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  • 2019 November 24: Passacaglias

    November 24, 2019 10:30

    The idea of building a piece on a repeating pattern (eight bars long, say) has been around since time immemorial. Baroque era versions of that would be the "passacaglica" and the "chaconne". Two modern applications of that idea would be Taizé (a Christian meditative musical form) and Rap. (more )

  • 2019 November 17: The Stone which the Builders Rejected

    November 17, 2019 10:30

    The Christ is of course the Prime Archetype of "the cornerstone whom the builders rejected". But as "the student is not above the master", so lesser mortals amongst us have experienced the same treatment, particularly the innovative ones. Beethoven makes a splendid example, living as he did at the dawn of published reviews of music. His Ninth Symphony is now one of the 'cornerstones' of Western music, and yet in his day it came under scathing attack... (more )

  • 2019 November 10: Flowers

    November 10, 2019 10:30

    Christopher Smart was born to a moderately well-to-do family in England. When he was 11 his father died, and their estate had to be sold to pay off debts with not much left over. Wealthy relatives provided haven for the surviving Smart family, and Smart ended up attending Pembroke College where he helped defray expenses by waiting on the "Fellows’ table" and other suchlike menial tasks. (more )

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