Celebrating the Music of Igor Stravinsky

By |2021-06-16T17:42:57-05:00June 16th, 2021|Categories: Audio/Video, Igor Stravinsky, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

For the explosive energy and power of his music, and its exploring of unheard-of worlds of sound, Igor Stravinsky was the main figure in 20th-century music. Many of us are affected by the ethos of his music whether we are aware of it or not. Its confidence, sharpness, clarity, precision, and lack of sentimentality are [...]

The Top Ten Greatest Violin Concertos

By |2021-05-06T16:06:39-05:00May 6th, 2021|Categories: Audio/Video, Camille Saint-Saëns, Felix Mendelssohn, Jean Sibelius, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Timeless Essays, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

The violin concerto as a form of music has endured for some 300 years and remains, alongside the piano concerto, the most popular type of concerto played in modern concert halls and committed to recording. The genre was first developed during the Baroque era, when the concerto was conceived as a tripartite structure, running about fifteen [...]

On Hearing Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater”

By |2021-04-30T11:15:13-05:00April 30th, 2021|Categories: Antonin Dvorak, Audio/Video, Catholicism, Fr. James Schall, Music|

The music of Antonin Dvorak's "Stabat Mater" is itself redemptive. By the time we arrive at the last stanza, we comprehend that the words of the hymn through the very grandeur of the music have led us from a most somber and tragic experience with corresponding musical setting to a new hope—that death, though present, [...]

Music in the Life of Thomas Jefferson

By |2021-04-12T18:33:25-05:00April 12th, 2021|Categories: Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors, Thomas Jefferson|

Music held a notable place within Thomas Jefferson's cultured and humanistic life—a point reinforced by his insistence on having music instruction at his newly founded University of Virginia. This shows the importance Jefferson placed on music in the life of the mind, just as his involvement with music throughout his life enhances his image as [...]

Artistic Entrepreneurship: The Way Forward in a New Digital Era

By |2021-03-24T19:12:06-05:00March 24th, 2021|Categories: Audio/Video, Conservatism, Culture War, Music, Technology, Uncategorized|

I believe we are stepping into a new era for the arts, particularly for Christians and conservatives, if we are willing to fight hard for it. We have been hidden too long, and our new digital world, as foreign and alien as it may seem to the thoughtful artist, can be an ally rather than [...]

What Does Music Express?

By |2021-03-04T16:10:52-06:00March 4th, 2021|Categories: Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Music is a constant part of our lives, yet its nature remains elusive. We tend to take music for granted, like any product or commodity, not realizing what a strange phenomenon and unusual gift it is. Aristotle acknowledged as much: “It is not easy to determine the nature of music or why anyone should have [...]

Bruce Springsteen and “Finding the Middle” in American Politics

By |2021-03-04T10:11:10-06:00March 3rd, 2021|Categories: Bruce Springsteen, Politics|

Bruce Springsteen sternly instructs us in his new infomercial to "find the middle" in politics. But the Founders made clear the fact that vigorous debate was critical to their vision of democracy. I can forgive Bruce for recycling footage and clothes from his Western Stars movie in that Super Bowl commercial (pulled by Jeep in [...]

My Adventures Colonizing the World With Music

By |2021-02-18T14:40:51-06:00February 18th, 2021|Categories: Music|

I'm a composer, and I was recently informed by some self-assured young academics that being influenced by the European classics made me guilty of “white supremacy” and musical “colonization”! Who knew? All these years I thought I was lovingly sharing something beautiful with others. Half a century ago, as a mere lad, I must confess [...]

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, [...]

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