Additional Reading: Various Topics
Click on the essay title to Download your own copy.
Other essays are sure to be added in the future!…
Plus! Don’t forget to check back for the latest on my epic trilogy project!
- Leonard Bernstein’s The Age of Anxiety, Symphony No. 2 (after W.H. Auden): History and Analysis An exploration and study of one of my very favorite works, Bernstein’s Second Symphony!
James Wierzbicki put it well when he said, “These works [the three symphonies] are long and complex, not the sort of thing for an audience that likes its music short and snappy. But they represent, more accurately than anything Bernstein produced for the theater, the real essence of his creative personality. They say something about what drove him, about what he pondered when he wasn’t distracted by the glare of the limelight.” Bernstein was a seeker of faith – intense, curious, and passionate; in his own words, “the [irony of the] end of the poem and the crisis of faith is that one finds [faith] in one’s backyard ultimately; after searching and going through…these stages and ages…you find it in your bathtub or under the little apple tree outside your house, not in these great terms of faith with a big ‘F’.”… – excerpt from my “History and Analysis”
- RAVEL’S DAPHNIS ET CHLOÉ: A Miracle in the Making “Considered Maurice Ravel’s longest and most expansive work, the music of Daphnis et Chloé has long been heralded as a masterpiece, both within the composer’s personal oeuvre and among the vast repertoire of concert-hall literature. That this lush and passionate ballet even made it onto the stage and into history is a true miracle, however – not to mention a testament to the determination of both the composer and choreographer – as evidence of early collaborative frustrations and interpretive disagreements abound, tainting an otherwise unearthly and beautiful artistic experience…”
- Disasters in Art. A simple overview and brief sampling of various artwork that has been created in memory of three historic natural disasters: the sinking of the Titanic, the Black Plagues of Europe, and the destruction of Pompeii. (Be sure to explore the fun images toward the back!)
- Distinguishing Alchemy from Science. A much more scholarly-type essay exploring the life and work of George Starkey and Robert Boyle, while investigating the questions of 1) how distinct is alchemy from science, as they were practiced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe, 2) how could such a distinction possibly have come about, and 3) why does the modern historian make such a distinction?
Graduate Study Outlines:
- Jean-Baptiste Lully: Armide (Overture, and “Enfin, il est en ma puissance” with “Venez seconder mes desires” from Act 2, Scene 5)
- Luigi Boccherini: String Quartet , Op. 2, No. 2 (G.160)
- Paul Hindemith: Das Marienleben (1923) “Vom Tode Mariä I”
- The End of Time: Tragedy and Religious Devotion Reflected in Messiaen’s Quartet
- Krzysztof Penderecki: Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960)
- See this additional note for more info on Penderecki’s decision to rechristen this work.
- Ravel’s String Quartet: History and Analysis