On the topic of music there is much to say. Many a great artist and composer has arisen to greatness and “stardom” throughout history, and one can only think of such names as Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, and Tchaikovsky. In our day too, we have had such artists as Frank Sinatra and others. The names of such artists reflect the diversity of musical genres that has arisen over time, especially within the past century, with some claiming better, higher quality and nature than others.
Yet, there remains not in the least any doubt about the pre-eminence and beauty of the ageless compositions of such composers as George Friderick Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johan Sebastian Bach, and Ludwig von Beethoven. Many often inquire or are asked as to the true nature of music, or at least wonder about it from time to time. To know what music truly is, I would suggest listening to Handel’s Messiah, his Water Music, his Music for the Royal Fire Works. I would further suggest listening to Beethoven’s Brandenburg Concertto no. 3 or to Mozart’s Eine Klein Natchmusik or his Symphony no. 40 (the well known “Jupiter” Symphony).
Listening to the words of the prophet Isaiah be placed into music by Handel in ‘Messiah’ — words such as “Every valley shall be exalted” (Is. 40:3) and “For unto us a Child is born” (Is. 9:6) — such is music at its very best in all its glory and splendour.
And while one can not in good conscience negate the proper dignity and efforts of modern musical genres, it cannot be doubted that music at its best remains in the ageless compositions of Schubert, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, just to name a few!
Just take the prayers of the Roman Liturgy as an example: we all know that the words ‘Lord have mercy’ (Kyrie Eleison) and ‘Lamb of God’ (Agnus Dei) are sung in modern day forms in most contemporary parishes. But how can you compare that to the chanting of the prayers in their Greek and Latin forms by monks and the schools of chant in Europe’s ancient monasteries, cathedrals, and national shrines?