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, [...]

The Mellon Foundation Goes Woke

By |2021-01-08T09:35:10-06:00January 9th, 2021|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Culture, Music, Uncategorized|

The Mellon Foundation’s "Monuments Project" is totalitarian in its proposed scope and radical vision, something utterly in conflict with American pluralism and preference for localism, a brazen effort to wrest control away from communities as to the state of their own public spaces. Not to be outdone by The New York Times' 1619 Project, the Mellon Foundation [...]

Arthur Foote and the Cult of the Restrained in Art

By |2021-01-06T16:41:53-06:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Culture, Music|

Arthur Foote’s “cult of the restrained in art,” so well expressed in “A Night Piece,” represents another America, a parallel native culture pushed aside by the “cult of unrestrained expression.” Foote demonstrates that one need not be Aaron Copeland or Leonard Bernstein to be fully American. Nestled in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, [...]

Beethoven: The Price of Genius

By |2020-12-30T15:53:06-06:00December 30th, 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 [...]

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