The Mozart of His Age: Mendelssohn

By |2016-03-17T12:21:51-05:00February 28th, 2014|Categories: Culture, Music|Tags: , |

Mendelssohn: The Caged Spirit: A New Approach to the Composer and His Family by Mary Allerton-North Mendelssohn: His Life and Music by Neil Wenborn Amid the neo-Stalinist personality cult of Darwin’s bicentennial jollifications, it is all too easy to forget various anniversaries of those individuals who, by contrast, actually benefited mankind. Such as Mendelssohn—Jakob [...]

Sir Francis Walsingham: Bring Me the Head of Maria Stuarda

By |2014-02-19T17:29:33-05:00February 19th, 2014|Categories: Catholicism, History|Tags: , |

Sir Francis Walsingham The thought of a new book, from a proverbially establishmentarian imprint, on Elizabeth I’s spymaster is not one that immediately gladdens the heart. Anyone who has actually been expected to spend time in modern England – rather than simply viewing it through a Downton-Abbey-generated haze – knows perfectly well [...]

Richard Strauss for Everyman

By |2018-10-15T17:38:49-05:00September 13th, 2013|Categories: Literature, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|Tags: , |

Richard Strauss Richard Strauss: A Musical Life, by Raymond Holden. Yale University Press. The Cambridge Companion to Richard Strauss, by Charles Youmans, Cambridge University Press. I am not a first-rate composer, I am a first-rate second-rate composer. —Richard Strauss I was never a revolutionary. The real revolutionary was Richard Strauss. —Schoenberg Richard [...]

Why Belloc Still Matters

By |2016-07-13T16:10:25-05:00March 16th, 2013|Categories: Christianity, Communism, Hilaire Belloc, Religion|Tags: , |

Hillaire Belloc An author too robust and significant to be wholly un-personned can still be marginalized. Consider this elegant pasquinade, which years ago won a parody-contest award in Britain’s New Statesman and which employs the same rhyme scheme and meter as Hilaire Belloc’s own “The chief defect of Henry King”: The chief [...]

Wolfgang Mozart: Born January 27, 1756

By |2018-01-10T10:48:08-05:00January 27th, 2013|Categories: Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|Tags: |

Mozart, Wolfgang (Austrian, 1756–91). No, not “Amadeus”; his baptismal certificate reads “Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart,” “Amadé” (the form of his middle name that Mozart himself preferred to use) being Theophilus’s Gallicized version. In fact, almost everything else Hollywood told you about him is wrong, except his child prodigy status, which even Hollywood could [...]