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Discovering and Engaging Wagner

Born on this date. It’s worth giving a listen to this curated bunch of podcasts presented under the auspices of the BBC’s “Composer of the Week” series. As the one and only Bernard Williams wrote: “You can have a well-formed, deep relation to Western music while passing Wagner’s works by, finding them boring or not…

Peterson + Rogan: Dream Team

I’ve listened to pretty much all of Joe’s podcasts as I have to Jordan’s: independently they are superb but together they bring out the absolute best in each other. I didn’t think that anything could top their first meeting but they did exactly that in this their second. They are the instantiation of Oakeshott’s metaphor of conversation…

The Case Of Wagner: A Musician’s Problem

Chose your digital format of “The Case Of Wagner: A Musician’s Problem” made available by Project Gutenberg. Of course, one should also give a close listen to this version of Parsifal from Bayreuth 2016. And yet this other question can certainly not be circumvented: what business had he actually with that manly (alas! so unmanly) “bucolic simplicity,” that…

Giacomo Leopardi

Leopardi is quite possibly my favourite poet, this despite my reading him in English and being aware that quite a bit must be getting lost. Anyway, David Bentley Hart reviews Zibaldone published a few years back pointing out in his review Leopardi’s paradoxical cast of mind as does the always insightful John Gray (second and third quotes) He had a particular…

In Defense of Our National and Religious Traditions

Interesting piece by Yoram Hazony in Mosaic. How to shore up this collapsing front? Given the history I have described, it seems likely that there is now only one way: an alliance of Old Testament-conscious Protestants and nationalist Catholics and Jews who will seek to update the biblical and Protestant heritage of the West and restore it…