The Ring & the Gem

Sometimes I wish the word "classical" would drop from the phrase "classical music" like a stone into the sea, so that we might remember how much the works of the great composers of the Western tradition meant for whole peoples. This was so even when they traveled about and sometimes settled in an adopted country. So George Frideric Handel went to England and became a star of the Hanoverian court and of the playhouses too, where Englishmen flocked to hear the mighty marches of Judas Maccabaeus, and the whimsical movements from passion to passion in Alexander's Feast, not to mention the sacred strains . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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