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1.5.11

In Brief: Plenteousness within Thy Palaces Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • Some rich guy in Great Britain got married this week. The world-wide love for the mothballed corpse of monarchy in a world of modern nations remains a mystery to me. What I did love about the festivities -- the pageant of music and liturgy in Westminster Abbey -- is not really about the monarchy, but about the grand tradition of Christian ritual. All of that training and education given to choirboys and musicians, the glorious heritage of the Anglican church -- all of that is maintained, really, so that Hubert Parry's I Was Glad (or in ages past, other pieces) will sound so good when the royal family walks into Westminster
    Abbey. [YouTube]

  • Pace, Jessica Duchen -- Parry was a genius. [Jessica Duchen]

  • If the Anglican Church ultimately collapses or is no longer the established church of England (which seems increasingly difficult to justify, given the diversity of religious belief and unbelief in Great Britain), the Crown should right a historical wrong and cede Westminster Abbey back to the Benedictine Order. The Benedictines continue to name a titular abbot, just in case the British monarchy grows a conscience. [Radio Vaticana]

  • As irrational as it seems, there are still royalists in the United States. [Sounds and Fury]

  • Boo that the Master of the Queen's Musick, Peter Maxwell Davies, was not asked to compose anything for the ceremony. Double boo to the choice of John Rutter for the royal commission of a new wedding anthem. [Slipped Disc]

  • "One of the fastest trains, the fastest trains..." Steve Reich likes the sound of the human voice. [Wall Street Journal]

  • The magnificent Isenheim Altarpiece, by Matthias Grunewald, will be undergoing a major restoration over the next several months. I'll have to put off that trip to Colmar for another year. [Le Point]

  • How quaint: someone actually thinks that cursive handwriting is not already dead. [New York Times]

  • Well, it finally happened: after two decades of trying, New Zealand has succeeded in forcing a French museum, the Musée d’Histoire naturelle de Rouen, to return a Maori head. In case you have never heard of these objects, they are actual mummified heads of venerated Maori ancestors, tattoos and all, and about fifteen of them were brought back to France and ended up in various museums. Of the 500 or so heads taken to various parts of the world, about 300 of them have been repatriated to New Zealand. [Libération]

  • Your online listening list this week includes concerts by Till Fellner (April 25), the choral group Accentus in 20th-century repertoire (April 25), the Belcea Quartet (April 29), Rameau's Anacréon and Pygmalion with Les Arts Florissants (April 30). [France Musique]

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