Sound Theology by Colleen Butcher

Musical Terroir –France

France has won the world cup, for only the second time in the tournament’s history. Thankfully, France’s classical composers have had many more successes on the world stage. read more…

Musical Terroir –Russia II

Tchaikovsky is arguably one of the best-known Russian composers; if you want to hear some of his music, you can find it in playlist #169 (last week).

This week’s playlist features Sergei Prokofiev. Although Prokofiev spent a significant amount of his adult life outside of Russia, he is considered one of the preeminent 20th-century composers. read more…

Musical Terror –Russian I

Soccer and Russia. These two things would not usually go together. But this year, Russia is hosting the World Cup. Russia is a powerhouse of classical music composers, so while the footballers play, let’s surround ourselves with some of the best music that reflects Russian terroir.

There are so many wonderful composers and performers; worthy of three weeks of playlists. This week: Tchaikovsky read more…

Hubert Parry –English Terroir

Aficionados place terroir above all in fine wine: the particular taste that can only be imparted by a particular combination of factors unique to one place and time. Terroir includes a distinctive, localized, specific combination of factors including soil, climate, and sunlight that give grapes a distinctive character.

Musical performances also have terroir. Musicians, ensembles, choirs, even middle school concert bands, have something that goes beyond objective standards to an intangible, subjective sound. The same can be said for composers. read more…

The Nocturne

Very few composers are credited with having invented a classical music form, but the one thing that many people have heard about John Field (1782 – 1837) is that he invented the nocturne. It isn’t true, of course: others before him (Haydn for one) had used the term ‘nocturne’ or ‘notturno,’ either for a short, lyrical piece, or for a kind of serenade. But it was Field who cultivated it both as an idea and a genre, and associated it inescapably with the piano. Perhaps more important is the fact that he was the first Celtic voice – certainly the first Irish composer – to make a contribution to European concert music. And his contribution, though not massive in itself, had huge consequences. read more…