The Book of the Courtier: Il Cortegiano by Baldassare Castiglione

The Italian Renaissance.  We all know it.  It's that brief time in history where powerful families and political factions were dealing death on the streets while artistic geniuses put their indelible stamp on the world.  The upheaval of that time forged the modern world.  To survive in that world, one had to have sprezzatura, that easy-going, effortless … Continue reading The Book of the Courtier: Il Cortegiano by Baldassare Castiglione

The Carmina Burana: Songs from Benediktbeuern, 3rd Edition by Tariq William Marshall

This book was an absolute joy. I've been fascinated with the Carmina Burana for a good portion of my life, but it was only in recent years that I've been able to better appreciate the idea of the work above and beyond Carl Orff's interpretation.  Since discovering the origin and some of the lyrics in … Continue reading The Carmina Burana: Songs from Benediktbeuern, 3rd Edition by Tariq William Marshall

The Story of Civilization, Vol. I: Our Oriental Heritage by Will Durant

I've always heard that Will Durant was our modern Herodotus.  At the end of the first volume, I can safely confirm my belief in this notion, save for the fact that Durant's history is more historical, and Herodotus is a better storyteller.  Even so, when it comes to scope and audacity, this may be the first time Herodotus was … Continue reading The Story of Civilization, Vol. I: Our Oriental Heritage by Will Durant

Stephen Fry’s Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music by Stephen Fry with Tim Lihoreau

When it comes to Stephen Fry, I consider myself a fan of his work.  I love his dry wit, and I tend to stay pretty much in awe of his towering intellect.  I won't say I agree with him on everything, but I'm typically impressed by his ability to at least sway me to consideration … Continue reading Stephen Fry’s Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music by Stephen Fry with Tim Lihoreau