“The Medici family funded numerous artists and architects during the Italian Renaissance – but less is known of their patronage of composers and musicians, and subsequently the music of that era is not as familiar. Researchers are now unearthing, deciphering, and performing music that has not been heard in more than four hundred years.” – David Alexander
From Peter Kwasniewski : “If you get a critical edition of Allegri’s “Miserere,” you’ll discover that the version with which we are familiar today is not the original one — not at all, not by a long shot. In this fascinating video, we hear first what Allegri wrote in the 17th century, then its middle version from the 18th, and then the one from later on (19th cent.?) with the famous high C and other interesting musical developments. The video is cued here to the comparison.
Now, there are two reactions that can be made to this discovery:
1. “That’s not what Allegri wrote! It’s the wrong psalm tone! The high C is absurd – only a romantic would have come up with that! It’s overwrought. We should restore it to its more minimal, simple, pristine form.”
2. “Well, even if that’s not what Allegri had in mind, the embellishments amplify its beauty, making it even better than the original. It got richer and fuller over time, and we would be poorer if we went back to the original.”
And then the analogy struck me: the first is like the liturgical antiquarian or archaeologist, who thinks the unadorned earliest version of a thing is more authentic and more pure than the later developed version. The second is like the proponent of organic development, who sees that generations can improve upon what they have inherited, actually bringing out more fully what was implicit in the earlier. You can guess which school
“Where . . . the government is thought to possess authority just as the people consent, no intrinsic limit exists. If the people consent to something, the government, in a positivistic fashion, is assumed to have the requisite power. It turns out that popular sovereignty is a covert route to totalitarianism.
“Only where authority is ultimately located in God is the government limited in a stable, definable fashion. For example, since all authority comes from God, the government has no authority to approve abortion or same-sex marriage, the consent of the governed notwithstanding. Similarly, the government has no authority to separate us, to keep us from church, or to remove our livelihoods due to a generally nonlethal respiratory virus, the consent of the governed notwithstanding.
“We now reach the question why the government’s response to SARS-CoV-2 has succeeded in the present era. One can imagine the response would have failed decades ago when society was more united. People with a strong social identity will not sacrifice their communities for a generally nonlethal respiratory virus. Only a collection of individuals could tolerate this insinuation of government into the spaces between them.”
“We come, of course, to the mask. The believer’s identity will be protected. Masking makes one an anonymous member of a very large group—all of whom are undergoing the same ceremony and enforcing it on others. Secret society.
Masking, traditionally, is for criminals as well. (The thrill of the outlaw.)
Masking also erases identity. The believer can find (imagine) a new persona.
Masking includes a sense of sacrifice. “I eliminate who I was, for the Cause.”
Masking introduces touches of humiliation, guilt, and pride. All standard elements of initiation.
Distancing provides “necessary isolation,” so the initiatory process for the individual can proceed unhampered. Distancing (like masking) separates the Clean from the Unclean.”