Bill Morelock Feature Archive

Literary movements are, in certain ways, like theoretical physics. They both operate mostly under the radar, undergoing subtle changes, describing rarified events too arcane for the likes of you and me to grasp or care about. But then, every once in awhile, a charismatic personality with a catchy equation (E=mc^2), or a thermonuclear device, demands our attention. (04/30/2012)
Non-fiction can be as imaginative as fiction, given a strong imagination. But when those sinews fail, when the muscles refuse to twitch on cue, and exuberance parts company with clarity once and for all, what does one do? In baseball, the aging power pitcher re-tools and defends himself with off-speed stuff. Indirect, but effective. (04/09/2012)
Possibly you've heard all you need to hear about the aesthetics of baseball. And here I am adding innings. (04/02/2012)
Bill Morelock takes a close look at W.B. Yeats' famed 1919 poem "The Second Coming." (03/26/2012)
For the anniversary of Bach's birth, even as we marvel at the unearthly nature of the music, we might stop and remember that Bach also had to earn a living. Here's how and where he earned a paycheck during the 45 years of his working life. (03/20/2012)
For the anniversary of Bach's birth, even as we marvel at the unearthly nature of the music, we might stop and remember that Bach also had to earn a living. Here's how and where he earned a paycheck during the 45 years of his working life. (03/19/2012)
The quiet that Edvard Grieg needed in order to work is a scarce and, it would seem, non-renewable resource. (03/05/2012)
The old professor said "Read not the 'Times,' read the Eternities." Thirty-five years later the dictum is not impossible to follow, just very, very hard. (02/27/2012)
Throughout his career, composer Virgil Thomson also wrote about music. And he did so with a freshness and directness we almost marvel at today. No one had, or has, a voice like Thomson's. (02/21/2012)
The popular public television series Downton Abbey has opened a window on the era of the Great War -- today somewhat obscured by time and later conflicts. For many writers, artists and other observers, World War I represented the original 20th century loss of innocence, and still resonates in the culture today. Here's a look at a few composers of the era, and how they responded to the trauma of the Great War. (02/06/2012)
There have been countless meditations on the meaning of Shakespeare's "Ripeness is all." It was a Rorschach centuries before Rorschach. Often it suggests a serenity available, though not always secured, late in one's life. Ludwig van Beethoven was defiantly human, a spiny fruit, and stubbornly refused to sweeten as he matured. (01/30/2012)
Lynne "I can't believe they're letting us do this again" Warfel and Bill "Who's minding the store anyway?" Morelock return with Roll Credits, their movie music show, Monday night at 7 on Classical MPR. A few notes on the show here, plus a look at a film born at a time when Frivolity forged a movement. Its manifesto: it means nothing. (01/23/2012)
In which the author, never a sure hand with knots, continues a pattern of bungee-jumping above possibly rich and interesting waters. One way or another, we promise a splash. (01/16/2012)
Johann Strauss, Jr. wrote most of his waltzes for specific parties, conventions and other celebrations. Today he's our traditional go-to guy for a New Year's Day soundtrack. The Strauss brand was Festive, even if its namesake could be a little gloomy. And when he was lured by lucre to a strange, faraway land, Strauss saw menace in every smile. (01/01/2012)
In this essay, Bill Morelock muses about his development as a classical host, and the "peculiar" challenges of the job. (12/26/2011)