Category Archives: Classical Music

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 ,

Χρόνος, Χάυντν, Χάιντεγγερ

Ο Δημήτρης Καλοκύρης, κορυφαία μορφή των ελληνικών γραμμάτων, τεχνών και εκδόσεων, ζήτησε από 40 συνεργάτες και συνομιλητές του να σχολιάσουν με λίγα λόγια ορισμένους από τους 88 καταπληκτικούς εικαστικούς Ωρολογιακούς Μηχανισμούς (2017) που πρόσφατα δημιούργησε, εξέθεσε και εξέδωσε.  Αυτό είναι … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Greek Poetry | Tagged ,

Listening for the zeibekiko dance

Listening to five pieces:                                                                                                               Manos Hadjidakis: The Accursed Serpent, “The great dance of Karaghiozis”                   Keith Jarrett: The Köln Concert, excerpt (7:10-9:50)                     … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music

Ubu Roi in the German concert hall, the Parisian arcades, and the White House

This is the most self-referential piece of classical music ever written – but is it a huge prank, a farcical tale, a parlor game, a final exam, a postmodern primer, a funeral march? Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s orchestral “ballet noir,” Musique … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Culture | Tagged , ,

“Anarchism and Hellenism in Richard Wagner’s Revolutionary Cultural Politics (1848-52)”

Richard Wagner is one of the seminal thinkers discussed in my book, The Tragic Idea (2006), which surveys the philosophy of the tragic from Schelling (1795) to Heidegger (1935).  Here is the original, longer version of that entry, which focuses … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Collaboration, Culture, Hellenism, Revolution, The "Greeks" | Tagged

Is serialism a classicism?

Why would classical art bring to mind twelve-tone composition? Writing to friends after a six-day, two-concert visit to London in May 1933, Anton Webern exclaimed: “I also saw the Parthenon Frieze! I stood there for an hour and a half. … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Hellenism

Modes of reading

The more familiar a piece of music, the more I am fascinated by the interpretive claims made on it by the musicologist, the performer, the listener, the recording engineer, the advertiser, the anthologist and many others involved in its circulation. … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Literature