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...]

Lenten Listening with Pavel Chesnokov

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Today, as I crunched my early morning way through the blinding, post-storm whiteness, Pavel Chesnokov’s “Salvation is Created” popped unbidden into my head. I did not complain. WARNING:  I’m not entirely sure for which liturgical season this piece is most appropriate. My instinct  – based on the lyrics — is that it was written for [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

JosephSeeksLodgingbyTissot

It’s one of those “Fourth Week, we hardly knew ye” years, where Week Four of Advent feels more like a vestigial than a full-blown liturgical event. But two days is more than enough to highlight some of the memorable melodic edifices built upon today’s introit: “Rorate Coeli Desuper.” Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiatur [Read More...]

A Little Knüppel Music

EmmettChapman

A friend of mine, well-aware of my love for both classical music and the bizarre, recently passed along this fantastic YouTube video. It’s a fellow performing Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in F minor (K.386) on a Chapman Stick. My first reaction (and I quote): “What the heck is that thing?” Described by its living creator — how [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent

BruegelCensus

In the wake of Friday’s tragedy, today’s call to “Rejoice” is a difficult one. But as Deacon Greg reminds us, even that call is shot through with the promise of suffering: “The Lord is near.” He knows what it’s like. And He knows what we need: hope.  And He has given it to us. The [Read More...]

Monteverdi’s Marian Love Letter

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Over at my old stomping grounds, the incomparable Robert Reilly just reminded me of something that has confounded me for years: I love Monteverdi’s Vespers. “Why confounding,” you ask? Because despite my relatively large musical sweet spot, I have always struggled to enjoy (or even to appreciate) Renaissance music. When confronted by a friend a few [Read More...]


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