Category Archives: Music

Autumn songs

Fall is a season while Autumn is a modality of the world.  Autumn is the world we are attuned to when our feelings as a subject and the elements of the Fall converge.  If a Heideggerian mood is “an engaged … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music

Networks of civic friendship

It is remarkable to see affective bonds and civic practices of friendship invoked in several discussions of resistance to globalization, colonialism, and normativity. Reflecting on possible lessons from recent democratic failures in Greece, Britain, and the U.S., classicist Johanna Hanink notes:  … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Friends, Left, Music, The Common

The listening self

Musicians do not play an instrument.  They are using instruments to play their body.  They resonate instruments in the echo chamber of their reverberating body. In attending or watching live performances, I have learned to listen not to the interpretation, … Continue reading

Posted in Attunement, Classical Music, Collaboration, Friends, Listening

Recent popular songs referencing classical music

[In this post I am happy and proud to host Erin Mays, a former student of mine and very successful professional in software product management, who has an admirable command of music as a performer, listener, thinker, administrator, even fundraiser.  Given … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Popular Music

Goethe’s Mignon sings to Wilhelm Meister

From Beethoven to Berg and beyond, a great number of major composers has set to music the poem Kennst du das land (Do you know the land) from Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (Book III, Chapter 1, 1795) where the enigmatic adolescent Mignon tells … Continue reading

Posted in Listening, Literature, Piano | Tagged

Schubert as a Byronic hero

Every time I start listening to Schubert’s Quartet No. 14, “Death and the Maiden” (1824), its opening fortissimo octaves stop me on my tracks: Did I really just hear that? And that is only the start! The tremendous, relentless contrasts … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Literature, Melancholy | Tagged ,

The pianist-thinker

Certain great pianists spend their lives thinking deeply about music, and feeling torn between the ethereal and the apoplectic – either dancing on the piano (clip 1) or crawling under it (2).  Some times they believe they have mastered their … Continue reading

Posted in Friends, Piano