Dess wir sollen fröhlich sein….


OK, for the last aeon, the weather has looked as grey as it appears in the picture above and there’s no sign of letting up.  But am I blue?! No way!  I have spent my time today that wasn’t engaged in work pursuits listening to Bach – his Cantata Nummer Vier (No. 4) Christ lag’ in Todesbanden (Christ lay in death’s bonds) and the more I hear it, the more I am looking forward to singing it.  For years I have been in a church choir or two, but for almost 25 years now, I haven’t had the opportunity to sing something as wonderfully Baroque and as wonderfully German as this.  I had given up hope of really singing my beloved Bach in German.  I know this sounds so weird, especially to those who aren’t all that enamored of Deutschland and for good reason.  But it’s true, there’s something almost meditative about all those wonderfully dark vowels and Bach’s Wortmalerei (word  painting) so typical of that era.  Once you get the language, you can see how he has brought the words to life.  For me it has the added layer of spiritual understanding, which of course makes it all the more beautiful and meaningful.  Once again, this man’s genius – almost obscured by history – is brought to light.  May we do him justice! I am so grateful that our Organist Choirmaster (you know who) capitulated and agreed to do this in German – and even more grateful that the choir is steadfastly working on the German as they learn the not-so-easy parts! I wish you all could hear us, dear readers – it will be quite a treat.  The good news is we have a guest organist to do the continuo, so Nancy will be able to devote her attentions to conducting us – and the chamber Orchestra (taken from the Orchestra of St. Johns- sooooo cool!).   Can you tell I’m really really psyched?!!! To make it even more historically accurate, we will be performing this twice – as parts of our two morning services on May 17th [9 am and 11:15 am in the historic church, where the accoustics are outstanding!).  If anyone is in a comfortable radius of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City, Merlin (near the corner of Frederick Road and St. John’s Lane), please come – it’s free:) – we don’t charge for church services, nor do we intend to make believers of anyone who doesn’t want to be:)
Yeah, I’m psyched  – now I’ve got to take advantage of every practice.  We had one again last Saturday and will have another one this Saturday and every Thursday practice is taken up mostly with this (after getting the service music out of the way, LOL).
Joanna’s choir an entire coast away at the (Catholic) Cathedral in Seattle is also singing parts of it, but in English and I fear a great deal is lost in translation.  But however it’s sung, it’s like what the Germans say about Berlin – immer die Reise wert (always worth the trip).  And Joanna’s choir is far more experienced than ours I’m sure! I wish I could hear them singing this as well – maybe we can figure a way to send out mp3s of a section or two – who knows?
Catching up on the chronology of my life, it has been almost a week since I last posted.  Let’s see, I think it was that day I found out K and D are having a little boy:) and now we have pictures on the ‘fridge of his sonogram! Modern life – cannot get over it!  All is well with them, thank God.
Last week was not particularly eventful, even for court days.  There was one contested shelter hearing, but even the specially set second half of a contested hearing was settled before noon, and the two regular hearings I had were for clients who are doing well, so it was a wonderful week at work!
Friday evening I met up with Nancy, Rennie, Donna, Tom and Rev. Nick at the diner for supper after the aforementioned had finished a wedding rehearsal (well, Donna, Nancy and Nick, Rennie, Tom and I were pretty much there for the ride).  I was my usually terribly behaved self, thank goodness.  Nick had some interesting news from the Annual Convention which took place in Hunt Valley.  I had called John from the road on my way there, but he was involved in a project at home and didn’t really want to go out.  The evening ended fairly early, so I got home and had a glass of wine with John and we watched some TV together.
Next day the grandangels came.  John spent the day with them while I went to rehearsal (he’s a saint!)  Yesterday was the usual church sunday except that it was our annual meeting.  Then home and our extended family for sunday dinner.  
One thing I did NOT do this weekend – Merlin Sheep and Wool Festival! Second year in a row I’ve missed it, too.  I think I really felt that I shouldn’t be spending money on yarn just yet and I knew I’d be tempted.  That and the fact that I’m not a great fan of crowds kept me away this year.  Maybe next year.
What I did do Saturday before coming home from rehearsal was to go to Music and Arts and get a new case for my flute.  Not only did they have flute cases, but really decent ones that fit my b foot – and at a better price than all the ones I found on line! Who knew?  Hopefully that will take care of the mildew problem(!!!) Of course I picked up a little sheet music too, but they had a good sale on!
I have been just bad about my knitting lately.  I think it’s because I feel I have to get a project

 finished before working on anything else – and that is the February Lady sweater.  As you can see, it’s in the thick of the lace pattern.  I think I need to work on another project for a little bit and use this one for TV and meetings where I can just do row after row of the easy-to-remember lace pattern.  Helen is doing all sorts of cool things with hers – check out her blog (and if you have time, you should also check out her stuff on YouTube – she is the only person who has made the Channel Island Cast on intelligible to this visual learner! I think there are links on her blog – but her name on YouTube and I think also Ravelry is “ofTroy”).

Well, as you can see, I’ve made some pitiful progress.  Tonight I’m bringing it to a meeting, so hopefully I’ll get a few more inches done!
Well, life is a thrill a minute, isn’t it:)
That’s realllllllly Ohhhhhh Kayyyyyy!
Well, hopefully I’ll be back before a week is out.  Until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!
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Author: fuguestateknits

Wife of one, mother of six, gram of five (so far) and lawyer for many young persons, I love to sing, read, knit and walk. My politics are somewhat left of Marx and I want to hear what you think, too!

5 thoughts on “Dess wir sollen fröhlich sein….”

  1. first thanks for the plug..

    second, i wish i could come hear you and the choir sing.

    I am not much of a church goer–and i am at best a deist–but remnants of my religious training linger..

    to sing gods praise, is to pray twice. one with the words, once with the music.

    the thing i like best about church is the music… and you make it sound (just writing about it) glorious. I am tone deaf, but still find my self elevated to higher plane of existence by powerful music.

  2. Helen – thanks so much! I think you’d enjoy it if you like Bach:) I really get how the church thing is not for everyone. In fact, most, if not all of my kids – and my father and stepmother are agnostic/atheist – probably a good challenge.
    Thanks for what you have to say about good music. I feel exactly the same way! And although my absolute favorite is classical – I’m just as happy with rock, folk, you name it, so long as it is good!
    Colin – wish your John and I could have a good listen to some good Baroque music some time! Like I said above, I really do love all good music – but Baroque is – as they say here in Merlin – “ma heart!”Thanks to both of you for stopping by:)

  3. Tried to write yesterday, but I’m having internet issues, and it seems to work for about a minute a day. I too wish I could come hear you. It sounds wonderful. Ours probably will not be. Our choir has another big thing coming, and the focus is there. So the Bach keeps getting whittled down, and now we are only singing the first movement – which we have run through about twice. It doesn’t sound too hopeful, does it. Soloists are doing another movement, so that should go well, at least. I like singing in German too, but for services, we sing in Latin if whatever it is, is in Latin, and otherwise English – the assumption being that we all speak Latin and English, I suppose. For concerts and for our Christmas Carol Service, we sing in whatever the original is in, and that can be a trial if the music itself is complex. This year, we sang carols in Chinese, Serbian, Polish, French, Czech (sp??), German, and Swedish – some of the native tongues of Choir members. It was a strain, as you can imagine.

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