Will Classical Music Resist the Assaults of the Avant-Garde?

By |2020-09-22T11:31:06-05:00September 22nd, 2020|Categories: Culture, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Tradition, Western Civilization|

The problem for modern music arose from the way in which ideas came to displace feelings as the source of musical creation. Conscious repetition of learned effects does not amount to real musical content. Surprised by Beauty: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, by Robert R. Reilly (Ignatius Press, 2016) Robert [...]

The Problem With Architectural “Genius”

By |2020-09-10T13:34:31-05:00September 18th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Culture, Modernity, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

The pursuit of genius in architecture is what has most contributed to the unstitching of our urban fabric, giving us those buildings in outlandish shapes and unsightly materials that take a chunk of the city and make it into somewhere else. Cooper Union New Academic Building For the truly great projects, architects are [...]

Who Was Pierre Boulez?

By |2020-09-23T23:54:36-05:00September 9th, 2020|Categories: Europe, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

We must surely understand composer-conductor Pierre Boulez as the instigator of a false conception of music—not only of the place of music in high culture, and in the civilisation that is our greatest spiritual possession, but of the nature of music itself. DE MORTUIS NIL NISI BONUM: Of the dead, nothing unless good. But [...]

Redeeming Film Music From the Avant-Garde

By |2020-08-25T16:07:20-05:00August 25th, 2020|Categories: Featured, Film, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Perhaps we should be grateful to John Williams and Howard Shore for showing us that we can still use the tonal language to create music that resonates in the hearts of ordinary people. Perhaps we should be suspicious of those musical censors who leap to dismiss whatever is spontaneously likeable as cliché, and whatever [...]

Was Beethoven a Believer? The Case of the “Missa Solemnis”

By |2020-08-20T15:54:02-05:00August 1st, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beethoven 250, Catholicism, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Religion, Timeless Essays|

Can an unbeliever, a denier of the faith, produce such music as Beethoven did in his Missa Solemnis? It has long been fashionable in music history textbooks to speak of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis as a purely artistic statement that, to be blunt, uses the texts of the Catholic Mass as a convenient springboard for musical experimentation and [...]

A Decade of Hope-Filled Conservatism

By |2020-09-16T11:22:27-05:00July 9th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Cicero, Conservatism, Essential, Hope, Russell Kirk, Timeless Essays, W. Winston Elliott III|

I pray that The Imaginative Conservative offers a conservatism of thought and imagination in the hope of preserving the best of the Western tradition and restoring the virtue of our Republic. After a decade of faithful effort we continue to persevere and pray. […]

In Defense of Those Who Protect Us

By |2020-06-08T00:31:36-05:00June 8th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, J.R.R. Tolkien, Louis Markos, Memorial Day, Military, Timeless Essays, Veterans Day, Virtue, War|

We must respect the difficulty and danger of the jobs of those who protect us and stop willfully blinding ourselves to the unpleasant realities around us. Let us defend, support, and celebrate our police and our military; without them, our world would be a far more perilous place. This semester, I am happily exercising [...]

What Is Jerusalem’s Claim on Us?

By |2020-06-05T13:47:09-05:00June 5th, 2020|Categories: Christian Humanism, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Literature, Timeless Essays|

The Bible provides a different and seemingly antithetical model of poetry from that given in Greek literature. It demands one’s whole heart and one’s whole viscera. Nonetheless, without in the least giving up a faith in Scripture, Westerners still find within themselves qualities that only the classical vision can express. What has Athens to [...]

American Heresies and Higher Education

By |2020-04-17T10:16:08-05:00April 17th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Liberal Learning, Peter A. Lawler, Timeless Essays|

Modern higher education tacitly accepts that any values pertaining to the intangible aspects of our experience, such as the humble appreciation of beauty or a passion for justice, are not real on account of being non-quantifiable; Socratic ignorance or wonder at life’s mysteries are lost, as are the moments of silence and grace during [...]

The Reality of the Resurrection

By |2020-04-09T10:56:07-05:00April 11th, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Easter, Gospel Reflection, Philosophy, Timeless Essays|

Too often we Christians have given in to the temptation to sanitize the crucifixion and sentimentalize the resurrection. But the resurrection was not, at first, a cause for rejoicing, but the source of fear—soul-shaking, knee-knocking, heart-pounding, earth-quaking fear. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Dwight Longenecker as [...]

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