Was Beethoven a Believer? The Case of the “Missa Solemnis”

By |2020-08-03T11:23:51-05:00August 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 [...]

Roman Death Masks and the Role of Memory

By |2020-07-31T17:06:50-05:00July 31st, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Death, History, Patriotism, Rome|

Roman death masks—called “imagines”—were actually wax models impressed directly on the face during life, and they bore a remarkable likeness to the person. Displayed during the funerals of the elite, they served as a link between the present and the past and were meant to inspire attendees to patriotic virtue. The recent defacement of [...]

Jean Sibelius’ Music of the Logos

By |2020-07-29T15:39:11-05:00July 28th, 2020|Categories: Jean Sibelius, Music|

If you have never wept for joy at, or been shaken to the roots of your being by, music, here is the music to do it. Should I ever have the privilege of hearing God’s orchestra play, I am not sure what I will hear. But if it is Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony, I will know [...]

Marianne Moore’s Baseball Poems

By |2020-08-03T14:35:29-05:00July 27th, 2020|Categories: Baseball, Character, Christianity, Culture, History, Literature, Poetry, Sports|

As we attempt to understand Marianne Moore’s baseball poems, it is important to see the contextual influence of her brother and their mutual interest in Pauline Christianity, a tradition they never abandoned. There is some mystery in the space between sport and religion that many Christian athletes inhabit and of which Marianne Moore is [...]

Reflections on George Gershwin’s “Summertime”

By |2020-07-21T15:37:07-05:00July 25th, 2020|Categories: Christian Living, Christianity, Culture, Happiness, Music, Nature|

DuBose Heyward’s timeless lyrics and George Gershwin’s iconic melody in “Summertime” speak wisdom to our era of uncertainty. When we hear this American classic, may we always feel the presence of the Lord, remembering that God’s greatest desire is to be with each one of us in heaven for all eternity. “Summertime,” the classic [...]

Edmund Burke and the Last Polish King

By |2020-07-23T12:04:37-05:00July 23rd, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Culture, Edmund Burke, History, Poland, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

Poland’s reforms and constitution, Edmund Burke thought, offered real meaning, much closer to the experience of the American Revolution than that of the French Revolution. In significant ways, the Polish king succeeded because he embraced the laws of nature and “the array of Justice” without forcing anything of his own will upon his people. [...]

Music as a Window Into History and Character

By |2020-07-23T15:07:46-05:00July 22nd, 2020|Categories: Character, Culture, History, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Albéric Magnard’s music is a happy amalgam of all that was best in Wagner, Franck, and Debussy. The gentle, nostalgic, and somewhat melancholy reminiscence of the past is a key part of his aesthetic and a clear legacy of his Schola Cantorum training. Yet his music is also progressive, looking forward unmistakably to the [...]

Conserving in A.D. 2020 or 499 B.C.

By |2020-07-21T17:58:07-05:00July 21st, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Conservatism, Culture, Edmund Burke, Politics, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Socrates, Thomas More|

In times of chaos, it’s profoundly necessary to remember those who have come before us and the innumerable sacrifices they made. Each of these great men, whatever his individual faults, sought to live according to the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. They preserved, and they conserved. As a way of perceiving and a [...]

Going Over Jordan: Images of Baptism in “1917”

By |2020-07-18T17:49:07-05:00July 18th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Film, Literature, Poetry, War, World War I|

Sam Mendes’ appropriation of baptismal imagery allows the film “1917” to achieve the rare feat of portraying the First World War in terms of hope and rebirth rather than merely of pity and death. As we watch the protagonist Schofield’s journey, we recall that we have been buried and raised with Christ. I was [...]

“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 Music of American Composer Charles Martin Loeffler

By |2020-07-11T16:18:48-05:00July 11th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Charles Martin Loeffler’s rise to eminence among composers worldwide signals an American cultural arrival at the turn of the 20th century. In a sense he was a bridge from the Old World to the New. Loeffler brought something unique to our culture, and his colorful and intimate music should not to be forgotten. There [...]

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