Unforgettable Cuts: “Clancy’s Theme,” by Bruce Rowland

Snowy

The Bruce Rowland-penned score for The Man from Snowy River is fantastic, and a significant factor in the film’s status as A Fast Favorite of the Susanka Seven. Yes, I’m sure the whips and horses and the insane plunge down the cliffside are all part of its charm, as well. But the soundtrack is spectacular. [Read More...]

“Jubilate Deo!”

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He is risen! Sound the trumpets! Jubilate Deo omnis terra, quia sic benedicetur homo qui timet Dominum. Jubilate Deo omnis terra. Deus Israel conjungat vos et ipse sit vobiscum. Mittat vobis auxilium de sancto, et de Sion tueatur vos. Jubilate Deo omnis terra. Benedicat vobis Dominus ex Sion, qui fecit caelum et terram. Jubilate Deo [Read More...]

Emilio de’ Cavalieri’s “Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah”

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I’m unfamiliar with this work. In fact, I’m unfamiliar with this composer. Strange stuff, indeed. Yet that strangeness seems entirely appropriate for the day. Even though they come each year, Holy Saturday’s strange absences are as uncomfortable and unsettling to me as anything I’ve ever experienced. Just as they should be. [Read more...]

John IV of Portugal’s “Crux Fidelis”

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Crux fidelis, inter omnes arbor una nobilis: nulla silva talem profert, fronde, flore, germine. Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulce pondus sustinet. TRANSLATION: Faithful cross, above all other, One and only noble tree: None in foliage, none in blossom, None in fruit thy peer may be. Sweetest wood and sweetest iron, Sweetest weight is hung on [Read More...]

Gesualdo’s “Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday”

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The name “Tenebrae” — Latin for “shadows” or “darkness” – has been given because this Office is celebrated in the hours of darkness, formerly in the evening or just after midnight, now the early morning hours. There is an impressive ceremony, peculiar to this Office, which tends to perpetuate its name. There is placed in the [Read More...]

Chesnokov’s “Let My Prayer Arise!”

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Da ispravitsya molitva moya, yako kadilo pred Toboyu: vozdeyanie ruku moeyu, zhertva vechernyaya. Gospodi, vozzvakh k Tebe, uslïshi mya: vonmi glasu moleniya moyego, vnegda vozzvati mi k Tebe. Polozhi, Gospodi, khranenie ustom moim: i dver ograzhdeniya o ustnakh moikh. Ne ukloni serdtse moe v slovesa lukavstviya: nepshchevati vinï o gresekh. TRANSLATION: Let my prayer arise [Read More...]

Musical Mediation for Holy Week

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It’s time once again to embark on one of my longest-standing personal spiritual traditions: Finding some time during Holy Week to listen to J.S. Bach’s towering masterpiece, the Matthäus Passion. It grows progressively more difficult each year, because “some time” actually means 3+ hours. And Lent seems to fly by more rapidly each year. And [Read More...]

“With Gusto and Lust” — Johnny Cash on Suffering, Success, The Classics, and The Gospel

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Every time I begin to despair of the InterWebs and their ability to offer anything of legitimate value, they come along with something like this: Here, via the Blank on Blank folks, is an animated interview with the legendary Man in Black, Johnny Cash himself, from some time in 2006. Really, really great stuff. A man [Read More...]

Looking For a Marimba Concerto? I’ve Got You Covered.

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The Previously-Discussed Welsh composer Karl Jenkins has written a concerto based on the legendary La Folia. For the marimba. Your argument is invalid. I love contemporary composers who have a knowledge of and an appreciation for the past. Plus, anyone who names their album of strange concerti “Quirk” is worthy of more attention, in my book. Especially when he says [Read More...]

Finding Solace through Music (and Violin Building)

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Here’s an inspiring story from the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal. Leo Beaule lost his wife of 55 years to Parkinson’s disease in 2006.  Unsurprisingly, the transition to a life without her was a tough one. He  struggled with depression and loneliness, saying that “I didn’t know what to do with myself. …I didn’t go anywhere; I [Read More...]


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