Singing in Dark Times

By |2021-02-07T10:45:54-06:00February 4th, 2021|Categories: Audio/Video, Music|

During our time of confinement, I was most thankful to be with my family. It’s a lot of people in one house. There’s a lot of noise and it is often chaotic, but my kids are cool people and it was a gift to have the extra time together. My husband, aside from being my [...]

Schubert’s Seductive “Death and the Maiden”

By |2021-02-02T16:03:24-06:00January 30th, 2021|Categories: Audio/Video, Franz Schubert, Music|

Franz Schubert composed his “Death and the Maiden” quartet—one of the most compelling, soulful, profound, irresistible pieces of classical music—while battling syphilis and depression. It’s not just the maiden that Death is after in the music. It’s Schubert. I don’t consider myself to be someone easily seduced, much less by Death, but Franz Schubert’s “Death [...]

“Sgt. MacKenzie”

By |2021-01-13T20:13:32-06:00January 12th, 2021|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, War|

"Sgt. MacKenzie" is a lament written and sung by Joseph Kilna MacKenzie, in memory of his great-grandfather who was killed in combat during World War I. It has been used in the 2002 movie We Were Soldiers.... Joseph MacKenzie wrote the haunting lament after the death of his wife, Christine, and in memory of his great-grandfather, [...]

William Grant Still: The Founder of American Music

By |2020-12-27T10:27:15-06:00December 26th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Audio/Video, Music|

If you’re a fan of classical music and American history, Symphony No. 5 “Western Hemisphere” by William Grant Still serves as an excellent starting point for studying America’s unique cultural footprint. Contained within its four movements are a heroic but soulful three-note melody, which graces its way across a plethora of musical textures before finally [...]

“Name Day” Overture

By |2020-12-26T12:20:05-06:00December 26th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

Zur Namensfeier (English: Feastday or Name day), Op. 115, is a symphonic overture in C major by Ludwig van Beethoven completed in 1815, and first performed on Christmas Day 1815. It is dedicated to Polish prince Antoni Radziwiłł, who is remembered for his patronage of the arts. The piece was never one of Beethoven's more [...]

“Good King Wenceslas”

By |2020-12-25T17:07:14-06:00December 25th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Christmas, Music|

"Good King Wenceslas" is a Christmas carol that tells a story of a Bohemian king going on a journey and braving harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (December 26, the Second Day of Christmas). During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle [...]

“The Trial at Rouen”: An Opera on St. Joan of Arc

By |2021-01-08T16:34:19-06:00December 22nd, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Opera, Senior Contributors|

The mid-twentieth-century opera, “The Trial at Rouen,” tells the story of the final days of St. Joan of Arc, her imprisonment, and trial for heresy. Composer Norman Dello Joio employs themes of conscience, belief, and spiritual motivation; he makes us think about the consequences of institutional corruption and the power of individuals to rise above [...]

Beethoven and the Greatest Concert of All Time

By |2020-12-21T22:21:08-06:00December 21st, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

On December 22, 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven—by then an established composer and a renowned piano virtuoso—conducted a concert of his own works, featuring himself also as pianist, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. The program included the premiers of Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth symphonies, his Fourth Piano Concerto, and a concluding piece for [...]

Christina Rossetti’s “Advent Sunday”

By |2020-12-16T16:13:04-06:00December 12th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Christianity, Malcolm Guite, Poetry|

Advent is a season for stillness, for quiet, for discernment. It is a season of active waiting, straining forward, listening, attentive and finely tuned. Its good to keep a quiet space, a sacred time, an untrammelled sanctuary away from the pressures, to be still and hear again one’s deepest yearnings for a saviour. I hope [...]

“Le Corsaire”

By |2020-12-10T15:11:14-06:00December 10th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Hector Berlioz, Music|

Le corsaire (The Corsair), Op. 21 is an overture composed while Berlioz was on holiday in Nice in August 1844. It was first performed under the title La tour de Nice (The Tower of Nice) on 19 January 1845. It was then renamed Le corsaire rouge (after James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Red Rover) and finally Le corsaire (suggesting Byron's poem The Corsair).* Berlioz scholar [...]

“Day of Infamy Speech”

By |2020-12-07T06:41:06-06:00December 6th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Presidency, Primary Documents, World War II|

President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the following speech to a Joint Session of the United States Congress on December 8, 1941, one day after the Empire of Japan's attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Though Roosevelt referred to December 7th as a "date which will live in infamy," the speech itself [...]

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