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 [...]

Brief Thoughts on Last Night’s Democratic Debate

By |2020-02-26T12:27:24-06:00February 26th, 2020|Categories: Politics, Presidency, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

—Mike Bloomberg is not funny. —The only thing Joe Biden seems to remember from his "Catholic school upbringing" is that he should be polite and keep to the time prescribed during debates. —Bernie Sanders can make Pete Buttigieg sound like Ronald Reagan when it comes to Cold War issues. —For a party that should be [...]

Hail to the Chief! Music for American Presidents

By |2020-02-21T14:12:13-06:00February 16th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Presidency, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

We Americans like to think of ourselves as anti-monarchical; most of us on the Right are self-styled small-r republicans, while Leftists think of themselves as small-d democrats. In addition, we all, Right and Left, fancy that what unites Americans is devotion to a set of ideas to which we all adhere, and which are best [...]

Hector Berlioz’s Long-Lost “Solemn Mass” for the Holy Innocents

By |2019-12-28T02:25:54-06:00December 27th, 2019|Categories: Hector Berlioz, Hector Berlioz Sesquicentennial Series, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

"By God, you will be no doctor or apothecary, but a great composer." —Jean-François Le Sueur, to Hector Berlioz, upon hearing the premier of the Messe Solennelle Saint-Roch Church, Paris Its premier in 1825 marked one of the most remarkable musical debuts ever by a composer, and the score's rediscovery 167 years later [...]

Glory to Dido! The Operas of Hector Berlioz

By |2019-12-11T01:30:39-06:00December 10th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Hector Berlioz, Hector Berlioz Sesquicentennial Series, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

"They are finally going to play my music." —Hector Berlioz, on his deathbed Though Hector Berlioz's operas are still little known today—even to the opera-going public, who are much more likely to find the dramas of Verdi, Puccini, Bellini, and Mozart on the program—the increasing recognition of their many glories is slowly making them less [...]

A Thanksgiving Tale of Redemption: “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”

By |2019-11-28T19:29:02-06:00November 27th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Film, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Thanksgiving, Timeless Essays|

A lighthearted romp at first blush, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” yet tells the story of how the example of simple goodness can be transformational… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Stephen Klugewicz, as he discusses the humanity of the 1980s John Hughes comedy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles.—W. [...]

The “Confessions” of Bruce Springsteen: “Western Stars,” the Film

By |2019-11-14T13:16:29-06:00October 31st, 2019|Categories: Bruce Springsteen, Film, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

Bruce Springsteen's unrivaled stage presence comes across remarkably well in the film "Western Stars," as he performs his recent album in its entirety. But it is the brief, meditative, and confessional vignettes he uses to introduce each song that reveal just how much the entire album serves as his own version of St. Augustine's "Confessions." [...]

5 Ways You Can Help Preserve the Good, True, & Beautiful

By |2020-03-02T10:24:51-06:00October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Stephen M. Klugewicz, Support The Imaginative Conservative, The Imaginative Conservative|

Do you find yourself turning to The Imaginative Conservative as a welcome oasis of the Good, True, and Beautiful in a world that seems increasingly fallen, false, and frightful? If so, we would be appreciative if you would support us in one or more of these five ways. […]

I’ll Stand By You Always: Bruce Springsteen at 70

By |2020-02-23T12:39:35-06:00September 22nd, 2019|Categories: Bruce Springsteen, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

As Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen turns 70 years old, one finds it a daunting task to make an exhaustive list of his artistic accomplishments and the accolades he has received for them: Mr. Springsteen, who has been performing live for more than a half-century now, is the 15th highest-selling artist of all-time; his first album, [...]

Berlioz and Shakespeare

By |2019-12-10T15:46:49-06:00August 15th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Hector Berlioz, Hector Berlioz Sesquicentennial Series, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

From his first experience of "Hamlet" in 1827 to his death in 1869, Hector Berlioz found William Shakespeare's plays to be an ongoing source of almost-divine inspiration for his music. Indeed, Berlioz's love for "the father of artists" led to the creation of what many consider to be his greatest work: the dramatic symphony, "Roméo [...]

Hungry Souls & Brave Hearts: Heroism, History, & Myth

By |2020-03-02T11:08:38-06:00July 20th, 2019|Categories: Heroism, Myth, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Timeless Essays|

The cynicism of modern-day youth presents us with a great teachable moment. We must tell history as a great myth, for myths are often the best way of expressing truths. They are also the lifeblood of civilizations. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Stephen Klugewicz, as [...]

A Country for Old Men: Bruce Springsteen’s “Western Stars”

By |2020-02-26T02:16:47-06:00June 19th, 2019|Categories: American West, Bruce Springsteen, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

The old men who narrate the songs of Bruce Springsteen's cinematic "Western Stars" are broken, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Seeking a land of sunshine, open roads, and new beginnings, they find that the fabled American West cannot provide salvation for the lost and lonely. But "Western Stars" will surely provide balm for the soul. Western Stars, [...]

Berlioz in Hell: “The Damnation of Faust”

By |2020-03-20T13:02:40-05:00April 18th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Hector Berlioz, Hector Berlioz Sesquicentennial Series, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

"I consider this to be one of my best works," Hector Berlioz wrote of "The Damnation of Faust." Though the piece's spirit is one of unrelenting melancholy, it features much musical diversity and is kaleidoscopic, even cinematic, in its vision. The listener here again recognizes the stunning modernism of Berlioz and finds himself immersed in [...]

Music for Holy Week and Easter

By |2019-11-14T11:24:48-06:00April 14th, 2019|Categories: Antonio Vivaldi, Audio/Video, Culture, Hector Berlioz, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Stephen Klugewicz, as he provides musical suggestions for listening during Holy Week and the Easter season. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher Though Handel’s Messiah rightly reigns supreme as the king of music for Easter, there are many other seasonal masterpieces [...]