Category Archives: Music

Advent Music: “Celestial Gate”

Luke Hill at dotCommonweal makes a case for a very wide musical Advent/Christmas. I can’t refute it. At my house, there is considerable variety in listening tastes as well as film viewing (Christmases in Connecticut, Canaan, and lots of other … Continue reading

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Sing With Thanksgiving

A portion (7-11) of Psalm 147 for Thanksgiving Day: Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre. He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills. … Continue reading

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Saint John Vianney has a marvelous quote appropriate for November, for thoughts of pilgrimage and the inevitable death that awaits each of us before we reach the final stage: Our home is—Heaven. On earth we are like travelers staying in … Continue reading

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In between liturgies this afternoon, I enjoyed the Iowa State production of Candide. I was familiar with the overture, which was very competently done by a 32-piece orchestra that played from the rear of the stage. Leonard Bernstein’s music for … Continue reading

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Old Pianos

When I was a lad, I wanted a piano more than anything I could think of. Well, I wanted globes of all the planets, but they only made Earth and Moon circa 1970. Instead of a piano, my parents got … Continue reading

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Sarah To Orbit

Jodie Foster’s character conceded, “They should have sent a poet.” Will a singer do? I wonder if they’ll dispense with the missoin control wake-up music and have Ms Brightman sing for her supper. Can she sing it like Diana?

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Springsteen Points A Way

Check out Luke Hill’s reportoing on Bruce Springsteen at dotCommonweal. A few pieces: Much  of the audience at a typical Bruce Springsteen concert looks like the  folks you might see at the 11:00 Sunday Mass in suburban parishes across  the country.  (In … Continue reading

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One Summer Dream

College students are pouring into town. The young miss begins school Thursday. Summer will soon be a dream. Speaking of which, one of my favorite pop songs from the 70’s.

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The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan

You may know the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem … In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. … A damsel with a dulcimer … Continue reading

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Old and Lost Rivers

Are you familiar with the compositions of Tobias Picker? Have a listen to his tone poem, “Old and Lost Rivers” and tell me what you think. Opera seems to be his real gift–have any readers experienced his works in that genre? … Continue reading

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Pavane, Hypnotized, Lament

One of my favorite jazz artists is Bill Evans. Very recently, I was introduced to his adaptation/arrangement of Faure’s Pavane. Have a listen here. Evans only played with Miles Davis for a very short time, but his influence was subtle … Continue reading

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Singing MR3 Runs Off The Rails

And I thought it was going so well in my parish. To set up what happened at the Eucharistic Prayer in my parish this morning at about 11:10, you should know that we work with good liturgical priests. But they’re a little … Continue reading

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Ave Maria, Schubert

Last year, various people involved in our parish music ministry prepared a cd for our previous pastor who was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was a scramble to get various songs recorded before the semester’s end, so we took … Continue reading

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Ave Maria, Bach-Gounod

Two of our students performing: Michael, a recent graduate, on piano and Jesse, one of last year’s graduates, on voice. Ave Maria, Bach-Gounod setting Musical prayer for a May day.

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It’s not really seasonally appropriate this time of year, but a group of students wanted to record my “spooky” arrangement of “Calvary” the other night. I’m surprised at what has an impact on people, not just young believers. As I … Continue reading

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