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Music

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Johann Sebastian Bach completed what came to be known as the Mass in B minor in 1749, near the end of the his life, though he had worked on various sections of it for twenty-five years. Why the Lutheran Bach wrote what his son Carl Philipp Emanuel later catalogued...
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J.S. Bach was among the few who recognized the genius of Jan Dismas Zelenka, a Czech composer who passed into total oblivion after his death. But in listening to Zelenka's wondrous music, one can only deem the reason for his neglect a mystery...

Oh you men who think that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. My bad hearing means that there can be no relaxation with my fellow men, no refined conversations, no mutual exchange of ideas. I must live almost alone like one who...
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Classical music is born of the accumulating wisdom of the ages, with a canon that represents, like all canons, the mind of a civilization. And yet we have not learned to articulate our own defense... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity...
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The old curriculum, with its emphasis on hard mathematics, dead languages, ancient history, and classical music, is often portrayed today as "irrelevant," an offense to modern children, a way of belittling their world and their hopes for the future...

In an era of resurgent nationalism, it seems timely to present ten of the greatest classical music pieces written by composers about their countries. 1. Bedřich Smetana: Má Vlast (My Fatherland) Czech...

Love has inspired countless composers, some of whom have written pieces dedicated to, or directly inspired by, their own beloveds. Here are ten of the best musical love letters ever composed... The Wagners' villa at Tribschen. "Wherever I...
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Music assures us that we are not alone: that there is something out there in the world that knows our hearts and may even teach us to know them better. Thanks to music, we experience what it means to be connected to the whole of all things...
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"When I listen to his music, it is as if I am doing a good deed. It is difficult to convey what exactly his beneficial influence on me consists of, but it is undoubtedly beneficial, and the longer I live, the closer I get to know him,...
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Recorded in Denmark between 1889 and 1897 on a wax cylinder is what is almost certainly the oldest existing Mozart recording in the world... Peter Schram In a...

We ought to come up with a better way to bring in the new year than singing John Lennon's "Imagine," which asks us to imagine what our country would be like if we could jettison the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bible...
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One can be modern without being avant-garde, and by instead thinking in the old musical way, in terms of grammatical sequences that linger in the ears and the memory of the listeners... Important composers,...
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Can an unbeliever, a denier of the faith, produce such music as Beethoven did in his Missa Solemnis?... It has long been fashionable in music history textbooks to speak of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis as a purely artistic statement that, to...

Join musicologist and conductor Robert Kapilow as he discusses the genius of  Mozart's famous Symphony No. 40 in G minor: "It’s not what a musical idea is when you first hear it, but it’s about what it can become or how it transforms over the course of a piece...