Donald R. McClarey

O Holy Night

“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”

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Florence Foster Jenkins

  One of the more curious cultural artifacts in the history of this country is the very odd musical career of Florence Foster Jenkins.  A rich heiress, she loved music.  She was a talented pianist in her youth but stopped

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Simple Gifts

  Something for the weekend.  Simple Gifts from Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

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Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel. Isaiah 7:14     Something for the weekend.  Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming.  Written

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One Term More!

This is one of the greatest spoofs of the left that I have ever seen. Wait a second, that’s not a spoof. These people are deadly serious, as their website would indicate. Although the video is not nearly as unintentionally

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Some Music for your Epiphany

In honor of the day, however, I thought I’d repost the video I put together for Epiphany a couple years ago. I first encountered this classic orchestration of We Three Kings by Eugene Ormandy when I was a child, watching

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Fred Steiner, Requiescat in Pace

Fred Steiner died today.  Not a household name, but you have probably heard his music, as he composed the music for many hit TV shows, perhaps most notably for Perry Mason.  A very young Don McClarey loved the Perry Mason

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Gather Us In, A Bad Song Is Playing

A reader writes into Fr. Z to ask why Gregorian Chant is to be preferred at Mass to hymns like “Gather Us In” which the reader, a newly minted Catholic, happens to like.  Fr. Z responds here, and the commenters

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Lament of the Three Marys

“Lament of the Three Marys”, by Iarla Ó Lionáird. (If you enjoy this, I heartily recommend his solo album The Seven Steps to Mercy (Iarla is also a member of the Afro Celt Sound System, fusing modern dance rhythms (trip-hop,

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Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on the Theme by Thomas Tallis

Many of my favorite pieces of music I associate with the night sky. This is because my father, who was throughout my life a planetarium director, often used his favorite pieces of music as background during planetarium shows. Being the

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Celtic Woman Singing Little Drummer Boy

Little Drummer Boy is one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time and I surprisingly stumbled across the Celtic Woman version of this song.  Celtic Woman is an all-female musical ensemble which I came across on YouTube earlier this

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Pange Lingua Gloriosi

Composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the Office of Corpus Christi (see CORPUS CHRISTI, FEAST OF). Including the last stanza (which borrows the words “Genitori Genitoque”—Procedenti ab utroque, Compar” from the first two strophes of the second sequence of Adam

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Stars and Stripes Forever

Something for the weekend.  Let’s start getting in the mood for the Fourth with a little Sousa.  Stars and Stripes Forever performed by Vladimir Horowitz  in 1945.

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Christ Jesus Victor

Something for the weekend.  To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King.  The hymn was written by a German-American priest, Father Martin Hellriegel, in 1941, specifically to rebut the claims of the Third Reich with the eternal message of Christ.  Here is

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Downtown

Something for the weekend. The endlessly talented Petula Clark singing Downtown.  This song got a huge amount of play in the mid-Sixties, and I enjoyed it immensely as a child.  Not great music, but certainly fun music. Now compare and

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Easy on the Ears, Easy on the Eyes

While we’re discussing classical music and objective beauty, it is perhaps time to address the phenomenon of the “babe violinist”. No, I’m not talking about some kind of Vanessa Mae type with an electric violin and a wet t-shirt. I’m

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Jupiter and Jollity

Something for the weekend.  Gustav Holst’s Jupiter, the bringer of jollity, my favorite part of The Planets.  Some things become so popular that we tend to take them for granted.  I am afraid that is what has happened to some

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Serious Musicians

Since the blog has, of late, become the site of intense discussions on the quality of rock versus classical music, I think it’s important that I as a classical music partisan take a music appreciation moment and recognize that while

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It's. Only. A. Rock. Band.

Ok, so I liked their latest album as much as anybody else — but what is it that causes U2’s fans to indulge in such theological embellishment? — Consider America magazine’s Tom Beaudoin:

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Mad Men

Mad Men is an American Movie Classics (AMC) television drama series is set in the early 1960s at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on New York City’s Madison Avenue.  The show centers on Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm), a

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The Hot Asphalt

Something for the weekend.  For a wonder I am posting an Irish song about something other than rebellion against the British!  The incomparable Wolfe Tones singing The Hot Asphalt.  I trust this song will be appreciated by all who have

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Battle Cries of Freedom

Something for the weekend.  The Battle Cry of Freedom was a popular song North and South during the Civil War.  Of course, they sang different lyrics to the song.  The Union version was such a favorite among the Union troops,

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Veni Emmanuel

Something for the weekend.  A stirring rendition of O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

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Return of Gregorian Chant

This past Summer a conference took place on the shores of Lake Michigan on reinvigorating the use of Gregorian Chant in our liturgies.  The Reform of the Reform continues. Deo gratias! (Biretta Tip: New Liturgical Movement)

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La Marseillaise

Something for the weekend.  In line with the Our Oldest Ally post earlier this week, the la marseillaise scene from Casablanca.

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What Makes Music American?

Tito and Donald have instituted a worthy tradition of posting music on the weekends here at American Catholic, and so as the weekend winds to a close I thought I would attempt by own contribution to the genre, though with

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Mozart Te Deum

Something for the weekend.  Great music appeals to our souls as well as our ears and Mozart understood that perhaps to a greater extent than all but a few composers.  Eric M. Johnson explores the role of the Arts in

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Moonlight Sonata

With the recent full moon I thought this hauntingly beautiful piece by Ludwig von Beethoven as being appropriate to listen to.

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