Venice, Vivaldi, Hastings, and Choristers

Evidence of cultural degeneracy, Exhibit #43,751: A New York Times op-ed writer goes to see Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold at the Met, and it reminds her of . . . Facebook.

If that fact doesn’t depress you, this one should: the iconic pier in the town of Hastings (of 1066 fame) has burned.

Or this: early puberty is depriving England’s cathedral choirs of more and more choristers.

 

Canaletto's "Grand Canal and Church of the Salute"

 

On a more positive note, a lost flute concerto by Vivaldi has surfaced in Edinburgh, of all places. If you do not own at least one CD (or some digital equivalent) of Vivaldi’s music, I pity you. For the last week, “The Four Seasons” has been playing on a continuous loop in our van, and our kids are arguing over which season has the best music.

Speaking of 18th-century masters, I’ve always thought that Canaletto is an underrated painter. He gets some space in art history texts, but you sort of get the impression that he “sold out,” catering to aristocratic tourists by producing souvenir paintings to commemorate their Venetian vacations. I think his work is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s nice to see that the National Gallery in London is putting on a special exhibition of his work.

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About Dr. J

I am Professor of Humanities at Faulkner University, where I chair the Department of Humanities and direct online M.A. and Ph.D. programs based on the Great Books of Western Civilization. I am also Associate Editor of the Journal of Faith and the Academy and a member of the faculty at Liberty Classroom.
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