Who Is Gustav Mahler?

By |2020-07-06T17:56:10-05:00July 6th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Gustav Mahler, Music|

"Who Is Gustav Mahler?" is one of Leonard Bernstein's famous "Young People's Concerts" with the New York Philharmonic. This musical lecture was broadcast on July 7, 1960, the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth. It is noteworthy that Mahler's music had not yet achieved the great popularity that it has today, and that as a [...]

“Mount Rushmore”

By |2020-07-06T18:42:25-05:00July 6th, 2020|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, American Republic, Audio/Video, George Washington, History, Music, Thomas Jefferson|

Drawing from American musical sources and texts, Michael Dougherty's composition for chorus and orchestra echoes the resonance and dissonance of Mount Rushmore as a complex icon of American history. Like Mount Rushmore, the libretto is carved out of the words of each President. Mount Rushmore (2010) for chorus and orchestra is inspired by the monumental [...]

“Berenice”

By |2020-07-01T10:56:29-05:00July 1st, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Edgar Allan Poe, Literature|

The eyes were lifeless, and lustreless, and I shrunk involuntarily from their glassy stare to the contemplation of the thin and shrunken lips. They parted: and, in a smile of peculiar meaning, the teeth of the changed Berenice disclosed themselves slowly to my view. Would to God that I had never beheld them, or that, [...]

“Maria Theresia” Symphony

By |2020-06-24T22:53:02-05:00June 24th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Joseph Haydn, Music|

The Symphony No. 48 in C major, Hoboken I/48, is a symphony by Joseph Haydn written in 1768 or 1769. The work has the nickname "Maria Theresia" as it was long thought to have been composed for a visit by the Holy Roman Empress, Maria Theresa of Austria in 1773. An earlier copy dated 1769 [...]

“Stand Watie”

By |2020-06-23T17:32:54-05:00June 23rd, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Civil War, Music|

Stand Watie (Cherokee: ᏕᎦᏔᎦ, romanized: Degataga, lit. 'Stand firm') (December 12, 1806 – September 9, 1871), also known as Standhope Uwatie, Tawkertawker, and Isaac S. Watie, was a leader of the Cherokee Nation. They allied with the Confederacy, and he was the only Native American to attain a general's rank in the Civil War, Confederacy [...]

“Farewell, Proud City”: Dido’s Lament For Carthage

By |2020-06-19T11:29:32-05:00June 19th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Hector Berlioz, Music|

When Berlioz's "Trojans" reaches its last half-an-hour, with Dido’s rage, misery, and then calm acceptance of utter loss amid the final doomed realization of Rome’s triumph—one finds oneself on a level that shuns most other opera’s attempts at classical transcendence. Based on Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid, Hector Berlioz composed his four-hour Les Troyens in the style [...]

“The American Flag”

By |2020-06-11T14:16:19-05:00June 13th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Antonin Dvorak, Audio/Video, Timeless Essays|

Antonín Dvořák wrote the cantata “The American Flag” in 1892-3, during the Czech composer’s tenure as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. The work was commissioned by the founder of the conservatory, Jeanette Thurber, to celebrate Dvořák’s arrival in the United States and to commemorate the four-hundredth anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ [...]

“The Glorious Moment”

By |2020-06-09T09:13:43-05:00June 9th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

Beethoven’s unusual cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick (The Glorious Moment), Op. 136, was commissioned by the Vienna City Administration. The work has an undistinguished text suited to the occasion of its first performance, a tribute to the kings and princes of Europe after the defeat of Napoleon, words that are at least better than those that Beethoven had [...]

“Memoriae Tuae”

By |2020-06-05T20:15:40-05:00June 5th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Film, Music|

“Memoriae Tuae” Martis nec gladius, belli nec ignis impiger Vivum momentum unquam memoriae tuae consumet Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory* Patrick Doyle wrote "Memoriae Tuae" as part of his score for the animated film, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, a 2018 computer-animated adventure film [...]

The Power of the Poet: In Conversation With T.S. Eliot About a Burning World

By |2020-05-30T14:03:56-05:00May 30th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

You see, the poet haunts, casting a spell on the reader or listener. The power of the word in poetic form is nearly incomprehensible. Especially when paired with melody, the effect is extraordinary. This means that a songwriter, a hundred years down the road, having read only small, peripheral portions of his poetry, and having [...]

“Ligeia”

By |2020-05-28T15:10:12-05:00May 28th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Edgar Allan Poe, Literature|

The expression of the eyes of Ligeia! How for long hours have I pondered upon it! How have I, through the whole of a midsummer night, struggled to fathom it! What was it which lay far within the pupils of my beloved? What was it? I was possessed with a passion to discover. Those eyes! [...]

“Freedom Cadence”

By |2020-05-24T22:42:43-05:00May 24th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Bruce Springsteen, Memorial Day, Military, Music|

"Without Bruce Springsteen there would be no Vietnam veterans movement." —Bob Muller, head of the Vietnam Veterans of America, 1981 Bruce Springsteen recorded this song for the closing credits of the movie Thank You For Your Service. The film drama is based on the real-life experiences of Iraq War veteran Adam Schumann. Springsteen recorded the [...]

“Baseball Has Marked the Time”

By |2020-05-16T13:36:23-05:00May 16th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Baseball, Film|

The following is the speech of Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones) from the film Field of Dreams. Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as [...]

“Give Us Back Our Game”

By |2020-05-10T14:31:34-05:00May 10th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Baseball, Music, Sports|

"Give Us Back Our Game" appears on Terry Cashman's 1995 album, Passin It On: America's Baseball Heritage in Song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwQPfGLOZy8 Give us back our game It belongs to us The people of America Give us back our game It's a song about us Before the fields and all of the dreams turn into dust [...]