Catholic Arts Today

Here’s a well-done online magazine about sacred music and art, beauty, transcendence, and so on.  Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview, for instance:

“The curious thing, when you think about it a little bit, is the fact that a whole range of composers since Wagner in the twentieth and now twenty-first century, have been profoundly religious men and women, in one way or another.  It is astounding.  Stravinsky was as conservative in his theology as he was revolutionary in his music.  The other great polar figure of early modernism, Schoenberg, reconverted to a practicing Judaism after he left Germany.  His later works are full of that Jewish theology and culture and tradition.”

“…John Cage went to study with Schoenberg because I think Cage saw in him a fellow mystic,” Sir James continued. “…you know the curious thing about that piece 4’33”, that four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence which was a kind of provocation to the culture and their listening sensibilities or lack thereof?  The original title for that was: Silent Prayer.  So that was Cage’s initial concept.  And there are academics pushing the idea he got the idea for Silent Prayer by wandering into an American Catholic church in the 1950s.  And of course, as you know when silence descends in the Extraordinary Form Mass, it’s at the moment of Consecration, which usually lasts about four and a half minutes.”