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 [...]

“The Cremation of Sam McGee”

By |2020-07-10T00:52:53-05:00July 11th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Poetry|

There are strange things done in the midnight sun ⁠By the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales ⁠That would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, ⁠But the queerest they ever did see Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge ⁠I cremated [...]

Two Concepts of Europe: Remarks at the “Europe Uncensored” Conference

By |2020-07-11T00:44:50-05:00July 8th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Europe, Viktor Orbán|

I can identify two different concepts of Europe. The first is the progressive, which promotes multiculturalism and pro-migration and anti-family policies, seeks to get rid of the concept of nations, and which considers irrelevant Christian social teachings. But there’s another concept of the future of Europe, which is based on Christian culture that we have [...]

Who Is Gustav Mahler?

By |2020-09-11T17:07:14-05:00July 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, [...]

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