Saturday, December 03, 2005

Score notes

I've been immersing myself in musical presentations of one type or another, just as I do for every Christmas. The only difference is the sad fact that my participation is only marginal at best. I had to pass completely on this year's rendition of Handel's Messiah--which I usually sing with the rest of my family in the Lynden Choral Society. It was a love/hate type of anticipation leading up to the concert I attended last night. Knowing I would get the chance to hear it from the audience again was interesting and unique...but I still didn't like the idea so I tried to focus on listening more carefully to the content and music as a whole than the technicalities that accompany singing such a beautiful piece. I was pleasantly surprised.

There were some interesting differences and shakeups in the selection from the work as a whole so I got to hear some live that I'd only heard on a recordings up till then. While I didn't care for the stilted, slow approach to some of the choruses, I understand why they were done that way. The important ones were excellent. “Hallelujah”...and my personal favorite: “Worthy is the Lamb.” We have messed up the Amen chorus the last couple years. This year was enough to make me cry (well, almost) that I didn't get to do it with them the one time it was spot on.

Just before that chorus, when Aunt Marilyn sang "I know that my Redeemer liveth," I was struck by the words like I've never been struck before. Hearing that song just after the “Hallelujah” is always extra thought provoking.

And though worms destroy this body,
Yet in my flesh shall I see God.
So I've heard it a thousand times it seems, but sitting there this time was interesting. The shear insanity of the concept hit me like a ton of bricks. I've missed it all my life: just what does it mean to see the flesh? When I think of heaven, it is only by imagining the visuals afforded us in Daniel and Revelation. The bare fact we can't imagine how incredible it will be to see it ignores the rest of the picture. What about the other four senses which we will also have as humans in God's presence.

What will I hear? What will I feel? What will I smell? Indeed, what will I taste? Just think! Look down at this shadow of a body and realize that warm and cold, sweetness and feeling, all those things we were created to respond to will be present. The idea of perfection is perhaps so hard to by that I tend to abstract it. But no. Indeed, with perfected senses, what could be more real than what we will experience in the presence of God?

More music…

I also just left Michelle’s senior piano recital at Western. I have only one word that describes it: inspired! Congratulations to Michelle for going out with a bang.


<< Home 2 Comments:
Blogger Crystal said...

Thanks Mark for you kind words about the chior this year! We did miss you this year and hope you will be able to back again next year. I must admit that we did pretty good this year and we actually did make some people in the audience cry for real so that was kind of touching. Your sentiments were also shared by another member of the choir who didn't sing with us this year and came to the Thurs. performance. Getting to do some new peices and getting to hear some new solos was definetly a real treat for us as well.

11:33 PM, December 04, 2005  
Blogger Gloria said...

That was a very... I can't really find the words to say it. It is amazing how we can hear something read over and over again then all of the sudden it just seems to make sense. Very nicely written.

8:54 PM, December 05, 2005  

Post a Comment