A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 6

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Today’s piece is a Russian cantata: Sergey Taneyev’s “John of Damascus.” Sometimes described as “The Russian Requiem,” it’s huge, densely melodic, and filled with gorgeous longing. That last bit is what makes it particularly appropriate for Lenten meditations, methinks. (There’s a through-line here from the last few days, as well, and not just because Taneyev and [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 5

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Since we’re already in Tchaikovsky territory (thanks to yesterday’s post), here’s #8 of his Nine Sacred Pieces: “Let My Prayer Arise.” 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 [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 4

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Because yesterday’s Mendelssohn reminded me so much of Russian sacred music (and because today is Our Lady’s Day), I find myself moving fairly straight-forwardly to the fifth of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 9 Sacred Pieces, the gorgeous “It Is Truly Meet.” Достойно есть, яко воистину блажити Тя Богородицу, присноблаженную и пренепорочную и Матерь Бога нашего, Честнейшую херувим и славнейшую [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 3

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Here’s another of the 8-part motets from Mendelssohn’s Opus 79 that I highlighted yesterday. This one, #6, is titled “On Good Friday” and (again!) includes the dreaded “Hallelujah” So it’s a bit of an odd selection. Like yesterday. Or at least it seems odd on the face of it. But musically/mood-ly, it’s perfect. Especially the [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 2

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Today’s entry is the fourth of the six 8-part motets from Felix Mendelssohn’s Opus 79. Its title says “At Passiontide,” so it might not be quite right for Early Lent.  But it also says “Hallelujah!” So I’m getting it out of the way early on, before our ears become unaccustomed to the sound of that phrase. The piece [Read More...]

My Lenten Journey in Music

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In recent days, while reflecting on why music has always seemed to occupy such a large space in my life, I’ve come to realize that I use it in (mostly) two ways. Well, three, actually. Because the first — “first” as in “primary” — way is pretty much straight-up enjoyment, brought on by an appreciation of and a [Read More...]

Seven Inspirational Sports Movies That Would Be Worthless Without Their Scores

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This post could just as easily be named “Jerry Goldsmith Is THE MAN,” but I’d already mentioned Goldmith’s spectacular efforts on behalf of Hoosiers last week, and I’d hate to be repeating myself so soon. Besides, that would have been a clear violation of Listicle Day. (OK, fine. So that was last week. But I want in anyway, [Read More...]

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Contributing to the Mendelssohn Birthday Bandwagon

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I stumbled across an amazing Mendelssohn video yesterday, courtesy of the always-instructive (and enjoyable) Saturday Chorale website. I loved it , especially because it’s subject, his Second Symphony, is so unlike the other Mendelssohn symphonies with which I am most familiar. But I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Or when. So I stashed [Read More...]

My Favorite Mozart

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Mozart was born 259 years ago today. It was a Tuesday (apparently). And it created waves in the musical world that are being felt to this day. Also, I don’t have a “favorite Mozart.” That’s pretty much an impossible task. What I do have, though, is something I’ve been streaming at work today in honor of [Read More...]

A Day of Lamentation and Bitter Weeping

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Every Life is a Gift. #marchforlife — Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 22, 2015 In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right [Read More...]


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