“We Are Alive”

By |2020-03-26T15:22:26-05:00March 26th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Bruce Springsteen, Death, Music|

Bruce Springsteen has called "We Are Alive," the final song on his 2012 album, "Wrecking Ball," a "ghost story." That it is, but it is also a song of high spirits and hope, one that deals with the Christian themes of resurrection and the communion of saints. There's a cross up yonder up on Calvary [...]

“Christ on the Mount of Olives”: Beethoven’s Passion Oratorio

By |2020-03-26T11:25:43-05:00March 25th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Michael De Sapio, Music|

While many artists and composers have depicted the Passion of Christ, Beethoven carried an especially weighty cross in the form of his privation of hearing, which isolated him from society and forced him to compose music from his “inner ear.” Like Christ in the Garden, he found himself alone and forsaken, wrestling with a tribulation [...]

“Hunter of Invisible Game”

By |2020-03-18T10:56:11-05:00March 18th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Bruce Springsteen, Music|

"Hunter of Invisible Game" is a short, post-apocalyptic film directed by Bruce Springsteen and Thom Zimny that was released on July 9, 2014. The film is also the music video for the eponymous song, which appears on Mr. Springsteen's eighteenth studio album, High Hopes. —Editor I hauled myself up out of the ditch And built [...]

The Music of Harold Shapero: Tradition and Innovation

By |2020-03-12T15:56:41-05:00March 13th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Modernity, Music, Senior Contributors|

We owe it to ourselves to get to know Harold Shapero, who showed that strikingly inventive things still could be done with the perennial tools of tonal music. His works crackle with intelligence and sing with rare melodic beauty. They are both timeless and of their time. For despite its classic foundations, Shapero’s music [...]

Songs & Dances of Death: 10 Classical Works for the End of Time

By |2020-03-13T00:53:45-05:00March 12th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Camille Saint-Saëns, Gustav Mahler, Jean Sibelius, Music, Richard Strauss, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

From Modest Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death to Oliver Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, here are ten great classical pieces about death and the end of this world. They may or may not provide you comfort. 1. Songs and Dances of Death, by Modest Mussorgsky A song cycle for voice (usually bass [...]

“All Hail to Ulysses”

By |2020-03-09T14:56:36-05:00March 9th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Civil War, Music|

This song was written in 1864 in honor of General Ulysses S. Grant, who was appointed commander of all the Union armies in March of that year. Words by Charles Haynes and music by J.E. Haynes. Published by Root and Cady of Chicago. —Editor Lyrics All hail to Ulysses, the patriot’s friend, The hero of [...]

Beethoven: The Price of Genius

By |2020-03-06T12:13:52-06:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mark Malvasi, Music, Senior Contributors|

Beethoven’s eccentricities only enhanced his reputation. They confirmed the divine madness that propelled his creative genius. He was a martyr to his art, a new kind of saint whose agonies and ecstasies brought him neither peace of mind nor purity of soul, but an admixture of public renown and disrepute. Sculpture by Max Klinger [...]

Beethoven’s Apollonian Beauty

By |2020-03-24T00:55:46-05:00February 24th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Apollo and Dionysus coexist throughout Beethoven’s work. Much musical commentary seems to imply that only a titanic wrestle with Fate or an emotional cataclysm qualifies as profound. Laying aside for a moment Beethoven the Myth and listening attentively to his works, we are reminded of the depth of emotion that resides in solidity and perfection [...]

Hail to the Chief! Music for American Presidents

By |2020-02-21T14:12:13-06:00February 16th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Presidency, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

We Americans like to think of ourselves as anti-monarchical; most of us on the Right are self-styled small-r republicans, while Leftists think of themselves as small-d democrats. In addition, we all, Right and Left, fancy that what unites Americans is devotion to a set of ideas to which we all adhere, and which are best [...]

A Homeric Life: Neil Peart

By |2020-02-11T11:33:54-06:00February 14th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Culture, Music, Progressive Rock, Senior Contributors|

On Tuesday, January 7, 2020, Neil Ellwood Peart valiantly lost his three and half-year battle against brain cancer. On that same day, he entered Valhalla, escorted by at least one Valkyrie, but quite possibly by two or three. Peart has shaped many of us very quietly and sometimes not so quietly. I can state [...]

Debussy’s “Girl With the Flaxen Hair”

By |2020-02-17T13:28:37-06:00February 13th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Culture, Love, Music|

Claude Debussy’s “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair” ranks right up there alongside his “Clair de Lune,” “Beau Soir,” and “Afternoon of a Faun” on my “favorite short classical pieces” list. In spite of their brevity, all of them immediately transport you, taking you to a vivid, sensual, evocative place that, once you’ve returned to [...]

The Art of Beethoven: Between Romantic and Classical

By |2020-02-13T13:08:33-06:00February 12th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

Beethoven’s music would become the score for the Romantic era, as many of its champions loved how it conveyed the story of the individual, free man. Oddly enough, however, Beethoven was anything but a Romantic, nor was he a revolutionist or a democrat. There are many things that have been said about Beethoven and his [...]