the imaginative conservative logo

Music

Editor's Note: Richard Strauss' "Dreaming by the Fireside"  ("Träumerei am Kamin") is one of the four orchestral interludes that the composer wrote for his 1924 opera, Intermezzo. Strauss himself wrote the libretto for this two-act drama, basing it on incidents in his marriage to his wife Pauline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC1wmDGDK1o
0 278

Editor's Note: "Beata Viscera Marie Virginis" ("Blessed Flesh of the Virgin Mary") is a piece intended for the Communion section of a Mass honoring the Blessed Mother of God. This setting is a monophonic (one-voice) "conductus," a musical form that gained in popularity during the lifetime of the medieval...
1 297

In 1900, Jean Sibelius revised his patriotic tone-poem, Finlandia, and its popularity grew in leaps and bounds. Suddenly the world knew about Sibelius, Finlandia, and Finnish national pride... Jean Sibelius Jean Sibelius’ tone-poem, Finlandia, wasn’t supposed to be the...
1 402

In the second act of Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera, Hänsel and Gretel, there is a treasure that will live forever in the hearts of countless listeners: Fourteen angels take the stage and gather round and protect the children, a prayer come to life... Hansel and Gretel waited deep in the forest for their...

Composed in a matter of weeks in 1853, the Violin Concerto was Schumann's last major work before the madness set in... The program at the San Francisco Symphony was billed as “Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor, with guest...

Editor's Note: Listen to musicologist/pianist Robert Levin play Mozart's own piano and explain why it is important to know how Mozart's music sounded to the composer on the very instrument for which he composed... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA44wda3prE Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative 
0 453

Tchaikovsky's First Symphony is a delight: fresh, assured and just plain fun to listen to. The violins introduce the first movement with a shimmering, sweet tremolo, giving it a dreamy, gossamer texture, that perfectly illustrates the movement’s subtitle, “Daydreams of a Winter Journey"...

Editor's Note: Antonio Vivaldi's Beatus Vir, RV 597, is a setting of Psalm 111 of the Latin Vulgate. The title of the piece comes from the first words of the Psalm ("Blessed be the man"), and the ninth movement of the work sets the words, "In memoria...
1 475

Editor's Note: Written in 1777, the Missa Sancti Hieronymi (Saint Jerome Mass) in C major is scored for soloists, wind orchestra, and mixed choir. It is also known as the "Oboe Mass" for the prominent use of that instrument in the opening Kyrie and the Credo. It is one of many...
2 742

How wonderful it would be to be able to hear Beethoven’s
7 1205

Richard Wagner's legacy has been overshadowed, and some would say permanently marred, by the manner in which he became the poster child of Hitler’s grotesque Third Reich. Yet should we condemn his music for this reason?... Nice to see your music selections. But Wagner, your favorite...

While the common-sense approach to early childhood education was standard practice for centuries, it has been abandoned in recent years. Shunning rote learning, we have instead told young children to draw on their own (limited) experience or feelings when completing school assignments... We all want the...
4 627

There I was, two hours into the eleven-hour flight. Then I heard the piece, the same one I’d been listening to for months, and suddenly I knew right then that my life had been irrevocably altered... I...

Editor's Note: The twenty-two-year-old Richard Wagner composed this dramatic overture as part of the incidental music for a play about the explorer, written by the composer's friend, Guido Theodore Apel. Wagner also wrote a chorus and orchestral epilogue for the play, but these have been lost. At...