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Music

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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...
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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...
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The Vatican knew it had a winner on its hands with Allegri’s "Miserere" and, wanting to preserve its aura of mystery and exclusivity, forbade replication, threatening anyone who attempted to copy or publish it with excommunication. But that didn't stop the teenaged Mozart...
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Editor's Note: Ottorino Respighi wrote his suite, Church Windows: Four Impressions for Orchestra, in 1925-1926. They were based on three earlier piano pieces, which the composer had written after developing an enthusiasm for Gregorian Chant; he incorporated elements of chant into the works. In...
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Arturo Toscanini was the early-twentieth century version of a rock star, receiving offers left and right, commanding huge sums of money, selling out theaters, and grabbing the constant attention of the press wherever he went... Toscanini: Musician of Conscience, by Harvey Sachs (Liveright, 944...
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Mass is not supposed to make me comfortable—it’s supposed to make me more holy... After thirty-five years as a liturgical musician, it’s amazing how little I really know about the liturgical music of the Roman Rite. Then again,...
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The music of Henryk Górecki, Arvo Pärt, and John Tavener is the music of a new civilization. These composers have gone against the prevailing grain of the twentieth twcentury for the sake of a greater love... The attempted...
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What do amateurs glean from such a week, inundated in the particulars of one piece of music and its composer?... What a treat is it for a group of amateur string players,...
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At some point during the 1958 International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Nikita Khrushchev was asked whether it would be okay to give the prize to the American virtuoso, Van Cliburn... One of the most famous—and unexpected—lulls in the...
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Please join Peter Kalkavage as he discusses the metaphysics of music: music's role in the liberal arts, the paradox in the union of rational and irrational, order and feeling in its composition, and music's connection and reflection of the deeper order of the natural...
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One of the fathers of authentic American music, Scott Joplin had an enormous influence, reaching even beyond America to Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky... “It is never right to play ragtime fast.” This admonition from the...
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High Art is not going away. There are people who require an art of greater complexity than popular culture usually affords them, who hunger for something deeper, more complex, something that reflects the human experience... There is...