1–2 July 1992. CD recording, 1 disc: digital, 12 cm, stereo. Marco Polo 8.223393. A co-production with Records International. Germany: HH International, Ltd. 1993. Villa-Lobos: String Quartets, Volume 2. Quartets Nos. 3, 8, 14. Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Recorded at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, NY, March 1995.

Music of Latin American Masters. CD recording, 1 disc: digital, 12 cm, stereo. Dorian DOR-90220. Troy, NY: Dorian Recordings, 1996. Reissued as part of Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Complete String Quartets. 6 CDs + 1 DVD with interview with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Dorian Sono Luminus. DSL-90904. Winchester, VA: Sono Luminus, 2009

Wolter Wierbos

Wolter Wierbos is a Dutch jazz trombonist. Wierbos has played throughout Canada, USA and Asia. Wierbos has many awards to his name, including the Podiumprijs for Jazz and Improvised music and the most important Dutch jazz award, the VPRO/Boy Edgar Award in 1995. Since 1979 he has played with numerous music ensembles: Cumulus, JC Tans & Rockets, Theo Loevendie Quintet, Guus Janssen Septet, Maarten Altena Ensemble and Podiumtrio, he led his own band, Celebration of Difference, has been involved in theater, dance and film projects. He has been invited to play with Sonic Youth, Gruppo Sportivo and the Nieuw Ensemble, he has played with Henry Threadgill, The Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the European Big Band, the John Carter Project, Mingus Big Band. He is active with Misha Mengelberg's Instant Composers Pool, Gerry Hemingway Quintet, Franky Douglas' Sunchild, Bik Bent Braam, Albrecht Maurer Trio Works, Carl Ludwig Hübsch's Longrun Development of the Universe, Frank Gratkowski Quartet, Available Jelly and Sean Bergin's MOB.

Wierbos maintains a solo career. He has a running project under the name Wollo's World, where he brings together different artistic combinations, ranging from duos with tap-dancer Marije Nie and bassist Wilbert de Joode to a quartet with Misha Mengelberg, Mats Gustafsson and Wilbert de Joode. Wolter Wierbos can be heard on more than 100 LPs, he has released two solo CDs: X Caliber, "a round-trip tour of his horn, from buzzing mute mutations, grizzly blurts and purring multiphonics to radiant melodies", Wierbos, a reissue of his 1982 solo LP with an additional track. Wolter Wierbos Homepage ICP Orchestra Homepage