Robert Reilly

Robert Reilly

About Robert Reilly

Robert R. Reilly (born 1946) is a writer and senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. He is the author of several books, including The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis, Surprised by Beauty: A Listener's Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, and Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything.

Finding Faith in the Manger: Berlioz’s “Infancy of Christ”

By |2019-12-10T11:44:13-06:00December 24th, 2018|Categories: Audio/Video, Catholicism, Christmas, Hector Berlioz, Music|

Could anything as tender and touching as "L’Enfance du Christ" have been written by a man who did not believe? One hopes that Hector Berlioz was able to find the Christmas that he portrayed so beautifully. The poet Wallace Stevens once wrote that “The major poetic idea in the world is and always has been [...]

Franz Schubert’s Music of Paradise Lost

By |2019-09-24T12:16:56-06:00January 31st, 2018|Categories: Franz Schubert|

In terms of his achievement there is only one other composer to whom Franz Schubert can be compared: Mozart. Perhaps not as precocious as Mozart, Schubert was nonetheless already an accomplished composer as a teenager. In his brief thirty-one years, he created a life’s work of more than one thousand compositions, which include sublime [...]

Recovering the Sacred in Music

By |2019-01-04T11:40:41-06:00September 2nd, 2017|Categories: Arvo Pärt, Christianity, Henryk Górecki, John Tavener, Music, Poland, St. John Paul II|

The music of Henryk Górecki, Arvo Pärt, and John Tavener is the music of a new civilization. These composers have gone against the prevailing grain of the twentieth twcentury for the sake of a greater love… The attempted suicide of Western classical music has failed. The patient is recovering, no thanks to the efforts of [...]

Haydn’s Music of Gratitude and Goodness

By |2019-11-19T17:27:59-06:00May 30th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Joseph Haydn|

Franz Joseph Haydn is the most companionable composer. His music is accessible in an almost daily way, without overwhelming us. The whole panoply of life is there but in scale, humanely so, without grotesque exaggeration... May 31st marks the anniversary of Franz Joseph Haydn’s death in 1809 at the age of 77. He was so [...]

The Road to Same-Sex Marriage was Paved by Rousseau

By |2014-01-12T16:45:17-06:00July 24th, 2013|Categories: Homosexual Unions, Natural Law|Tags: |

There is more to same-sex marriage than politics. It only becomes plausible if you accept certain assumptions about how to distinguish what is natural from what is unnatural and what is right from what is wrong. The intellectual origins of the debate stretch all the way back to the Greeks, but radical changes in [...]

Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen

By |2017-06-05T13:03:06-06:00February 5th, 2013|Categories: Beauty, Film, Music|Tags: , |

One of the privileges of writing this column is that I occasionally get to meet the composers of the music I review. I had a meeting this past year with a musician with whom I have been in correspondence for some time. Morten Lauridsen, the most frequently performed American choral composer, came to Washington, [...]

Culture: On the Way Down

By |2013-07-13T09:06:43-06:00June 26th, 2012|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

by Robert Reilly When I was a child, I thought that living through a degenerate period would be great fun – one big party. Guns blazing, fast cars, beautiful girls, plenty of adult beverages – at least that was my idea of it from having watched movies about the Roaring Twenties with James Cagney. [...]

The Music of the Spheres

By |2014-05-24T10:55:56-06:00February 14th, 2012|Categories: Culture, Music|Tags: , |

“[In] sound itself, there is a readiness to be ordered by the spirit and this is seen at its most sublime in music.” —Max Picard Despite the popular Romantic conception of creative artists as inspired madmen, composers are not idiots savants, distilling their musical inspiration from the ether. Rather, in their creative work they [...]