Wagner’s Parsifal

(The Music of Redemption) by Roger Scruton (2020) Some Brief Words From the Wise on Holy Communion “…it belongs to that class of myths which have been dramatised in ritual, or, to put it otherwise, which have been performed as magical ceremonies for the sake of producing those natural effects which they describe in figurative language. A myth is never so graphic and precise in its details as when it is, so to speak, the book of the words which are spoken and acted by the performers of the sacred rite.”* “It would indeed be impossible to devise a mystery…

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

(dir. David Dobkin) (2020) (Netflix) If you love the Eurovision Song Contest, read on. If you hate, or are merely indifferent to it, stop reading now.  No-one likes that kind of negative weirdness. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was scheduled for release in May 2020, in order to coincide with the final of the real Eurovision contest in Rotterdam this year, but the final was cancelled, tragically, due to some little pandemic or other.   Who wouldn’t risk a bit of respiratory failure for the chance to see acts  like this – Thank goodness that at least we…

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All You Need is Love

June 24, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

25 June 1967: “All You Need Is Love”, the Beatles’ anthem of peace, was beamed to the World via a global television broadcast from the EMI studios in London. The sheer logistical immensity of the broadcast, coupled with the over-loaded production, gave the song a certain cachet, although it is essentially a condescending, lumpen hymn to an utopian Neverland, with lyrics that are the purest dross.  Yet it lingers, like a piece of old furniture one intends to put out in the hard rubbish but never does, which says something for its unabashed sincerity and heartfelt elements. Perhaps the better…

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The iPod Playlist for a Plague

March 30, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Modern Music, MUSIC |

Social distancing..."The Plague of Thebes" by Charles Francois Jalabert (1842)

Armagideon Time (The Clash) [“A lot of people won’t get no supper tonight A lot of people won’t get no justice tonight…”] Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival) [“I see a bad moon a-rising I see trouble on the way I see earthquakes and lightnin’ I see bad times today  Don’t go ’round tonight It’s bound to take your life There’s a bad moon on the rise…”] Coming Home (Falling in Reverse) [“Transmission from the stars A message from the atmosphere Etched into my heart Your purpose there is still unclear The ghost of you lives on Through everything I…

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Requiem

Adelaide Festival Theatre, Friday 28 February 2020 (Directed and designed by Romeo Castellucci) Mozart thought he was being poisoned by instalments, so that his death would adjoin completion of the Requiem in D minor (K.626). In other words, he was commissioned by the Next World to write his own funerary music. He was obviously paranoid by then, but the ‘anonymous’ commissioning of the work (by an agent of Count Walsegg, who knocked on Wolfgang’s door), and his own serious illnesses, may have informed the beauty and brilliance of the piece: a hotchpotch to be sure, and an incomplete one, but…

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