Category Archives: Music

The King Shall Come, New and Old

I have always liked the text and traditional tune for “The King Shall Come.” The linked recording with the simple GIA arrangement is a bit slow for my taste. I’m not in favor of the Picardy drama at the end, … Continue reading

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Learning Dust

People in my home town who knew me as a guitarist would be surprised to know it was not my first instrument of choice as a youth. I always wanted to learn the piano. My dad, a fine multi-instrumentalist, had … Continue reading

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Pipe Organ

The first pipe organ I heard live is listed here. My first memory at my first Mass was hearing the sound of the organ float down upon me like a musical cloud. This was not the instrument I heard, left. … Continue reading

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The Electric Chord Organ

A hidden bit of history: my first musical instrument was an organ, similar to the one pictured here. Mine was ivory colored, not dark brown. Its stand was a little more robust than this.  Today I wouldn’t consider it a … Continue reading

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Piano Concerto

On the road home yesterday afternoon I caught a live version of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto on classical radio. I am not sure if I had ever heard the piece in full before, but I certainly wasn’t as impressed as I … Continue reading

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V-W’s 5th

I’ve been listening to a good bit of Sibelius and Griffes the past few days. The secret masters of search and code online must have thought I’d like Vaughn-Williams 5th symphony, which I do. So it popped up, like magic, … Continue reading

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Concierto de Aranjuez

I have a version or two in my cd collection, and I’ve certainly heard many others online. Sadly, not in live concert just yet. I recently discovered this version featuring the phenomenal flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía. Now a favorite. … Continue reading

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Camels As Ships

One interpretation of the “three ships” in the English carol is that they symbolized the camels, the “ships of the desert” presumably used by the Magi.  Bethlehem is clearly not a port, and I think we do well to respect … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Beatles 100

Since the pandemic, I’m getting most of my library books online–libby or kindle app. It’s not an optimal reading experience, but I’m finding I don’t always have time for that library trip. I’m also finding the shelves at the libraries … Continue reading

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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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