I appreciate when other people recommend
favorite CDs. In that spirit, I share with you some of my favorite Christmas
CDs. (A warning: I tend to favor the less familiar over tried and true
Christmas carols. I also prefer vocal music to instrumental and a cappella to
John Newton called hearing the Messiah "one of the highest and noblest gratifications of which we are capable." Combining history, biography, music theory and theology, retired music professor Stapert gives a comprehensive account of the origins and legacy of Handel's masterpiece.
I'm a sucker for Christmas songs. I'm not so far gone that I'm okay
with department stores playing some pop princess's version of "Baby It's Cold
Outside" on an 85-degree early November day here in central Texas. But let me
join in on a round of "O Holy Night" or "White Christmas" and I'll get choked
up every time.
Director Darren Aronofsky performs a psychological pas de deux with composer Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky in Black Swan, a fractured, fascinating study of the high-pressure world of big-time New York ballet.
Christ knows how we loved her. Now there’s just that field Where the light is still Blown like a first leaf. It is a fir tree. There is only one life On earth. Love must be here, And dying. Everything must be here. One summer she watched the grass. In the afternoon we sit in the car By moving water. She shuts her eyes. She will live forever. If I must go Let it be like this River with a woman watching it. Already There is nowhere that river is not.
On the day the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal, Iowans Bob Vander Plaats and Donna Red Wing had a chance meeting and hugged one another—even though they are culture warriors on opposite sides of the same-sex marriage debate. Vander Plaats heads Family Leader, which supports traditional marriage; he believes Red Wing’s lesbian marriage is unnatural. Red Wing, head of One Iowa, an LGBT rights group, has called Vander Plaats “bigoted” and “cruel.” But a few years ago, at Red Wing’s initiative, the two met for coffee and struck up a friendship. Since then they have been trying to soften the rhetoric of their organizations while still sticking to their principles (Washington Post, July 4).