Mystery Revealed: Schubert’s Impromptu No. 3 in G-flat

By |2019-01-31T00:20:57-05:00January 31st, 2019|

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… Tell me if this has ever happened [...]

Franz Schubert’s Music of Paradise Lost

By |2019-01-24T12:00:30-05:00January 31st, 2018|

In terms of his achievement there is only one other composer to whom Franz Schubert can be compared: Mozart. Perhaps not as precocious as Mozart, Schubert was nonetheless already an accomplished composer as a teenager. In his brief thirty-one years, he created a life’s work of more than one thousand compositions, which include sublime [...]

From the Sacred to the Profane: More Music for My Desert Island

By |2017-10-12T14:03:23-05:00May 26th, 2017|

In truth, much of my favourite music is not sacred but profane, insofar as it is not overtly religious or in the least liturgical; and yet these profane favourites are certainly sublime, reflecting the goodness, truth and beauty of Creation, the harmony of the cosmos and the music of the spheres… Several months ago [...]

Litany for the Feast of All Souls

By |2018-10-20T11:41:46-05:00November 2nd, 2016|

Editor’s Note: Franz Schubert wrote “Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen” in 1816 after a text by Johann Georg Jacobi, which is reproduced below in English translation. Three recordings of this exquisite piece—arranged for soprano and piano, for chorus and piano, and for cello and piano—are provided at the bottom of the text. […]

Ten Scary Classical Music Pieces for Halloween

By |2018-10-30T23:57:16-05:00October 31st, 2014|

Great music pierces the soul…and can sometimes terrify it. Over the centuries, composers, like nearly all artists of every variety, have been fascinated by the subject of death and by the supernatural—the world of witches, goblins, ghosts, and demons. Composers have given us Dances of the Dead, frightful tone poems and songs, scary opera [...]

The Ten Most Beautiful Classical Symphonies

By |2019-03-26T15:38:02-05:00November 27th, 2013|

“Imagination creates reality.” —Richard Wagner Though beauty is an absolute reality, we human beings see through a glass darkly, and the space between objective beauty and our own personal taste can be fuzzy. Any list that seeks to rank the most beautiful works of any kind is thus going to be subjected to fierce [...]