Posts from — December 2011
December 23, 2011 No Comments
I think the setting of O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen (a Washington native!) is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve heard. Even though I’m an instrumentalist, I admit that there are few things I find more moving than a beautifully tuned choir.
I like the above version for the visuals, though my favorite renditions are by the Chamber Choir of Europe and the Nordic Chamber Choir:
O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.
December 22, 2011 No Comments
As my brother Tim can attest, I am a magnet for guitar music. (He, on the other hand, attracts harpsichord tunes.)
No joke. Nine times out of ten, when I turn on classical radio, they are playing some obscure baroque guitar piece. And for this past month, if there’s some guitar fantasy on We Three Kings in O Little Town of Bethlehem — yep, probably heard it. In the ultimate piece of irony — just the other day, I walked into a sushi restaurant that was blasting a guitar ensemble version of Waltz of the Flowers.
So I had to laugh when I walked into our joint church staff luncheon yesterday to not one, but three guitarists leading a Christmas sing-a-long. Turns out it was the group The Three Wisemen, who are pretty well-known in the Seattle area for their Christmas concert tour. Following a bit of caroling, they treated us two a couple tunes of their own. Here they are singing their original song “First at the Cradle.” (Sorry for the camera phone audio — you may have to turn up the volume a bit.)
December 15, 2011 No Comments
Word of God, one with the Most High, in whom alone we have our hope, everlasting light of heaven and earth, we break the silence of the peaceful night; Savior divine, cast your eyes upon us! Pour on us the fire of your mighty grace, that all hell may flee at the sound of your voice. Banish the slumber of a weary soul that brings forgetfulness of your laws! O Christ, look with favor upon your faithful people now gathered here to praise you. Receive their hymns offered to your endless glory; may they go forth filled with your grace.
- Jean Racine
December 11, 2011 No Comments
I always appreciate a healthy dose of Christmas carol humor around this time of the year. Thanks to Rhett and Link and YouTube for this gem.
December 9, 2011 No Comments
“You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate. When anybody asks what a story is about, the only proper thing is to tell them to read the story. The meaning of fiction is not abstract meaning but experienced reading, and the purpose of making statements about the meaning of a story is only to help you experience that meaning more fully.”
- Flannery O’Conner, Mystery & Manners
December 4, 2011 No Comments