Tag: virtuosity

One perfect harmony

Music sometimes addresses music itself: our love for it, our need of it, how it affects us, and how we respond to it — pertinent issues for each of us individually. One of the best examples of this is Hail! Bright Cecilia of 1692, an ode for St Cecilia’s Day (22 November), written by the […]

Love in the depths of despair

Opera is often about love — its pleasures, its pain and its predicaments. Some of the most special moments are the rare duet-arias, where the solo honours are shared equally between two virtuoso singers. Typically the two characters, having fallen in love (at first sight, of course), express their happiness together and/or desire for each […]

Presto agitato

Music is regularly a target for satire, especially when a tradition of public performance that from too-frequent exposure invites ridicule. But, like satire of other kinds, to work well and hit home it needs to possess both its own integrity and a hook of familiarity that makes its target recognizable. One of the best instances […]

Weren’t you with him? (Holy Week, Thursday)

For Thursday of Holy Week. This is the fifth post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. Peter’s three-times denial of knowing Jesus, in the hours after Jesus had been arrested and was being interrogated, is one of the most affecting and deeply personal parts of the Passion story, confronting us individually. […]

Jesus alone (Holy Week, Wednesday)

For Wednesday of Holy Week. This is the fourth post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. Isaiah 53:3: He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.Isaiah 50:6: He gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: […]

‘Let me hear joy and gladness’ (Holy Week, Tuesday)

For Tuesday of Holy Week. This is the third post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. Psalm 51, one of the penitential psalms sometimes referred to as simply the Miserere, is frequently said or sung during Lent in both Roman Catholic and various Protestant traditions, notably as part of Tenebrae services […]

Weep with songs of sadness

Vox Luminis, performing in Auxi-le-Ch√Ęteau in 2012. In these days and weeks many people are weeping, especially from heartbreak over the loss of loved ones, friends and colleagues as the COVID-19 epidemic increasingly takes many lives in many countries — in many cases lives cut short in their prime and before their time. For each […]