the imaginative conservative logo

Music

English musician Steven Wilson’s Hand. Cannot. Erase is extraordinary by the standards of any genre. His subject matter is the uniqueness of each human person, and he focuses on the life of one lost soul... An Incarnational Whole
6 1603

By 1741, Handel had fallen deeply into debt, and was even threatened with debtors’ prison. Instead, he departed to Ireland for a sabbatical, where he wrote his Messiah in just twenty-four days... "The Child Handel," Margaret Isabel...
1 744

Here are four recently-published books and four new classical music albums that I have greatly enjoyed this past year... Books I've read several excellent...

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
0 702

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...
1 887

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...
1 827

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 
0 896

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...
1 687

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 1073

How wonderful it would be to be able to hear Beethoven’s
7 1748

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...