Plainsong Passion

Plainsong Passion


Plainsong Passion

Last Friday, chapel was unusual; it took me off guard. First, I did not expect to sing Christmas hymns … in the middle of Lent. Yes, I have to admit that I wasn’t paying attention to the feast day calendar so I missed the liturgical memo on the Annunciation of our Lord. It was a welcome ..

Classic 99 is online and expanding

Classic 99 is online and expanding


Classic 99 is online and expanding

As it happens, when Classic 99 went off the air in July 2010, it never died. Classic99.com continues to live stream its vast catalog of classical and sacred music online, just as it did when it broadcast on the FM dial. Matter of fact, I’m listening to it as I write this post, and I’m even hearing the familiar voices of former KFUO-FM announcers, now volunteers for the Internet station. And The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has announced that the Synod’s Board of Directors voted to provide an additional $193,000 through at least mid-2012 “not only to continue but to improve the way it provides quality classical and sacred music to listeners via the Internet.” And, evidently, both the online station and its listener base are expanding


Macy’s, Handel’s Messiah, and a random act of hyperspace


Macy’s, Handel’s Messiah, and a random act of hyperspace

By now, it has been making the email and Facebook rounds many times over: The Opera Company of Philadelphia hides in the Center City Philadephia Macy’s on Saturday, October 30, and during the height of the busy shopping day breaks into an “impromptu” performance of the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.” It was a “Random Act of Culture,” funded by the Knight Foundation as a campaign to bring “classical artists out of the performance halls, into the streets – and our everyday lives.” The only reason we know about it—and have “seen” it—is because it was posted on YouTube. And in the weeks since it has gone, as they say, viral. Three years ago, I wrote in a more academic venue about the experience of Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular as an experience of cultural “transgression.” It seems that a similar…

The Bible as literature: Bob Dylan and the near-sacrifice of Isaac

The Bible as literature: Bob Dylan and the near-sacrifice of Isaac


The Bible as literature: Bob Dylan and the near-sacrifice of Isaac

Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son” Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on” God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?” God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but The next time you see me comin’ you better run” Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?” God says, “Out on Highway 61” The word of the Lord according to Bob Dylan, in the opening lines from the title track of his landmark album Highway 61 Revisited . It is a sly and menacing retelling of the famous episode of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son Isaac from Genesis 22 . And Dylan sets it along the famous highway of the blues that stretches along the Mississippi River from New Orleans up almost to Canada. It is the highway where legend has it Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to play the…

Ten year-old Dutch prodigy to play Concordia Seminary’s carillon bells

Ten year-old Dutch prodigy to play Concordia Seminary’s carillon bells


Ten year-old Dutch prodigy to play Concordia Seminary’s carillon bells

Luther Tower, home to Concordia’s landmark carillon TOMORROW (Wednesday, Aug 12) at 7:00PM, Jacob Bodden, a 10 year-old boy from Amersfoort, Holland, will give a free carillon concert at Concordia Seminary . After taking carillon lessons for only a year and a half, Jacob has played concerts at the Belgium Monument in Amersfoort, the Munt Tower in Amsterdam, and the tower in Hilvarenbeek. Last summer, he was interviewed and filmed in Amersfoort for being the youngest carillonneur in the Netherlands