Dialogues des Carmelites (Courtesy: broadwayworld.com)

Francis Poulenc – Dialogues des Carmélites (1956) – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden IV:II

Poulenc’s extraordinary opera is a study of the moral courage of decision within the increasingly inescapable social context of a chosen theological dialectic. The concluding scene begins with a searing orchestral invocation that introduces the 14 executions by guillotine. The final few bars hark back to the opening music of the opera, and complete the…

Crack house demolition, St. Stephen New Brunswick

The Start of My Own Political Campaign – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden I:II:2

“The Start of My Own Political Campaign,” a poem from Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden was published in Fredericton’s St. Thomas University’s Nashwaak Review, volume 30/31, in 2013. Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden discusses problems that are examined in Richard Wagner’s tetralogy, The Ring of the Nibelung, and the problems presented by the composer himself, his work, and the…

Wotan’s Farewell – Die Walküre

The finest music in the Ring, and the most telling drama. And, I think, the turning point in the tetralogy, where it moves from the divine to the human, and the loss that is in the awareness thereof. The severing of child from the divinity in the parent; of what that is lost therefrom to…

The Three Fates. From the east pediment of the Parthenon.

Song of the Fates – Brahms & Rameau

Brahms’s “Gesang der Parzen” (Song of the Fates), written in 1882, uses text from Goethe’s Iphigenia auf Tauris. Iphigenia, saved by Artemis from sacrifice at Aulis, as a priestess of Artemis has responsibility for the sacrificial death of foreigners who reach the Crimea. Goethe’s lines refer to the necessity of mankind fearing the gods, the…