No Commentary Necessary — Mozart’s “Commendatore”

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For some strange reason, my most vivid college memories almost always involve music — a fact that ceased to surprise me long ago, but one that I still find curious. And which my professors would probably find depressing. C’est la vie… A corollary to my peculiarly melodic style of recollection is that my roommate’s musical tastes [Read More...]

Curing My Canon Fatigue

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Pachelbel’s Canon in D is one of those pieces that a) is truly great, and b) I can barely listen to any more because ALL THE COMPILATION CDS! “Classical One-Hit Wonders” are fairly common, but Johann’s in a category all his own; “ubiquitous” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Search for “Pachelbel” on Amazon, and then [Read More...]

A Blessed Thanksgiving to One and All

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Traditional- Simple Gifts with Alison Krauss by Yo-Yo Ma on Grooveshark ‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight. BONUS: A [Read More...]

The Soothing Genius of Leo Kottke

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View image | gettyimages.com I can still vividly remember the first time I heard Kottke play. It was during those early college days, as my roommate and I were just starting to feel each other out. Discovering how much we had in common (and also, not); what we liked and disliked (musically, ideologically, liturgically, snack-food-wise, [Read More...]

Tomaso Albinoni and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad “One-Hit Wonder” Moniker

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For years, I’ve been fascinated by Tomaso Albinoni, the Baroque composer whose presence in the public “eye” is tied almost exclusively to a single piece: the bleak and ubiquitous Adagio in G minor, which he didn’t really even write. In 1945, Remo Giazotto, a Milanese musicologist traveled to Dresden to complete his biography of Albinoni and his [Read More...]

“Howlin’ Ukuleles, Batman!”

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This VOX Ukulele commercial is a ton of fun — partially because of the music, partially because of the performer, and partially because “UKULELES!” May it brighten your Tuesday as much as it has brightened mine.The fellow doing the pickin’ is Jack Mauro – the same guy who wrote and performs the song. And he’s got [Read More...]

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, According to John (and Bach)

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Each year, as part of my Good Friday devotions, I try to listen (as distraction-free as possible) to a musical work suited — both emotionally and liturgically — to the commemoration of Christ’s passion and death. Past listening sessions have ranged from Alfeyev’s Passion of St. Matthew and Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light to Schutz’s Passions (Matthew, Luke, [Read More...]

Musical Meditation for the Feast of St. Patrick

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I’ve got to admit that my life haven’t felt particularly Lenten of late. The anticipation, excitement, and joyful celebration of Papam Week 2013 has dominated the last few days, and I’ve been struggling to return to a more “liturgically-appropriate” frame of mind ever since. Ironically, today’s feast — traditionally a time of great/excessive celebration — [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — “Habemus Papam” Edition

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Yes, I know it’s Lent. But come on, people. We have a pope! View image | gettyimages.com Bonus Celebratory Music: Palestrina’s “Tu es Petrus” — always beautiful, but particularly appropriate today. Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam. Et tibi dabo claves regni cælorum. Attribution(s): Photos [Read More...]

Musical Meditation for the Third Sunday of Lent

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As I reflected on Andrei Tarkovsky’s “The Sacrifice” last week, I was reminded of the wonderfully Lenten aria that serves as its musical backbone: Erbarme Dich, mein Gott from J.S. Bach’s Matthäus-Passion. My recommendation? Don’t watch. Just listen. Erbarme dich, mein Gott, Um meiner Zähren Willen ! Shaue hier, Herz und Auge Weint vor dir bitterlich. Erbarme dich, [Read More...]


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