Category Archives: Music

The Golden Spinning Wheel

Last week, I encountered a classical piece, previously unfamiliar to me. Here’s the performance from BBC Proms two years ago. The story behind it, the fairy tale that is, is here. Like many such European stories, it’s rather gruesome. But, … Continue reading

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Ancient Airs and Dances

My first exposure to the music of Ottorino Respighi was my junior year in college. Some friends were discussing an upcoming Eastman School of Music concert where Pines of Rome was on the program. Unfamiliar composer to me. My dad was … Continue reading

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Mary Lou Williams

A brief feature at Crux Now on the jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams. Another pianist has penned her biography. I will need to hunt that down. I certainly have been aware of her since I began following jazz in the early 80s … Continue reading

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I wasn’t aware the dance was relatively recent–early 17th century from what I read. A favorite bit of music is the final movement from Luigi Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet (G448). I was listening on my morning walk–it really picks up your … Continue reading

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On Justice And Peace At Liturgy: Sirach 35

My archbishop called for Masses for Peace and Justice at local parishes today. We looked at readings and propers here a few years ago. I noticed the entrance suggestion: Entrance Antiphon Cf. Sirach 36:18, 19 Give peace, O Lord, to … Continue reading

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How Long? Not Long

Year after year, this question and answer give me chills as I listen to Joseph Schwantner’s epic setting of Dr King’s words. In this video of a fine college performance, it begins just before the 16 minute mark, but listening … Continue reading

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On Making Music

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. I posted this on my parish music ministry’s group page Monday. Little did I realize I would need the inspiration myself … Continue reading

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Little Dulcimer

My little dulcimer has been neglected for many years. It was my third musical instrument, but over the years the hammered version and the piano have overtaken it in use. Even the bass. One problem from the beginning: the tuning … Continue reading

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The Music Of Strangers

The 2016 documentary is on a few streaming platforms. It explores the collaborative project begun more than two decades ago by musical superstar Yo Yo Ma. The focus is on his life and the mostly more tragic and troubled lives … Continue reading

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The Maestra Plays

One of my musical heroes is Katharina Bäuml for her artistry on various reed instruments modern and ancient. Plus her early music ensemble Capella de la Torre for its fabulous blend, interplay, and collaboration. One of my favorite concerts I’ve … Continue reading

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Hamilton On The Stream

My wife thought it was going to be a film, but instead disney+ presents a streaming collage of a number of performances from the Hamilton original cast captured in mid-2016, when the excitement and hype over Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical was at … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: Pandemic Gloria

Looking to a return to Mass in public, we are getting the first guidance for parish worship from our bishops in Washington state. I dreamed last night that people in the hundreds crashed our “private” livestream recording. It was tense. … Continue reading

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A Man For This Season

If I were a movie producer, one project upon which I would embark is a remake of a film acknowledged to be dreadful. I was deeply moved to see a community theatre production of this many years ago. Only recently … Continue reading

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The Empty Church Sessions

For the moment, I’ll hold off on the political posts on my fb page and let some music stay at the top of the heap. If you happen to be on fb, then you can sign on and check out … Continue reading

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One of my musicians shared a few of his picks with me a few years ago. As we guitarists get older, it can be a handful to hold on to them while playing. In this time of pandemic, my fingertips … Continue reading

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