Here are several of the questions and answers by Kavanaugh, who wrote The Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers. To see the remainder of the article, click here.
While most of us may be stuck in the style of music we listened to as teenagers, true music lovers recognize the greatness and value of classical music, even though it is not as immediately accessible as pop music. So for help to appreciate it fully, WORLD asked Patrick Kavanaugh, the artistic director of the MasterWorks Festival (“God is interested in excellence,” July 31, 2004), and the author of The Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers.
WORLD: Why should Christians upgrade their musical tastes?
Kavanaugh: You would think it sad if someone could turn away from a gorgeous sunset and not even notice it. It is equally sad when many Christians never hone their capacity to appreciate “the beauty of the Lord” found within the greatest music ever written.
WORLD: What is a good way to get started with classical music?
Kavanaugh: The world of classical music covers many centuries of changing styles. Some of these are easy for the average person to immediately appreciate, while others are an acquired taste. First, you need to examine your present taste in popular music. We learn best by association with what we already know. Do you like “easy listening”? Then buy a collection titled “Soothing Classical.” Do you prefer romantic love songs? Then find a collection such as “Romantic Classics.” For the younger set, like your teenage son, remember the adjectives “loud,” “fast,” “big,” and “colorful.” Even the heaviest rocker will love the huge orchestra works of the early 20th century—music by Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky.