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Dirges for the Living Dead

Dirges for the Living Dead

At any political funeral, especially one as sorrowful and grandiose as Hillary’s ongoing obsequies, there will inevitably be abundant tears and cathartic sighs, long faces and stiff upper lips, doleful…

Ceremonial Bugles: The Latest Insult To Veterans

Ceremonial Bugles: The Latest Insult To Veterans

Another Memorial Day has come and gone in Ithaca’s ramshackle nineteenth-century civic graveyard that sprawls over some twenty hillside acres between the flats of downtown and the campus of Cornell…

Organistic In Frisco

I’m in San Francisco for an organ concert tomorrow night at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on the edge of the city’s Tenderloin District, and a stone’s throw from St. Mary’s…

Bach On The Election

Even amidst the bluster, lies, and anger unleashed by the presidential election—the last of these captured this morning in a vivid photo essay in Germany’s leading daily, the Süddeutsche Zeitung,…

Trump & Hitchcock in the Age of Conspiracies

The Age of Trump is an Age of Conspiracies. In lock step with the zeitgeist, elements human, natural, and perhaps even ethereal conspired against last night’s screening at the Syracuse…

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize

Was that great global spluttering sound we heard this week the five members of the Nobel literature committee gagging on the lutefisk that is their prize? Or was it the…

If Wagner Scored The Debates

I have felt more refreshed sitting through five hours of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung than I did after the excruciatingly slow ninety minutes of Monday’s long-dreaded presidential debate. Hey, that’s it—Wagner to…

Post-Brexit At The Proms

London — Like the Brits themselves the weather on the last weekend of the BBC Proms—the biggest and longest-running music festival in the world—couldn’t make up its mind. Blistering temperatures…

Confessions Of A Brexist

(London) It’s my first trip back to Britain—or England as I now make a point of calling this parcel of the disunited island kingdom—since 2015 and since the Brexit vote…

Hugh Grant & The Cult of Bad Singing

Hugh Grant & The Cult of Bad Singing

If an honest history about classical music on the big screen were to be written, the laurels for greatest performance would go to an actor many would consider undeserving of…

Olympic Jam Sessions

Music was arguably more crucial at the ancient Olympic games than at the globalized modern ones, where it not only buttresses big ritualistic moments—the opening ceremonies, the doling out of…

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