Violin Concerto

Archbishop Cordileone

From the Lion’s Heart

As many have observed, the Archbishop of San Francisco (Salvatore Cordileone) is lion-hearted. His namesake, King Richard, was a famous crusader, and with Before I Formed You in the Womb, his recent pastoral letter on abortion and Catholics in public office, Archbishop Cordileone steps forward as a prominent voice in our culture wars. Some Catholics [...]

Musical America

American music is characterized by a sense of openness, expansive vistas, expectancy, and optimism, offset by a deep sense of longing, poignancy, and nostalgia. It is not shy of beauty and has rhythmic vivacity. What's not to like? Think, for instance, of Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Roy Harris, and David Diamond. Yet I would challenge [...]


I grow old (but shall not wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled), and my interest in Anton Bruckner's music deepens with time because it speaks of the timeless. His Symphony No. 8 is one of the summits of music that endeavors to make the transcendent perceptible. In it you will hear the swirl and [...]

New American Classics

  Last month, I was celebrating the Naxos American Classics release of Vittorio Giannini's Piano Concerto and his Symphony No. 4. When I pleaded that Naxos consider recording the other six symphonies, I had forgotten that Naxos has already released Giannini's Symphony No. 3 (1958), so it has only five to go. The Third Symphony [...]

Christmas Stocking

  All I want for Christmas is more CDs.   Let me qualify that request, as piles of unplayed material accumulate in my study, my family room, my bedroom, my briefcase, and my car. Defying the "death of classical music" predictions, there have been some 1,500 CD releases yearly -- and bargains abound. When I [...]