First Things first.
First Things first.
The observation is often made that political conservatives do not have anything much to say about the arts, but that is not the whole truth.
Modernity consists of perversions of notions drawn from Christianity; to be a modern means to be deeply enmeshed in them.
“Now we shall get rid of the weight of dead men’s thought, which has hitherto pressed so heavily on the living intellect.”
The hero of Robert Reilly’s generous and beautifully written book is beauty.
When art goes wrong, we get a philistine welter of empty prettiness or an arid desert of conceptualism.
As a young artist during the 1950s, I immediately got the point of modernism.
We are shaped not only by music, but also by our opinions about music.
Paradoxically, while our civilization grows old, it is our past that we label as aged and the day itself as eternally young.
Can the recovery of music be, at least partially, a product of faith?
The notion that music has properties and powers that can sharpen the mind and transform the soul is ancient.
Group mentality has invaded the world of education in ways that threaten the young.
Music as symbol is the whole of all things. It is the world.
Music offers assures us that there is something out there in the world that knows our hearts.
One can be modern without being avant-garde, without lapsing into sound effects.
“A momentary illusion of having really got hold of what is the matter with modernity.”
“Tonality died somewhere around the time that Nietzsche’s God died.”
Wagner’s story is addressed to modern people, for whom the path to heroism is overgrown.
Persons in our time find it impossible to credit the idea of intrinsic goods.
Most thinkers of the industrial era posited it as an irreversible fact of history and progress.
Serious composers must work on the rhythms of everyday life.
If, after Kant, there was no way to know “the thing-in-itself,” after Wagner, there was no way to know “the-key-in-itself.”
Schoenberg’s error was to ignore the inherently hierarchical nature of pitched sound itself.
On being imprisoned between, on one hand, the past, and on the other, modernism.
Classical music and architecture are analogous because they reflect us and the way our minds work.
Many have argued that music lifts man to higher levels of mutual understanding and binds people together.
The only thing worse than searching in vain for the meaning of life is to find it.
The history of instrumental music and that of the cult of listening are interwoven with the history of the Church.
At a certain stage, and for no apparent reason, self-criticism gave way to repudiation.
There’s a danger if every public decision is made by the majority for the majority.
Truly serious music has, as it were, put its ear to the ground and heard the far-off murmur of the infinite.
People take revenge on beauty because they don’t see that without it there can be no revenge.
This age of ours has let fall, bit by bit, things of more value than anything else in the whole world.
—Petrarch, father of the Renaissance, 1341