Richard Wagner and the Seduction of Nietzsche

By |2020-02-07T14:03:18-06:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Friedrich Nietzsche, Joseph Pearce, Music, Opera, Richard Wagner, Senior Contributors|

The sheer power and magnitude of Richard Wagner’s “Parsifal,” the fruit of his recent conversion to a vague form of Christianity, shook the resolve and philosophy of his long-time disciple, Friedrich Nietzsche, to their foundations. Having recently watched a superb and breathtaking performance of Wagner’s last and perhaps greatest work, I feel constrained to [...]

The Power of Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites”

By |2020-07-16T16:38:24-05:00June 14th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Opera, Senior Contributors|

Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” is based on the true story of the Martyrs of Compiègne, a community of sixteen Carmelite nuns who were guillotined during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Many hold it in high esteem as one of the twentieth century’s greatest operas. Francis Poulenc The Metropolitan Opera’s [...]

A Candid Conversation With Architect Allan Greenberg

By |2019-05-09T11:09:39-05:00September 28th, 2018|Categories: Architecture, Liberal Arts, Music, Opera|

Editor's Note: Andrew Balio of the Future Symphony Institute interviews architect Allan Greenberg, whose  philosophy of "canonical classicism" challenges the postmodernist school of architecture.  ANDREW BALIO: Among America’s music schools, Rice University’s Shepard School of Music is one of the standouts, up there with Curtis, Yale, and Julliard. And both Julliard’s and Yale’s areas of greatest [...]

The Moral Conservatism of Igor Stravinsky

By |2020-06-16T16:03:48-05:00June 29th, 2018|Categories: Audio/Video, Christianity, Culture, Igor Stravinsky, Music, Opera|

Igor Stravinsky is endlessly touted as an arch-modernist, but “The Soldier’s Tale” and “The Rake’s Progress” show him to be something more important: a great twentieth-century moralist. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) was certainly the greatest composer of the twentieth century, yet most listeners never go beyond his “Russian” period as represented by the meteoric early [...]

Richard Wagner, the Nazis, and Christianity

By |2019-09-28T09:50:12-05:00October 12th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Joseph Pearce, Music, Opera, Richard Wagner, StAR|

Richard Wagner’s legacy has been overshadowed, and some would say permanently marred, by the manner in which he became the poster child of Hitler’s grotesque Third Reich. Yet should we condemn his music for this reason?… Nice to see your music selections. But Wagner, your favorite composer! Say it ain’t so, Joe! The above-quoted [...]

The Life and Career of Arturo Toscanini

By |2019-02-28T11:19:53-06:00September 23rd, 2017|Categories: Books, Music, Opera|

Arturo Toscanini was the early-twentieth century version of a rock star, receiving offers left and right, commanding huge sums of money, selling out theaters, and grabbing the constant attention of the press wherever he went… Toscanini: Musician of Conscience, by Harvey Sachs (Liveright, 944 pages, 2017) In the Academy-award winning film adaptation of Peter Schaffer’s [...]

Postmodern Music: Groans Wrapped in Mathematics

By |2020-04-06T15:49:26-05:00June 16th, 2016|Categories: Culture, Jazz, Modernity, Music, Opera, Roger Scruton|

The atonal music produced in the twentieth century consists largely of random outbursts that could be described as groans wrapped in mathematics. The result makes little or no sense to the ear, and these works remain more items of curiosity than objects of love, and audiences have begun to turn their backs on them. [...]

Is Luxury a Bad Thing?

By |2019-09-24T12:17:23-05:00June 10th, 2015|Categories: Culture, Featured, Modernity, Music, Opera|

It shouldn’t surprise up that orchestras are distancing themselves from the idea of luxury. We generally, and perhaps rightly, sense that there is something wrong with it. The most obvious reason is the uncomfortable fact that luxury represents a category that might necessarily exclude us—or indeed anybody. That, of course, does not describe classical music, [...]

Pop Messiahs: Are Talent and Drive Sufficient?

By |2020-02-23T00:09:10-06:00April 20th, 2014|Categories: Culture, George Frideric Handel, Music, Opera, Stephen Masty|

We tend to look back at great talent and forget the ambition and business acumen that let artistry shine through the ages. Nobody should ignore George Frideric Handel’s (1685-1759) eye for the main chance. The young German kapelmeister was already on leave-of-absence in England when his boss Prince George, the Elector of Hanover, became King [...]

A NeoCon Night at the Opera

By |2014-01-21T13:34:05-06:00September 27th, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, Film, Leo Strauss, Music, Neoconservatism, Opera, Politics, Stephen Masty|

(WARNING: Contains Neo-Conservatism and saucy language) Well, here’s a big buon giorno to our National Public Radio audience, because it’s time for Impariamo Opera and I’m your co-host, Angela Tedioso. And I’m Hans-Dieter Langweilig. But today we stray from the shores of sunny Italy to the magical, musical world of Strauss. […]

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