Tag Archives: Classical Music

Things visible and invisible

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey has become so iconic and cemented in its status as a classic that it’s easy to forget that it originally opened to very mixed reviews, with as many critics finding it a pretentious mess … Continue reading

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The Top Ten Classical Compositions

It was only a matter of time before I’d submit western art music to the indignities of a top ten list. Some composers like Beethoven didn’t make the cut simply because I couldn’t choose one piece of music above the … Continue reading

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Fantasia

Walt Disney wasn’t the first person to incorporate sound and animation, but he was the first to build animation around sound. Whereas earlier shorts would tack on the soundtrack as an afterthought, Steamboat Willie was animated with the rhythms of … Continue reading

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Is pop music bad for you?

I’ve been reading Roger Scruton’s book, The Soul of the World, which philosophically takes aim at reductionist accounts of human nature – stuff like attempts to explain human action entirely in the terms of neuroscience, Darwinian evolution, etc. To oversimplify … Continue reading

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10 Classical recordings of note

I suppose this could be seen as a followup to my pop music post, although a draft of this has been sitting around for quite some time. For the aficionado of classical music, there is an added layer involved in … Continue reading

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Mahler’s 9th

I was listening to Gustav Mahler’s 9th symphony while plowing through some of my class readings (he’s an odd choice for background music, I know, but it seemed to keep me more focused than I would have been). Mahler’s 9th … Continue reading

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Theologians and their composers

When I was a teenager I would often go on extended walks with a piece of classical music playing on my walkman (remember those?). That doesn’t happen much these days – there are a lot more distractions inhibiting me from, … Continue reading

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Time and eternity

  One of my favourite pieces of music is Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Messiaen is one of the stranger religious artists of the 20th century: his music sounds like virtually nothing else out there, and is … Continue reading

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