“Saint Cecilia Mass”

By |2020-11-21T20:00:58-06:00November 21st, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Catholicism, Music|

St. Cecilia Mass is the common name of a solemn mass in G major by Charles Gounod, composed in 1855 and scored for three soloists, mixed choir, orchestra and organ. The official name is Messe solennelle en l’honneur de Sainte-Cécile, in homage of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music. The work was assigned CG 56 in the [...]

“The Glory of Being an American”

By |2020-10-25T14:11:20-05:00October 25th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Audio/Video, Catholicism, Patriotism|

Piety and patriotism go together. In the profundity of our vocation, we've chosen as our national symbol an eagle, flying upwards and onwards to the source of all our rights and liberties, unto God! "The Glory of Being an American" originally aired on Bishop Sheen's popular television show, "Life Is Worth Living." Please enjoy this [...]

“The World Turned Upside Down”

By |2020-10-16T11:37:49-05:00October 16th, 2020|Categories: American Revolution, Audio/Video, Music|

The World Turned Upside Down" is an English ballad. It was first published on a broadside in the middle of the 1640s as a protest against the policies of Parliament relating to the celebration of Christmas. Parliament believed the holiday should be a solemn occasion, and outlawed traditional English Christmas celebrations. There are several versions [...]

A Call to the Joy of Life: Why Beethoven’s Ninth Matters to Me

By |2020-09-28T17:13:06-05:00September 28th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Timeless Essays|

For me, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony will be forever linked to my life as a Bosnian refugee. In a time of great suffering, this music brought me hope. No amount of ideological nonsense will destroy its inherent beauty and its constant call for the restoration of humanity’s greatness. Western civilization and culture have been under [...]

Sir Arthur Bliss’ “A Colour Symphony”

By |2020-09-12T11:11:14-05:00September 11th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Culture, Music|

Sir Arthur Bliss created a piece of music that celebrates the life of the senses and the joy of creation, evoking deep cultural memories as well as a personal energy and dynamism born of bitter experience. “A Colour Symphony” stands as the most intellectually and emotionally satisfying attempt to yoke color to music. Many [...]

“Down in the Hole”

By |2020-09-10T16:04:17-05:00September 10th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Bruce Springsteen, Music|

In the days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bruce Springsteen, who had watched the smoking devastation of lower Manhattan from a point across the river in New Jersey, and who had lost friends as the World Trade Center towers crumbled, was in Rumson, when a passing driver yelled at him: “Bruce, we [...]

The Lost Art of Great Popular Song

By |2020-09-03T00:12:36-05:00September 2nd, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Music|

Johnny Mercer Is the Great American Songbook still being written? The so-called Great American Songbook is defined as a canon of the memorable “standards” of popular song that helped to define American culture in the first half of the 20th century. Its great composers included Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and Jerome [...]

“King Stephen”

By |2020-08-20T16:42:44-05:00August 19th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

In July 1811, Ludwig van Beethoven accepted a commission to provide incidental music to two plays that were to be performed at the opening of the new Hungarian Theatre in Pest. Authored by August von Kotzebue, King Stephen: or Hungary’s First Benefactor and The Ruins of Athens were nationalistic dramas in the German singspiel format (combining [...]

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 [...]

“Mass in Time of War”

By |2020-07-18T20:51:00-05:00July 12th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Joseph Haydn, Music|

Franz Joseph Haydn composed the Mass in Time of War, his tenth setting of the Roman Catholic Mass in 1796, in the city of Eisenstadt, Austria, where he was the composer-in-residence-for Prince Esterhazy. At the time of its writing in August and its premier in December, French Revolutionary were winning victories in Italy and Germany [...]

Go to Top