Reformation 2017

Symphonic Meditation on “Ein’ Feste Burg” W. Zeitler Today we celebrate Reformation Sunday — Luther nailing his “95 Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Castle. But I wonder if ’Reformation Sunday’ is not so much an ‘event’ as it is a ‘process’. In Luther’s day, the view was that salvation came through the Catholic…

Psychiatry

Two weeks ago I shared about my abusive stepfather and my youngest brother Eric’s resulting suicide, and how as a 16-year-old boy I chose ‘playing Bach’ over the then available anti-depressents. (Over four decades ago.) I hadn’t planned on saying anything more, but since that Music Box I have received feedback from gentle readers that…

Ravel & Music Lessons

Sonatine Mv. 2: ‘Mouvement de Minuet’ Ravel (1875-1937) “Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise” Improvisation A few weeks ago I played the first movement to Ravel’s Sonatine. This week is the second movement, a curious but charming ’minuet’ — an old dance form in three beats to the bar. The story is told that George Gershwin…

Boëllmann

Prière à Notre Dame (“Prayer at Notre Dame”) L. Boëllmann (1862-1897) “Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life” Improvisation Léon Boëllmann was born in Alsace, the son of a pharmacist. In 1871, shortly after the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War, 9-year-old Boëllmann left the contested region of Alsace for Paris and entered the École de…

What Art Can Do

Aria           J.S. Bach (1685-1750) “The Church’s One Foundation” Improvisation We’ve grown accustomed to the idea that ‘artistic genius’ means one who is rather a loose cannon in society, a menace to those around him/her to a greater or lesser degree, of dubious morals and sanity, etc. etc. Let’s see: Schumann:…