Ave Maria

The Cross, the Crescent, or the Swastika?

If the past month has been chaotic in America, it has seen some bloody scenes here in Europe. On the morning of October 29, a 21-year old Tunisian national entered the Basilica of Notre Dame in Nice, France began knifing the three people he found there. He virtually severed the head of an elderly lady, [...]

A Building At Ave Maria Named Paul M. Henkels

It was my first trip to the new city of Ave Maria, some thirty miles northeast of Naples, Florida.  I'd been to Ave Maria University when it was still housed in temporary buildings in Naples proper but had not seen, with my own eyes, the new campus, especially the stunning new oratory that dominates the [...]

Shine On, Mendelssohn

I recently heard a charming quote from novelist Edith Wharton to the effect that there are two roles in life -- either that of a candle or of a mirror. I'm a mirror. Even when I thought I was a candle -- years ago as an actor -- I was really a mirror, trying my [...]

Music and Meaning

    Before starting any reviews this month, I must exercise (or is it exorcise?) my ire. The Economist magazine offered a December cover story, "Why Music?" that requires comment. The piece asks, "What exactly is it for?" Given the article's art work -- drawings of half-naked women emanating from the brain of a rock [...]

Spring Floods

  Spending three of the last four months on American music has meant that I have become derelict in bringing a flood of superb new releases to your attention this spring. I also failed to fulfill my promise to cover other American composers whose works are also part of the good news, like Peter Lieberson, [...]

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