Max Stern: Bible and Music

I’ve been developing a course on the Bible and music, and so was delighted to see a review of a book on the topic appear in Review of Biblical Literature. The book is Bible & Music: Influences of the Old Testament on Western Music, by Max Stern. Here is a video of the author, reading from and [Read More…]

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Geoffrey Burgon: Connecting the Church, Monty Python, Doctor Who, and More

In exploring the Naxos music database’s new releases, I discovered Geoffrey Burgon’s Requiem. Burgon is known for TV soundtracks (including Doctor Who) and film score work, such as on Monty Python’s The Life of Brian. I read the conference volume that looked at Jesus and Brian, but although the music was mentioned, no one seems to have focused [Read More…]

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Myaskovsky’s Symphony No.18

I’ve been listening to Nicolai Myaskovsky’s symphonic works today as I write. There is a lot of beauty and grandeur throughout, but the second movement of his Symphony No.18 in C Major, op.42, particularly demanded that I stop what I was doing and give my full attention. And so I thought in turn I would share [Read More…]

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Beauty in Dark Times

There is a very interesting set of upcoming events for those living in the Indianapolis area, focusing on the music of Arvo Pärt. On February 4th at 7pm, at St. George’s Orthodox Church in Fishers, Indiana, there will be performances of Pärt’s music, one choreographed with a dance performance by students from the Indianapolis School [Read More…]

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Ghazaros (“Lazar”) Saryan – Passacaglia in Memoriam

I heard this work by Armenian composer Ghazaros (Lazar) Saryan on Performance Today yesterday, and it made an impression. I found it on YouTube and thought I would share it. [Read more…]

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Happy Birthday, George Enescu

Romanian composer and violinist George Enescu was born on this day in 1881. To mark the occasion, I’ve shared his Symphony No.3 above. But he is best known for his Romanian Rhapsodies, and so if you are new to his music, or to 20th century orchestral music, that might be a more accessible introduction. Why not just go [Read More…]

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Film Composer James Horner Has Died

The news has been breaking that James Horner has been killed in a plane crash. I’m a huge fan of film music – and always annoyed that one still needs to specify film music and apologize for it, as though the great composers of the era before motion pictures would not have composed in this genre. Goodbye [Read More…]

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Václav Dobiáš Symphony No.2

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I Passed For White

I’m a big fan of John Williams’ compositions. He is most famous for composing the music for Star Wars, E. T., Superman, Indiana Jones, and many other such blockbusters. But, as “Johnny Williams,” he was already composing film scores in the 1950s. I learned recently that one of his earliest scores was for the movie [Read More…]

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Bernard Herrmann – Symphony

Everyone knows at least something from Bernard Herrmann’s work as a film composer. His concert works deserve to be wider known than they are. [Read more…]

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Ola Gjeilo – Sanctus

I confess I had not heard of Ola Gjeilo until the above video appeared on the blog Vaisamar. You can hear more by this contemporary composer on his website. [Read more…]

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