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Music

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What one conceives oneself to be doing and what one is perceived by one’s public to be doing are two different things. For Beethoven the New Path (what later history would name the Second, or “Heroic,” Period) was...

While original in his style, Felix Mendelssohn was certainly no radical. What he offered was a perfect blending of classical proportion with Romantic fervor. In that sense, he amounts to a kind of missing link between Mozart and the remainder of the nineteenth century...
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Handel's Messiah was originally intended for Passion Week, but by the 1960s had been almost completely transformed into a Christmas event. Why?... The other day, I heard an announcer on a local classical radio station gently...
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Bach's Mass in B Minor is the summation of his life's work and one of the supreme masterpieces of Western classical music. Yet mystery surrounds the work. What was its purpose, how did it come to be written, and how was it intended to be performed?...
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The “Seven Last Words of Christ" can seen as the verbal expression of an interior reality: namely, the mind of Christ, as formed according to a deeply ingrained, habitual life practice of living mindfully according to the Lord’s Prayer...
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Will cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts force orchestras out of business, or require them to do without a full contingent of musicians?... Be it the misuse of funds, waste, or deleterious governing philosophy, the...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his divertimento for string quartet and two horns, K. 522, in 1787, the same year that his opera Don Giovanni premiered. Mozart titled the four-movement piece, "Ein musikalischer Spaß," which is usually translated...
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Strange as it may seem, there are profound analogies between composer Richard Wagner’s creative vision and our evolving thinking around brands... Few characters in modern history are as controversial and divisive as German...

Some two years before he died, having just recovered from a serious intestinal illness, Ludwig van Beethoven composed a long movement for string quartet, which he called "Holy Song of Thanksgiving of a Convalescent to the...
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That a priest allowed a Catholic burial and high requiem Mass for Beethoven would seem to indicate that he thought Beethoven died a believer. But did he indeed?... Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Wolfgang Amadeus...
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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...