Musica Sacra

Sundays From 8-10 p.m. on Classical 101

Two hours of sacred choral music hosted by Classical 101’s Christopher Purdy.

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Harvey Sachs wrote his first biography of Arturo Toscanini in 1978. Nearly 40 years later, he's published a completely new book about the conductor, "Toscanini: Musician of Conscience."

At over 900 pages, this is a fabulous read. The maestros' life and Sachs' skill telling the story make an unbeatable combination. You won't be bored.

clarinet in open case with red velvet lining
DrKssn / Wikimedia Commons

Classical 101 is collecting new and gently used musical instruments to put into the hands of local kids. Learn how you can help at wosu.org/replay.

I still vividly remember my first encounter with a musical instrument.

When you grow up next door to a junior-high school music teacher and your father is an amateur big-band singer rattling the walls with his LPs of Sing Along with Mitch, you either run away from the neighborhood screaming or you develop your own love of music.

Conspirare

Last fall, a recording of Considering Matthew Shepard, a beautiful oratorio by Craig Hella Johnson, was released.

The story of Matthew Shepard has moved and infuriated the world since his murder in 1998.

Pixabay

I have a close friend living in another state who is dealing with a serious illness.

It's not as if I can run over there to take care of his kids, as much as I'd love to. And I'm willing to bet he has a freezer full of casseroles. It's sad, though — with me being so far away that he'll have to miss out on my late mother's tuna fish-potato chip-mushroom soup slow bake that was a Friday night staple until the Pope changed his mind.

Still, he's someone I love a lot, for whom I'd like to do, well, something.

So I decided to send him music.

Wikipedia

I suppose the reason Claudio Monteverdi is my favorite composer is that I've always enjoyed the combination and the tension of words and music.

I'm a little late getting on the Monteverdi birthday bus. He was born 450 years ago, on May 15, 1567.

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It's not as if I've never heard of Ferdinando Paer.  

Recently I've gotten to know Paer's oratorio Il Santo Sepolcro (The Holy Sepulcher). I came across a new recording of this work in our wonderful music library

I've scheduled The Holy Sepulcher for Music in Mid-Ohio at 8 p.m. this Sunday, June 25.

tableau.uchicago.edu

Let me just say that musicologists — those who study the history and performance practice of music — seldom have groupies.

Divas have groupies. Tenors have groupies. Even — God bless us and spare us — conductors have groupies. Musicologists? Not so much.

But I'm willing to bet that Philip Gossett had groupies.

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The Ordering of Moses is an oratorio by Robert Nathaniel Dett, written in 1932. The text, "from scripture and folklore," is a retelling of Moses leading his people out of captivity and into the promised land.

Certainly for Dett, an African-Canadian, the biblical parable resonated, and fed the drama and passion heard in the oratorio.