… John Waters on the death of the century … Missing John Lennon Part 1 Missing John Lennon Part 2 “And here is the greatest of all ironies. One of the main legacies of what we remember as the Sixties revolution was the final redundancy of God. The idea of man’s subjugation or inferiority to […]

post a comment

… “Giuseppe Verdi spent his life scrutinizing the human heart; in his works he shed light on the drama of the human condition with the music, the stories told and the various figures. His theatre is peopled by the unhappy, the persecuted and victims. This tragic vision of human destiny echoes throughout so many passages […]


dies irae …

October 30, 2010

in Art & Literature

… Dies iræ, dies illa, Solvet sæclum in favilla: Teste David cum Sibyllâ. That day of wrath, that dreadful day, shall heaven and earth in ashes lay, as David and the Sybil say. The Wichita Symphony Orchestra is highlighting 3 pieces this weekend that all feature the 13th century Dies Irae hymn – Liszt’s Totentanz, […]

post a comment

… performed this weekend by the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Hege discusses. listen to excerpts … Much like life and death … “There’s a sense of tragedy at the beginning, a visceral quality that grabs you right from the outset. Then it goes through all these different moods — of being ambivalent; of being very […]

post a comment

… and Thou art calling me … So starts Newman’s meditation on death through the prayer of a dying man – The Dream of Gerontius – set to music in Elgar’s master choral work. a related prayer of Newman’s … ‘May He support us all the day long, till the shadows lengthen and the evening […]

post a comment

… “In [Mozart’s] last letter written to his dying father, dated April 4, 1787, he wrote, speaking precisely of the final stage of life on earth: “For about a year I have become so familiar with this sincere and greatly loved friend of man, [death], that its image no longer holds anything that is terrifying, […]

post a comment

… Nuala O’Faolain’s interview with Marian Finucane – on her experience after being diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer … a transcript. Her friend Nell McCafferty describes the interview as “listening to the cry of an animal in the forest.” “It amazed me, Marian, how quickly life turned black, immediately almost. For example, I lived somewhere […]


The Ride of Eternity Luigi Giussani In the first movement of Schubert’s quartet, after the very brief, almost involuntary, passing hint at death, there is like a sudden reawakening and life returns triumphant. The whole of the first movement is as though determined by the affirmation of life, death is as though obliterated. But death […]

1 comment

A great introduction to Grieg’s grief … click the “Classical Music” category to see more.


Perry Knize tells the story of Chopin’s B Minor Waltz in her book Grand Obsession. She plays it here (in the background as the website opens). In the opening theme, Chopin has learned his closest friend has died …

post a comment