Classical Music Archives - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
by | Aug 28, 2022

What do we possess today as “art”? A faked music, filled with artificial noisiness of massed instruments; a failed painting, full of idiotic, exotic and showcard effects, that every ten years or so concocts out of the form-wealth of millennia…

by | Mar 7, 2022

Valery Gergiev is famous for two things. First, according to music critics who supposedly know about such things, he’s a world-class symphony conductor. Second, he’s a close buddy (for some three decades now) of Vladimir Putin, whose 2014 annexation of…

by | Dec 22, 2021

This October saw the Covid-delayed staging of one of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions, the 18th Chopin Competition, originally to have been held in February and March of 2020. It honors anew Poland’s national composer, the nonpareil composer of…

by | Dec 5, 2021

Far be it from me to object to the Allegretto — the one in Beethoven’s Seventh, of course, the one that would melt an igloo in Alaska or chill a tin-roof shack in Panama City — and if you want…

by | Aug 17, 2021

Increasing charges of systemic racism have been levied against the classical music tradition since the death of George Floyd, and members of the classical music scene are being forced to grapple with the fact that the tradition’s rich practice and…

by | Nov 3, 2020

Election Day! A great day, and often a brutal one. What can we do about it? Libby commented on my last column: “Any suggestions for how to avoid all media on election night? The temptation is too great at home…

by | Sep 16, 2020

According to Vox, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is now a symbol of white supremacy and classism. As Beethoven’s Fifth itself would say: “Dun-dun-dun-DUNNNNN.” Those famous four notes are known as the “Fate motif,” and they’re an accurate theme song for “The…

by | Mar 22, 2020

French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal was on to something when he said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Well, maybe not all. Homo sapiens have other unattractive tics. Pascal would…

by | Jun 1, 2017

In fairness to potential buyers of Language of the Spirit, Jan Swafford does not reveal why classical music is, or at least can be for those open to it, the language of our spirit. In fairness to Swafford, it’s doubtful that anyone could, so mysterious yet accessible is our greatest music. Instrumental music is, after all, a non-verbal art. The sounds can suggest things. But they can’t say them. Even so, those who’ve heard and loved the music from this tradition have no trouble understanding why it is indeed the language of our spirit.

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