Songs & Dances of Death: 10 Classical Works for the End of Time

By |2020-03-13T00:53:45-05:00March 12th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Camille Saint-Saëns, Gustav Mahler, Jean Sibelius, Music, Richard Strauss, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

From Modest Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death to Oliver Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, here are ten great classical pieces about death and the end of this world. They may or may not provide you comfort. 1. Songs and Dances of Death, by Modest Mussorgsky A song cycle for voice (usually bass [...]

Making Sense of Mozart’s Death

By |2019-12-04T22:48:22-06:00December 4th, 2019|Categories: Books, Quotation, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Is it possible and does it make sense to deal with the last four years of Wolfgang Amadè Mozart’s creative life without being fixated on the catastrophe of the composer's premature end? His death forever changed the course of musical classicism at the turn of the eighteenth century because, to give just one example, it [...]

“I Must Ever Weep”: Haydn’s Musical Elegy to Mozart

By |2019-11-27T14:47:48-06:00December 5th, 2018|Categories: Audio/Video, Joseph Haydn, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

"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 of music history; indeed, they helped to define that age, by giving shape to its central compositional forms: the symphony, the [...]

Copying Mozart: Did Beethoven Steal Melodies for His Own Music?

By |2019-11-19T00:39:17-06:00February 21st, 2018|Categories: Audio/Video, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Did Beethoven steal tunes from his older contemporary for the "Eroica" Symphony, the Ninth Symphony, and for his most popular and beautiful song?... It is one of the most popular tunes in all of classical music, nay, in all of music, period. Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" theme undergirds the long fourth movement of his [...]

The “Wild and Terrible” Mozart

By |2019-11-19T00:42:01-06:00January 26th, 2018|Categories: Audio/Video, Featured, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

“Too wild and terrible” is what Ludwig van Beethoven is reported to have said about Mozart’s famous Requiem. And despite the popularity of this great, unfinished work, the “wild and terrible” side of Mozart has generally been obscured in the public mind, in favor of his seemingly “lighter” works: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the overture [...]

Good Books and Great Music for Christmas Gifting

By |2017-12-14T15:43:07-06:00December 14th, 2017|Categories: Books, Bruce Springsteen, Christmas, Gifts for Imaginative Conservatives, Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Robert E. Lee, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Here are four recently-published books and four new classical music albums that I have greatly enjoyed this past year… Books I’ve read several excellent biographies (and one great autobiography) this past year. Foremost among the former is Jan Swafford’s magisterial Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph, which could easily be termed the definitive biography of perhaps the [...]

What Does Mozart’s Music Sound Like on His Own Piano?

By |2019-11-19T15:52:01-06:00November 10th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Listen to musicologist/pianist Robert Levin play Mozart's own piano and explain why it is important to know how Mozart's music sounded to the composer on the very instrument for which he composed... Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.  We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The [...]

The Day Mozart Stole Music From the Vatican

By |2020-04-07T03:18:26-05:00September 29th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Beauty, Catholicism, Christianity, Music, Mystery, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

The Vatican knew it had a winner on its hands with Allegri’s “Miserere” and, wanting to preserve its aura of mystery and exclusivity, forbade replication, threatening anyone who attempted to copy or publish it with excommunication. But that didn’t stop the teenaged Mozart. The fourteen-year-old Mozart didn’t see himself as being a music pirate, [...]

The Divine Element Within

By |2019-11-14T13:12:37-06:00June 26th, 2017|Categories: Art, Existence of God, Featured, George Stanciu, Intelligence, Music, Poetry, Reason, Religion, Science, St. John's College, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

In Modernity, the capacity for effortless knowing is denied, ignored, or misunderstood. As a result, the origin of all knowledge is taken as unaided human effort and activity… The Two Modes of the Mind If we lack a word for an experience, we obviously cannot talk to others about it, and the experience, no [...]

Felix Mendelssohn: The Mozart of the Romantic Age

By |2019-11-19T16:22:28-06:00April 19th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Featured, Felix Mendelssohn, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

While original in his style, Felix Mendelssohn was certainly no radical. What he offered was a perfect blending of classical proportion with Romantic fervor. In that sense, he amounts to a kind of missing link between Mozart and the remainder of the nineteenth century... Of all the underrated genius-level composers of the nineteenth century, none is [...]

“A Musical Joke”

By |2020-03-31T11:50:17-05:00April 1st, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his divertimento for string quartet and two horns, K. 522, in 1787, the same year that his opera Don Giovanni premiered. Mozart titled the four-movement piece, "Ein musikalischer Spaß," which is usually translated as "A Musical Joke," though a more accurate translation would be "Some Musical Fun." It has long been thought that [...]

Immortal Beloved: Musical Love Letters from the Great Composers

By |2020-02-13T23:30:30-06:00February 13th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Gustav Mahler, Hector Berlioz, Love, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Richard Wagner, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Love has inspired countless composers, some of whom have written pieces dedicated to, or directly inspired by, their own beloveds. Here are ten of the best musical love letters ever composed... The Wagners' villa at Tribschen. "Wherever I turn outside my house I am in the midst of a magic world," Richard Wagner wrote. "I [...]

Mozart’s Music: The Culminating Point of Beauty

By |2019-11-19T16:19:55-06:00January 27th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Beauty, Music, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

"When I listen to his music, it is as if I am doing a good deed. It is difficult to convey what exactly his beneficial influence on me consists of, but it is undoubtedly beneficial, and the longer I live, the closer I get to know him, the more I love him"... Editor's Note: Unlike [...]

Is This the World’s Oldest Mozart Recording?

By |2019-11-19T16:18:17-06:00January 26th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Culture, Featured, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Recorded in Denmark between 1889 and 1897 on a wax cylinder is what is almost certainly the oldest existing Mozart recording in the world. Peter Schram In a climate controlled section in the basement of Statsbiblioteket, you can find a couple of old solid wooden boxes. These boxes used to contain some [...]