“Jesus Was An Only Son”

By |2019-03-15T19:02:45-05:00March 15th, 2019|Categories: Bruce Springsteen, Christianity|

Editor’s Note: Bruce Springsteen released the song "Jesus Was An Only Son" on his 2005 album, Devils and Dust. Words and music follow below. Well Jesus was an only son As he walked up Calvary Hill His mother Mary walking beside him In the path where his blood spilled Jesus was an only son In [...]

Requiem for Hector Berlioz

By |2019-05-16T15:32:42-05:00March 8th, 2019|Categories: Hector Berlioz, Hector Berlioz Sesquicentennial Series, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

"I feel I am dying," Hector Berlioz wrote in one of his last letters. "I no longer believe in anything." Indeed, by 1869, Berlioz was a frustrated man who had long ago given up his Catholic faith and who had largely given up composing. For many years, the limited and intermittent success of his compositions had [...]

Carnival Music From “Benvenuto Cellini”

By |2019-03-05T12:10:46-05:00March 5th, 2019|Categories: Hector Berlioz|

Editor’s Note: “I swear I shall never again achieve this verve and Cellinian impetuosity nor such variety of ideas,” Hector Berlioz effused about his opera, Benvenuto Cellini, based on the memoirs of the eponymous Renaissance artist who fashioned the great statue of Perseus cutting off the head of Medusa. Premiered in 1838, the opera was [...]

Vivaldi and the Cello

By |2019-03-03T22:22:43-05:00March 3rd, 2019|Categories: Antonio Vivaldi, Christine Norvell, Culture, Music, Senior Contributors|

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi’s music is timeless. Performed within the orchestral world, period films, and popular culture today, his works and melodies are recognizable, even to a movie crowd. Yet his work was often discredited in his lifetime because he was prolific. Composers and critics alike believed that Vivaldi’s sheer quantity of production outweighed his quality. Vivaldi [...]

Jacques Barzun and Hector Berlioz

By |2019-04-19T00:51:56-05:00February 27th, 2019|Categories: Hector Berlioz, Hector Berlioz Sesquicentennial Series, History, Jacques Barzun, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

In his two-volume Berlioz and the Romantic Century, historian Jacques Barzun argued that the much-maligned and misunderstood composer was in fact the dominant cultural figure of his day, “who by will and genius stamped his effigy upon the nineteenth century” and brought “kings, ministers, and public institutions, no less than poets and musicians, under his spell.” Publisher's Note: This essay [...]

“Green Book” and Chopin’s Stunning Étude

By |2019-02-26T22:37:43-05:00February 23rd, 2019|Categories: Culture, Film, Frédéric Chopin, Music|

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=QkZxoko_HC0 If you’re a moviegoer who follows the Oscars, you might have seen Green Book, a 2018 movie about an Italian-American bouncer who chauffeurs an African-American pianist on a performing tour through the deep South in the 1960s. It stars actors Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, and I can’t say enough good things about it. What drew [...]

The Myth of Modernism

By |2019-02-26T14:40:40-05:00February 13th, 2019|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Culture War, Michael De Sapio, Modernity, Music, Senior Contributors, Tradition, Western Civilization|

“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 my visits to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, I generally sidestep the East Building, the portion devoted to [...]

Why “The Great Music” Is as Important as “The Great Books”

By |2019-02-11T08:53:32-05:00February 10th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Classical Education, Culture, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Music|

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 Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Peter Kwasniewski, as he considers the importance [...]

Learning to Love Berlioz

By |2019-03-08T08:44:54-05:00February 3rd, 2019|Categories: Hector Berlioz, Hector Berlioz Sesquicentennial Series, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

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 the great composers. Today’s offering in our [...]

“Quartet and Chorus of the Magi”

By |2019-01-05T23:18:18-05:00January 5th, 2019|Categories: Christmas, Hector Berlioz|

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 well have been Berlioz himself. Below is the original Italian text and an English translation, followed by [...]

Music and the Education of the Christian Soul

By |2019-01-05T12:11:21-05:00January 5th, 2019|Categories: Antonio Vivaldi, Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Happiness, Heaven, Mother of God, Music, Sainthood|

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? In Plato’s Republic, Socrates leads a group of ambitious young Athenians on a search for the best way of [...]