Tag Archives: classical music

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Counter-Currents Radio
Edward Elgar

Edward Elgar, 1857–1934

Edward Elgar, 1857–1934

24:33 / 74 words

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The Counter-Currents 2013 Fall Fundraiser
My Ten Favorite Books of 2013

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Dear Friend of Counter-Currents:

Since our last update, we received fourteen new donations totaling $945, for which we are most grateful. That means that our total is $41,410.29, which means that we are now $8,589.71 away from our annual goal of $50,000.

If it is important for you to be able to deduct your donations from your US Federal income taxes, please contact me at [email protected]. Read more …

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Remembering Benjamin Britten:
November 22, 1913–December 4, 1976

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Benjamin Britten, the English composer, conductor, and pianist and the founder of the Aldeburgh Festival, was born 100 years ago today in the Suffolk fishing port of Lowestoft.

Britten’s father was a dentist, who provided his four children with a middle-class upbringing and education. His mother came from a musical family. Read more …

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The Confession of Isobel Gowdie

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James MacMillan

1,457 words

The Confession of Isobel Gowdie is an orchestral work by the Scottish composer James MacMillan. It was premiered at the 1990 BBC Proms where it drew instant and enduring acclaim.  Read more …

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Why Music?
A Look at Art & Propaganda

Anne Vallayer-Coster, "Attributes of Music," 1770

Anne Vallayer-Coster, “Attributes of Music,” 1770

2,860 words

Music can influence our emotions and the quality of our judgments.

Our emotions play a key role in how we reason. If we are emotionally out-of-whack, then we will not be able to reason as effectively. Music is the art form that is most able to dissuade us from thinking critically.

Read more …

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Sir John Tavener:
January 28, 1944–November 12, 2013

777 words

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Sir John Tavener

Late last night/early this morning I was feeling restless, so instead of going to bed, I decided to proof some chapters of Julius Evola’s East and West. But I needed some night music. So I put on John Tavener’s The Last Sleep of the Virgin and The Hidden Treasure played by the Chilingirian Quartet. Even though this is one of my favorite CDs, I don’t play it all the time. I reserve it for night and winter. This morning I arose to the news that John Tavener died today at the age of 69.  Read more …

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Our Wagner, Only Better:
Harry Partch, Wild Boy of American Music, Part 3

4,566 words

harrypartch[1]Part 3 of 3

Lacking the notion of radical traditionalism, Partch’s audiences tended to misunderstand him, by assimilating him to either of two reassuringly familiar roles: as either an “Orientalist” or some kind of “avant-garde” radical.

These were two things that infuriated Partch as failures to understand what he was doing. The first, beloved of lazy though positive reviewers and polite guests, was to say something like “It’s very Oriental, isn’t it?”[1] In a very superficial sense, it is—it seems mostly gongs and mallets, with nary a string instrument to be found— Read more …

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Our Wagner, Only Better:
Harry Partch, Wild Boy of American Music, Part 2

Harry Partch, June 24, 1901–September 3, 1974

Harry Partch, June 24, 1901–September 3, 1974

4,834 words

Part 2 of 3

Rejecting the equal temperament and concert traditions that have dominated western music, Harry Partch adopted the pure intervals of just intonation and devised a 43-tone-to-the-octave scale, Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 4: Wotan & the Faustian West

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Part 4 of 8

Wotan and the Faustian West

As noted in the Introduction to this essay, at the time of the Ring’s conception Wagner was an anarchist revolutionary. Major influences on his thinking included Bakunin, Feuerbach, Hegel, and possibly Marx (though of these only Bakunin was an anarchist). Read more …

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Our Wagner, Only Better:
Harry Partch, Wild Boy of American Music, Part 1

5,476 words

Harry Partch, June 24, 1901–September 3, 1974

Harry Partch, June 24, 1901–September 3, 1974

Part 1 of 3

“In a healthy culture differing musical philosophies would be coexistent, not mutually exclusive; and they would build from Archean granite, and not, as our one musical system of today builds, from the frame of an inherited keyboard, and from the inherited forms and instruments of Europe’s 18th century. And yet anyone who even toys with the idea of looking beyond these legacies for materials and insight is generally considered foolhardy if not actually a publicity-seeking mountebank.” – Harry Partch, Genesis of a Music  Read more …

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