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”

DonGiovanni

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...]

Thieving Mozart

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First, listen to this opening: Then, listen to this one: That first clip is the Introitus from Mozart’s Requiem, composed in 1791. And the second is Handel’s “The Ways of Zion Do Mourn.” From 1737. Hear anything you recognize? There are a few connecting notes that appear in the first and not the second, and a [Read More...]

Whitacre’s “Enjoy the Silence”

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Stumbled across this musical oddity a few weeks ago: Eric Whitacre’s setting of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” Seems like a bit of an odd fit, but apparently they (and especially this song) were significantly influential on him during his teen years. “The anthem of my youth,” he calls it. I myself find it particularly [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 CLASSICAL 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 [Read More...]

A Blessed Thanksgiving to One and All

SimpleGifts

‘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. When true simplicity is gain’d, To bow and to bend we shan’t be [Read More...]

Music for the Octave of St. Cecilia

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I realize that I’m a day (or two …or three) late. But I’d like to make the auditory case for not being a dollar (or two …or three) short. Or as my father always used to put it, “I’m late, but I’m sincere.” Listen to this playlist. And this one (which takes about 20 seconds to get rolling). [Read More...]

Suddenly, For No Reason, Sting

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Here (with a touch more Today Show and advertising than one might want): Good people give ear to me story, Pay attention, and none of your lip, For I’ve brought you five lads and their daddy, Intending to build ye’s a ship. Wallsend is wor habitation, It’s the place we was all born and bred. [Read More...]

Everything’s a Remix, German Expressionistic Version

3Pen

The dances I attended during my college years provided me with some of the fondest musical memories I own. Among those memories, Bobby Darin’s lilting “Mack the Knife” holds a place of particular prominence. (I’m not quite sure why; I suspect it’s equal parts unusual rhythmic construction and the strange dichotomy between the song’s easygoing [Read More...]


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