The Mighty Nine: Reflections on Beethoven’s Symphonies

By |2020-05-25T23:13:24-05:00May 25th, 2020|Categories: Andrew Balio, Beethoven 250, Joseph Pearce, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mark Malvasi, Michael De Sapio, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz|Tags: , , , |

Please enjoy this symposium on the nine symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, with contributions from our distinguished panel, including composer Michael Kurek and Principal Trumpet of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Balio. Clicking on the CD cover art next to each symphony will guide you to a listening recommendation on Spotify; at the bottom of [...]

“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 [...]

“The Ring of the Nibelung”: Romantic Nonsense?

By |2020-05-21T14:15:08-05:00May 21st, 2020|Categories: Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

The Ring of the Nibelung, Wagner’s great cycle of operas exploring the origin of consciousness and the birth of the human world begins in the depths of the river Rhine, and also in the depths of the unconscious, hearing the voice of the natural order from which human kind departed in the long distant past. [...]

“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 [...]

What Is Beauty?

By |2020-05-07T11:48:52-05:00May 7th, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Music|

Beauty reconciles opposites: It adheres to objects themselves, and yet it calls to each of us in the depths of our psyche. Only beauty blocks out the outside world and focuses our attention on the work of art. This is, perhaps, its danger. But it is also its power. I will confess that, of [...]

Men and Women as They Are: Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro”

By |2020-05-01T10:53:34-05:00May 1st, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Opera, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

The characters in Mozart’s “Figaro” are the furthest thing from mere archetypes. Instead, they are as real and as identifiable as the people around us today, for Mozart was interested in human nature itself, and not the ephemeral and artificial distinctions of class. “In my opinion, each number in Figaro is a miracle,” composer [...]

The Music of the North

By |2020-04-29T00:04:10-05:00April 28th, 2020|Categories: Joseph Pearce, Music, Senior Contributors|

When we think of the great classical composers, our mind does not tend to wander too far north. But in addition to the works of Sibelius, Grieg, and Pärt, much great music was composed in the frozen North during the past century that has been unjustly neglected. When we think of classical music, we are [...]

“The Bardic Depths”

By |2020-04-23T23:42:40-05:00April 23rd, 2020|Categories: Culture, Music, Progressive Rock|

Our readers are well aware of the wide-angle conservative lens that is the purview of The Imaginative Conservative’s co-founder Bradley J. Birzer. But what would it be like to set the fruits of Dr. Birzer’s expansive vision to music? In case you were unaware, the question is not a rhetorical one; the answer is [...]

Revitalizing Beethoven’s Music: The Legacy of Nikolaus Harnoncourt

By |2020-04-24T11:48:55-05:00April 20th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Michael De Sapio, Music|

For conductor and musicologist  Nikolaus Harnoncourt, expressive meaning was central to music. Music can cry out in pain or anger, it can soothe, it can exult in joy. Harnoncourt sought to restore these many meanings to music and, for this reason, insisted on drama and urgency in his performances. In particular his Beethoven recordings possess [...]

“My City of Ruins”: A Lament for New York City

By |2020-04-20T12:49:48-05:00April 20th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Bruce Springsteen, Music|

Though written sometime prior to 2001 about the dilapidated condition of Asbury Park, New Jersey, "My City of Ruins" became associated with the terrorist attacks of 9/11 when Mr. Springsteen performed the song live on television on September 21, 2001 for the "America: A Tribute to Heroes" fundraiser for families of the victims, particularly those [...]

Reports of Music’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

By |2020-04-16T10:13:32-05:00April 16th, 2020|Categories: Bruce Springsteen, Culture, Modernity, Music, Western Civilization|

Can it really be the case that Western music’s deep reservoir of creativity had, by the middle of the 20th century, almost entirely run dry? This somewhat implausible view is often implicit in conservative-leaning cultural commentary when it touches on the subject of rock music. There is, to be sure, much to despise—the peculiar [...]

“Hail, Festive Day”: A Hymn to Easter

By |2020-04-11T00:52:40-05:00April 11th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Easter, Imagination, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Hymns are a major source of our imaginative conception of the Christian faith. A good hymn focuses our mind on a memorable cluster of images that illuminate doctrine, preparing us to celebrate the liturgy or providing a respite during it. While the great hymn writers have often taken scripture as their starting point, they have [...]

Keep the Faith: Marillion’s “Afraid of Sunlight” at 25

By |2020-04-03T18:49:26-05:00April 3rd, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Culture, Music, Senior Contributors|

As far back as I can remember, I have loved music. Music has shaped my imagination and my worldview as much as anything. In fact, a particular song by the band Marillion—whose album “Afraid of Sunlight”  celebrates the good, the true, and the beautiful—took on religious significance for me. With immense pressure from the [...]