About Peter Kwasniewski

Peter Kwasniewski is a freelance author, public speaker, editor, publisher, and composer. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. After teaching at the International Theological Institute in Austria and for the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austrian Program, he joined the founding team of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyoming, where he taught theology, philosophy, music, and art history, and directed the Choir and Schola. Dr. Kwasniewski published works include Wisdom’s Apprentice and On Love and Charity and Sacred Choral Works.

Was Beethoven a Believer? The Case of the “Missa Solemnis”

By |2020-08-20T15:54:02-05:00August 1st, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Catholicism, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Religion, Timeless Essays|

Can an unbeliever, a denier of the faith, produce such music as Beethoven did in his Missa Solemnis? It has long been fashionable in music history textbooks to speak of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis as a purely artistic statement that, to be blunt, uses the texts of the Catholic Mass as a convenient springboard for musical experimentation and an [...]

“The People”: Sheep and Feathers

By |2020-07-15T12:29:01-05:00July 15th, 2020|Categories: Democracy, Freedom, Government, Great Books, Monarchy, Politics, William Shakespeare|

Abstract law or the worship of a document is not sufficient for guidance of a people, nor are the paltry checks of public shame and dread enough to deter criminality. We stand a far greater chance of learning wisdom from William Shakespeare’s “Henry VI” than we do from listening to the countless talking heads and [...]

Why “The Great Music” Is as Important as “The Great Books”

By |2019-02-11T08:53:32-06:00February 10th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Classical Education, Culture, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Music|

Ignorance of the great works of music is as bad, for someone who seeks to be educated in Western culture, as ignorance of Dante and Shakespeare in literature, and Plato and Aristotle in philosophy... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Peter Kwasniewski, as he considers the importance [...]

Rediscovering Sacred Music with the Youth of Today

By |2019-06-17T15:44:14-05:00October 30th, 2016|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Education, Music, Religion|

This summer I taught a week-long music course for high school students. As the week progressed, I brought in samples of music to listen to, pieces by Bach or Beethoven, Mozart or Palestrina, that would illustrate this or that aspect of what we were reading and discussing. Although a few of the students had clearly been [...]

Offering God the Finest of Human Artistry

By |2020-02-04T14:14:45-06:00October 23rd, 2016|Categories: Art, Catholicism, Christianity|

Under Archbishop Laud (1589–1645) there was a strong move towards greater ceremonial dignity in the church. As the house of God it was to be fitted out accordingly with the finest of human artistry, and its functions were to be conducted in a spirit of deepest reverence. The liturgy, the music, the sacred vessels, the [...]

Is There a Proper Role for “Contemporary” Music at Church?

By |2018-10-14T15:17:32-05:00September 17th, 2016|Categories: Christianity, Music, Pope Benedict XVI, St. John Paul II|

In our year-long course on music at Wyoming Catholic College, students read and discuss a chapter from Joseph Ratzinger’s book A New Song for the Lord, “The Image of the World and of Human Beings in the Liturgy and Its Expression in Church Music,”[1] one of the best things ever written about church music. Ratzinger masterfully [...]

Why “The Great Music” Is as Important as “The Great Books”

By |2019-07-09T10:45:15-05:00September 7th, 2016|Categories: Aristotle, Classical Education, Featured|

So important is it to have some sort of understanding of how the noble art of music works, and so important is it to become familiar with at least some of the great composers of the Western tradition, that all of the students here at Wyoming Catholic College (where I teach) are required to take two [...]

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