On Schubert’s Winterreise (Part 2 of 2)

Read part 1 here. In light of the failure of Winterreise’s premise to be ultimately convincing (as discussed in the last post), more practical-minded folk might easily view it as quintessentially immature and even comically or loathsomely self-pitying at base. It might be tempting to conclude that anyone who would find him/herself compelled by Winterreise simply […]

On Schubert’s Winterreise (Part 1 of 2)

Winterreise, meaning “winter journey” in German, is a song cycle by Franz Schubert to a text by Wilhelm Müller[i] that arguably stands at the zenith of the Western art-song literature. Against the backdrop of unrequited love, it describes a young man’s journey through a winter land-/psyche-scape. His basic awareness is emotional rather than rational: he is propelled […]

Creature and Creator in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”

Often, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein Halloween-inspired brings to mind images of a hulking figure with green skin and bolts protruding from its neck, lurching down a hallway with arms propped forward, communicating in primal grunts and seeking to destroy all in sight.  In truth, Frankenstein is an all-too-human story that speaks to the longings and desires found in every heart. […]

The Victory of Jesus in Bach’s John-Passion

Having considered the last chorus of Bach’s Matthew-Passion several weeks ago, I’d like to turn our attention now to the last chorus of his John-Passion. The text[1] reads: A-section: Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine, Die ich nun weiter nicht beweine, Ruht wohl und bringt auch mich zur Ruh! Rest well, you holy limbs, Which I […]

J.S. Bach

The Gospel According to Bach (video)

Regular CGC contributor Ben Shute recently performed selections from J.S. Bach’s six sonatas and partitas for Citylife Church’s Night of the Arts. In this video, Ben sits down with us to talk about how Bach’s music is laced with the gospel. With an uncanny mix of technical proficiency and theological precision, Ben’s perspective and performance […]

Pale King

“The Pale King” and “This is Water” by David Foster Wallace

With tax season still large in our rearview mirrors, and the paperback edition new to the shelves of bookstores, it is a perfect time to reflect on David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel “The Pale King”. This unfinished novel, assembled by Wallace’s editor in the years following the author’s suicide, tells the stories of a collection […]

Flame Alphabet

The Flame Alphabet – Ben Marcus (Book Review)

“One often fails to ask this of a crisis…why was it not worse?” That these words come from Sam, the narrator of Ben Marcus’ The Flame Alphabet towards the end of the novel should give some idea of the story’s tone. Keep in mind – this is not a man looking at his situation with […]

The Cry of Jesus in Bach’s Matthew-Passion

The incomparable final chorus of J. S. Bach’s Matthew-Passion, which leaves us with Christ dead in the tomb, is one of the great cries of Western civilization. While the text speaks of crying or weeping (weinen in Bach’s German), the music itself suggests to me much more of a crying-out (schreien): the multitude following Jesus […]

Old Testament

  • Daniel
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi

New Testament