In 1977 The Metropolitan Museum of Art presented Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century, the largest exhibition ever to focus on the period that spans the transition between the classical and medieval ages. In keeping with the didactic spirit of the exhibition, the Museum held a symposium in November 1977 to provide the public with a broad background for appreciation of this little-known field and to offer art historians the provocative speculations and conclusions of their colleagues. In addition to art history, the distinguished scholars who participated in the symposium discussed the theology, literature, politics, economics, and architecture of the first centuries of the Christian Era.
1978's First Light marked Richard & Linda Thompson's first time in a recording studio after three years away from music, and it suggested they were still getting warmed up as performers; a year later, Sunnyvista found them in much stronger form and a significantly more upbeat frame of mind. Sunnyvista is the wittiest and most joyous album Richard & Linda made together; while several of Richard Thompson's trademark meditations on romance at it's least successful are on hand, "Why Do You Turn Your Back" manages to generate an unusually soulful groove, "Lonely Hearts" captures the melancholy country feel that First Light never quite caught, and "Traces of My Love" finds a winning warmth in its sadness.
Richard Strauss was filled with doubt as to whether he would be capable of expressing in music the crazed revenge of "Elektra" after writing his opera "Salome" with its shocking story. It is quite understandable that he had trouble in composing the work, although such difficulties are not in the least evident during the course of the drama or in the musical flow. Drawing on natural sources, the forceful melodies make use of polyphonic, complex motifs and extreme dissonances. Here and there, Strauss’s typical chordal harmonies gleam through, though hardly audible, taking the harsh dissonances and chromaticism to the very extremes of atonality.