No Commentary Necessary — Vivaldi vs. Bartoli Edition


Every now and again, when I’m feeling particularly discouraged … or particularly buoyant … or sometimes for no reason at all, I hunt down this video. And marvel. Amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I’m at a loss to know what else one can say in the face of such exuberant and extraordinary ability. No [Read More...]

Bach’s Christmastide Reminder


With the Feast of the Epiphany just around the corner, I complete my whirlwind, inexhaustive journey through the world of Foreshadowy Christmas Music with my favorite example: Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen, the finale of J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio.” Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen An eurer Feinde Schar, Denn Christus hat zerbrochen, Was euch zuwider [Read More...]

Dancing My Way Through Christmastide


The Christmas compilations are in heavy rotation in the Susanka household these days. The boys — ring-led by our resident head-banger, Cormac — clamor for the upbeat (if liturgically …questionable) tones of Mannheim Steamroller and John Denver & The Muppets, while I iron-fistedly demand (and sometimes get) more traditional fare. This year, my leanings manifest [Read More...]

It’s Still Lookin’ A Lot Like Christmas


It’s the most wonderful time of the year again — that charmingly counter-cultural period where we get to celebrate Christmas in all its glory despite the earnest (even desperate) efforts of department stores and advertisers to make us to think about Valentine’s Day. Sorry, Mr. Retail-man; I’ve still got Twelve Days worth o’Christmas left in [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent


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


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 — [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent


In the wake of Fridady’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...]

When Words Fail

van Dyck Crucifixion

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love. — Psalm 51  [Read more...]

Music and Meditation for the Second Sunday of Advent


Inspired by yesterday’s celebration in honor of our country’s patroness — Mary, Immaculata — today’s musical selection is “Alma Redemptoris Mater:” Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti, surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti, natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem, Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore,sumens illud Ave, [Read More...]

Earworm O’the Day


My heart will ne’er be free to push aside the longings I still feel. My eyes will ne’er forget the fields of patchwork green, soft rain so real. In my dreams I keep searching for those paths I never find. By those streams as they ebb and flow, my heart longs to find peace, to [Read More...]