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Music

Picasso The Lovers
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“Should not the unswerving modernists... come to the realization that there is nothing more wearisome or more barren than the most antiquated of all manias: the rage to be modern?” Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) In...
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Ignorance of the great works of music is as bad, for someone who seeks to be educated in Western culture, as ignorance of Dante and Shakespeare in literature, and Plato and Aristotle in philosophy... Today’s offering in our Timeless...

Hector Berlioz relished the spectacular sounds that could be achieved with massive orchestral forces, but he was much more than a musical showman. His gift for melody, his genius for musical drama, his mastery of orchestration, and his bold originality place him in the front rank of...
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Oh, the emotional images Schubert stirs within me. A whiff of my childhood, dusk on a wintery Sunday, when the younger, chilled me has gone inside and Mom's got a roast cooking in the oven, filling the air with an intoxicating aroma and a sense of security...
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In music, there has arisen in recent times the illusion that knowledge is not necessary, that the old forms of discipline are merely obstacles to the true creative process, and that real originality means doing your own thing, free from traditional constraints…
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Editor's Note: Hector Berlioz's "Quartetto e coro dei maggi" ("Quartet and Chorus of the Magi") was written sometime around the year 1832 but not published until 1902. The author of the text is not known, though it might...
La Vierge aux Anges

In a world ringing with noise and suffused with the more or less artful idolizing of passions divorced from objective goods, where are we to find melodies capable of penetrating our hardened hearts with spiritual truths?
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Could anything as tender and touching as L’Enfance du Christ have been written by a man who did not believe? One hopes that Hector Berlioz was able to find the Christmas that he portrayed so beautifully... The...
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The Gates of Vienna: Baroque Organ Music from the Habsburg Empire, performed by Robert James Stove (Ars Organi, 2018) The organ is in truth the grandest, the most daring, the most magnificent of...
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Editor's Note: Regrettably, Hector Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ is little known today, aside from "The Shepherds' Farewell to the Holy Family," which is often programmed independently of the oratorio on classical Christmas albums. This chorus'...
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Editor's Note: French composer Guy Ropartz wrote Le Miracle de Saint Nicolas in 1905, based on a text by René Avril. This legend in sixteen scenes tells the story of St. Nicholas bringing back to life three runaway boys who were...
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“Music seems to exist in and of itself, like a temple built around your soul.” Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) The story of music in the twentieth century would have been very different without...
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"I love him too much." —Joseph Haydn, about his friend Wolfgang Mozart "Joseph Haydn with Mozart," by V. Janschiek Wolfgang Mozart and Joseph Haydn were the two masters of the Classical Period...
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Editor's Note: Gustav Holst wrote his "Ode to Death" in 1918-1919 in the wake of World War I. Though he received a medical exemption from military service, Holst had composer-friends who served (Ralph Vaughan Williams) and died (George Butterworth) in the horrific combat on the Western Front. The...