Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 31

Moderato con amabilità (‘Moderate [tempo], with loveliness’) Op. 110  Beethoven (1770-1827) Beethoven almost never dated his compositions. This morning’s prelude is a rare exception, dated December 25, 1821. Much has been made of his ability to compose ‘in his head’ without having to ‘pound it out’ on a piano, but that is in fact a…

Revelation of the Magi — Part 3

We’ve been considering a 3rd century text called the ‘Revelation of the Magi’ that purports to tell the story of the Magi in the Christmas story. To recap: we saw that Adam’s son Seth founded something like an ‘Order of the Magi’, and that generations of Magi in this Order have been keeping watch with…

Revelation of the Magi — Part 2

We’ve been considering a 3rd century text called the ‘Revelation of the Magi’ that purports to tell the story of the Magi in the Christmas story. Last week we saw that Adam’s son Seth founded something like an ‘Order of the Magi’, and that generations of Magi in this Order have been keeping watch with…

Revelation of the Magi — Part 1

When revisiting the Christmas story, folks living almost two thousand years ago asked many of the same questions we do. Such as — don’t we all want to know more about the Magi? Traditions have grown up adding to the details in the Gospels: there were three of them (the Gospels don’t say how many,…