For him, justice was not primarily everyone getting what he deserves, but everyone getting what he needs. Of course, employers can’t give away all of their money; they have families to take care of too.Every time he came to the marketplace, he saw more men—husbands, fathers, sons, brothers—who didn’t have steady employment, but who still had to provide food and clothing and shelter to their families. But Jesus isn’t talking about best business practices here. For God, justice is a matter of treating everyone with dignity and honor.While there is some truth to these statements, God’s justice goes beyond this kind of tightfisted, tit-for-tat approach.It includes generosity and love, mercy and compassion.It’s a matter of ensuring that each person is loved and cared for.It’s a matter of making sure that no one gets left behind. All around us, we hear that justice is about reward and retribution. If you violate a rule, you are punished until you “pay for” what you have done.The legend has it that the Catholic Church was considering banning all music that was polyphonic, or exhibiting two or more independent melody lines running simultaneously. Supposedly Palestrina composed this work as a defense of polyphony, and it was heard by the proper authorities, who determined that polyphony could indeed be used in church music, and therefore this one work by Palestrina, dedicated to a pope who reigned for all of three weeks, changed the course of music history.
The Messiah, usually performed around Christmas time, tells the story of the birth, life and death of Jesus. Before you ask me where my pink tutu is, know that this ballet is about ritualistic pagan sacrifices and ends with the slaughtering of a young girl, and was so controversial that it caused a riot when it premiered in 1913.
Please step into the light, pull your fingers out of your ears, and begin your journey towards joining the human race. If you listen closely it's not hard to hear a harvest-time barn dance, slippery winter ice, birds singing, growling thunder and sudden storm.
Certain segments of this are extremely popular and you will definitely recognize them.
I'll include a brief note on the piece, as well as a recommendation or two of other works or composers that might be appealing if you enjoy that particular work.
For some help with terminology and listening approaches, see my previous article, How to Talk About Classical Music. Connoisseurs often point to his 1981 recording of the same work as better than the 1955. Sublime and stirring, the opening movement of the work is as soulful and beautiful as you could possibly want.