John IV of Portugal’s “Crux Fidelis”

Pierre-Paul-Prudhon-Crucifixion

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”

tenebrae

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!”

arg_371387_fnt_uk

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

BachMattIII

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...]

Scott Tennant, François Couperin, and A Charming Number of My Favorite Things

ScottTennant

I’ve loved guitarist Scott Tennant for years, ever since I first saw The LAGQ’s “Loose Canon.” I love his expressions (facial), his expressiveness (musical), and the way the guitar looks like a toy in his huge (yet gentle) hands. I’ve loved François Couperin’s “Les Barricades Mistérieuses” for ages. (Yes, Sam Rocha, long before I first saw Tree of [Read More...]

A Mystery of Grace

annunciation

From Benedict XVI’s “Dogma und Verkundigung:” The mystery of the annunciation to Mary is not just a mystery of silence.It is above and beyond all that a mystery of grace. We feel compelled to ask ourselves: Why did Christ really want to be born of a virgin? It was certainly possible for him to have been [Read More...]

Sam Rocha’s “Late to Love”

Sam3

That’s Sam Rocha. One-time Patheotte. Academic. Soul-Singer. And most of all, a soul-searcher. He’s got a Ph.D. And a Kickstarter project for a SoulBluesJazzFunkFolk/Gospel album called “Late to Love.” An album that takes its name from St. Augustine’s “Confessions.” A project with the stated intention of making “the craft of the music its main priority.” The soundtrack of 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...]

Curing My Canon Fatigue

AL_Concept_2

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 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 then [Read More...]

A Blessed Thanksgiving to One and All

shutterstock_219347626

Traditional- Simple Gifts with Alison Krauss by Yo-Yo Ma on Grooveshark ‘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. BONUS: A [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X