SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Jens F Laurson

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July 18, 2019
You think you know Antonín Dvořák’s music quite well when you are aware not just of his greatest hits but also of the fascinating early symphonies and the dear early string quartets. When you know not only the moving Stabat Mater but also the prickly Requiem; and not just the cello concerto but also the
April 25, 2019
Devastation and disbelief was our response when we watched the Gothic cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris ablaze, shorn of its collapsed spire and hungry flames consuming the roof and truss. Because I am wired a certain way, my immediate thoughts went to Notre-Dame’s 1868 organ, a masterpiece of romantic organ-building and, alongside his instrument at Paris’s
April 04, 2019
It was a little before Easter 2008, and I had only just begun to grasp that my life in the United States, where I had spent the previous dozen years, had come to an end. Back in my native but estranged Munich I was: lonely, though still writing for Washington’s Classical Music radio station. It
March 21, 2019
Dresden, 1650. The Thirty Years’ War, officially over for only two years, hadn’t just decimated the population of Saxony – which, technically, would suggest a reduction by 10 per cent. Between disease, famine and murder, it had wiped out a gruesomely unimaginable two thirds. Death was more present than life – a fact that did
March 07, 2019
Catholics who love the rosary may be unaware of an extraordinary aid to their prayer: the Rosary Sonatas, by the Bohemian composer and violinist Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber. Biber was employed in the Austrian and Moravian towns of Graz and Kroměříž before entering his service in Salzburg, where he would compose the grand and glorious
February 21, 2019
Michel-Richard de Lalande (1657-1726) succeeded Jean-Baptiste Lully at the court of Louis XIV and was in charge of dinner music, where he provided oodles of deliciously entertaining baroque muzak. Good as that music is, if you want to turn it up a notch, go seek out de Lalande’s Grand Motets, where you will notice that