Fire, Spirit, and Life

These are the qualities W. A. Mozart discerned in the compositions of a man known to the world as Il Boemo (the Bohemian). In his music, Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781) was able to channel this fire and spirit into musical forms of exquisite beauty. In his life, alas, those same fires seemed to burn in lessContinue reading “Fire, Spirit, and Life”

Free Samples of Perfection

If Dear Reader is like Little Clovis, he may never have heard of Leopold Koželuch (1747-1818). Born Jan Antonín Koželuh, in a town outside of Prague, like many Bohemians of the time he Germanized his surname; and he adopted the Christian name Leopold to distinguish himself from his cousin, also a musician, and also aContinue reading “Free Samples of Perfection”

(Not) Butchering Beethoven

Arthur Schoonderwoerd is an accomplished pianist and conductor of the French classical ensemble Christofori. As with many of my favorite musicians, he and his colleagues play on period instruments, and otherwise strive to recapture the way the music they play would have sounded at the time it was composed. Perusing Schoonderwoerd’s recordings of Mozart andContinue reading “(Not) Butchering Beethoven”

Wondrous Sound the Trumpet Flings!

I possess precious few words for describing music, yet I marvel at the ways composers can bring a text to life, helping us to ponder its significance. The aforementioned Dies Irae is a perfect example. One verse in particular may help to illustrate my point. “Tuba mirum spargens sonum, per sepulcra regionum, coget omnes anteContinue reading “Wondrous Sound the Trumpet Flings!”