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 [...]

Franz Schubert’s Music of Paradise Lost

By |2019-09-24T12:16:56-05:00January 31st, 2018|Categories: Franz Schubert|

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 masterpieces [...]

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

By |2017-10-12T14:03:23-05:00May 26th, 2017|Categories: Featured, Franz Schubert, Jean Sibelius, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner|

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 I [...]

Litany for the Feast of All Souls

By |2020-11-01T13:04:31-06:00November 2nd, 2016|Categories: Franz Schubert, Music|

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. Litany for the Feast [...]

Ten Scary Classical Music Pieces for Halloween

By |2020-10-22T15:29:26-05:00October 31st, 2014|Categories: Antonin Dvorak, Audio/Video, Franz Schubert, Halloween, Hector Berlioz, J.S. Bach, Jean Sibelius, Music, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

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 scenes, [...]

The Ten Most Beautiful Symphonies

By |2021-03-15T16:35:29-05:00November 27th, 2013|Categories: Antonin Dvorak, Audio/Video, Culture, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler, Jean Sibelius, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

In addition to melody, great and beautiful classical symphonies must display a mastery of structure and orchestration, a command of tone color and harmony, and an expertise in developing musical ideas. Here are the ten most beautiful symphonies ever composed. “Imagination creates reality.” —Richard Wagner Though beauty is an absolute reality, we human beings see [...]

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