“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 [...]

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 [...]

William Grant Still: The Founder of American Music

By |2020-12-27T10:27:15-06:00December 26th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Audio/Video, Music|

If you’re a fan of classical music and American history, Symphony No. 5 “Western Hemisphere” by William Grant Still serves as an excellent starting point for studying America’s unique cultural footprint. Contained within its four movements are a heroic but soulful three-note melody, which graces its way across a plethora of musical textures before finally [...]

“Name Day” Overture

By |2020-12-26T12:20:05-06:00December 26th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

Zur Namensfeier (English: Feastday or Name day), Op. 115, is a symphonic overture in C major by Ludwig van Beethoven completed in 1815, and first performed on Christmas Day 1815. It is dedicated to Polish prince Antoni Radziwiłł, who is remembered for his patronage of the arts. The piece was never one of Beethoven's more [...]

“Good King Wenceslas”

By |2020-12-25T17:07:14-06:00December 25th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Christmas, Music|

"Good King Wenceslas" is a Christmas carol that tells a story of a Bohemian king going on a journey and braving harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (December 26, the Second Day of Christmas). During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle [...]

“The Trial at Rouen”: An Opera on St. Joan of Arc

By |2021-01-08T16:34:19-06:00December 22nd, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Opera, Senior Contributors|

The mid-twentieth-century opera, “The Trial at Rouen,” tells the story of the final days of St. Joan of Arc, her imprisonment, and trial for heresy. Composer Norman Dello Joio employs themes of conscience, belief, and spiritual motivation; he makes us think about the consequences of institutional corruption and the power of individuals to rise [...]

Beethoven and the Greatest Concert of All Time

By |2020-12-21T22:21:08-06:00December 21st, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

On December 22, 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven—by then an established composer and a renowned piano virtuoso—conducted a concert of his own works, featuring himself also as pianist, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. The program included the premiers of Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth symphonies, his Fourth Piano Concerto, and a concluding piece for [...]

What Keeps the “Groans Wrapped in Mathematics” Going?

By |2020-12-19T16:25:11-06:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: Music|

I greatly enjoyed reading Roger Scruton’s "Groans Wrapped in Mathematics," published here recently. However, it raises as many questions as it answers. How and why has this lamentable state of affairs—postmodern classical music that hardly anyone likes, foisted upon the public—persisted for so many decades? Why do opera companies and orchestras continue to program music [...]

Music for All Time: Reflections on Beethoven, on His 250th Birthday

By |2020-12-21T18:21:38-06:00December 15th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mark Malvasi, Michael De Sapio, Music, Paul Krause, Stephen M. Klugewicz|Tags: , |

"This wasn't written for you!" Beethoven once stormed at string players who complained that one of his quartets was impossible to play. "It was meant for a later age!" And so all Beethoven's works are. They are, indeed, music for all time. Please enjoy this symposium on Ludwig van Beethoven, with contributions from our distinguished [...]

Beethoven and the Spirit of Christmas

By |2020-12-15T19:27:18-06:00December 15th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Christmas, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

Every time I hear the music of Beethoven, the spirit of Christmas touches my heart. Because Beethoven is bound up with love, Beethoven is bound up with Christ. During Advent, Christians everywhere are reminded of the great testament of Love becoming incarnate. Beethoven keeps pointing us to that reality. Ludwig van Beethoven was born in [...]

“Le Corsaire”

By |2020-12-10T15:11:14-06:00December 10th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Hector Berlioz, Music|

Le corsaire (The Corsair), Op. 21 is an overture composed while Berlioz was on holiday in Nice in August 1844. It was first performed under the title La tour de Nice (The Tower of Nice) on 19 January 1845. It was then renamed Le corsaire rouge (after James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Red Rover) and finally Le corsaire (suggesting Byron's poem The Corsair).* Berlioz scholar [...]

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