Appropriate Title? There Is None.

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Elizabeth is always reminding us Catholic Patheosi to be thoughtful about our post titles. Well, I thought about this one for a couple of days, and finally decided that there is no title that could possibly prepare you for this musical …thing. None. Why am I posting it, you ask? Just look at it. That’s [Read More...]

Crossing Over with Béla Fleck

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Here’s what I’m listening to right now. Also known as “what you’re listening to right now.” You’re welcome. That’s Paganini’s Allegro vivace a movimento perpetuo. But it’s not your grandfather’s Paganini. For that, I give you Gil Shaham, “The Traditionalist.” Here’s a slightly less traditional (but really fun) version from Wynton Marsalis. But wait. There’s [Read More...]

“No More Sorrow” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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This is exactly what I needed today. Exactly. That’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a South African choral group most recognized for their work on Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” And the sound of their singing is astonishingly joyful. Which means it’s hard for me to think of a group more fitted to sing a song about the passing away [Read More...]

Frozen’s “Let It Go” …Gets Away

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Google Translate, you’re doing it wrong. (Or is that “doing it very, VERY right?“) I can’t belt like Idina Menzel, but I can mess around with Google translate. That software can really destroy a song…and yet make it way too funny not to share. By way of comparison: The snow glows white on the mountain [Read More...]

“Something That God Has Allowed To Happen:” NPR Interviews The Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles

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This “Morning Edition” piece on Missouri’s singing nuns is almost impossibly charming. Almost. When the sisters of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles aren’t hard at work on the monastery grounds, they’re topping the charts with albums of sacred music. The group’s Angels and Saints at Epheseus topped the Billboard classical charts, and now it’s releasing its latest, Lent at Epheseus. [Read More...]

A Sick Note for the Ages

The Old Brick Layer. Photograph by Gertrude Jekyll. Old West Surrey (1904).

This tune’s been stuck in my head for a few days now, so I’m sharing. But let me be clear on one thing: It’s not stuck in my head because my job is anything like this. Not even metaphorically. (Well, not very metaphorically, anyway.) And it’s not (to the best of my knowledge) triggered by [Read More...]

WANTED: A Familiar Version of “Ge Mig En Dag”

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YouTube has failed me. I can’t find the version of “Ge Mig En Dag” I want, and it’s driving me nuts. Instead, all I can find is this: Pretty, no? Ring any melodic bells? Recognition is made slightly more complicated by the fact that this is hardly its most famous setting. The one that springs [Read More...]

A Day of Lamentation and Bitter Weeping

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Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are not. — Jeremiah 31:15 In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) [Read More...]

Beethoven’s Complete Piano Concerti

Pierre Laurent Aimard & Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos.1-5 - Front

I’ve never been a Nikolaus Harnoncourt fan. I can’t say entirely why, though I’ve long claimed that it’s a matter of respecting and admiring his work rather than enjoying it. (It might be an instance of irrational prejudice, but I’ve got so many of those already, I’m hoping that’s not the case.) I am, however, a [Read More...]

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...]


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