Thursday, March 17, 2005

Joe-bilate Chorale

After spending the day with Joe, we went to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Brookfield to see the Jubilate Chorale with whom he sings tenor under the direction of Mark Aamot. The concert was absolutely beautiful. Being Lent, the pieces selected were (to the best of my knowledge) related to the passion of Jesus Christ. I admit I don’t know as much as I’d like about classical music, but when it’s performed I know what’s good—and this was very good. The music was so rich that I am humbled by the talent of the singers.

St. Johns is very much a Lutheran church: wood beams supporting the vaulted wood ceiling. The warmth of the space only served to enhance the choir’s voices. A violin and cello accompanied most of the songs. To my mind, the voice of a cello is as close to human as an instrument can be—yet another enhancement to the choir’s rich sound. The organ, however, only distracted me from the vocals when it was used. There are just some sounds organs use that have never seemed quite right to me.

The entire concert lasted about an hour (kudos to the choir for standing in one place and singing for an hour straight), and was supported by two screens on which were projected images of Christian art. Most of it was classical as well (Titian, for example), but a couple paintings were in that folk art style that makes it look like a colorblind four-year-old painted it with her feet. Those I did not care for. Through most of the concert, the images seemed to have been selected randomly, but a few songs had special presentations—translating the words being sung in one case, and focusing solely on Michelangelo’s Pieta in another. We joked afterwards that our half of the church was gypped because our screen would show lyrics while the other showed a painting, and it seemed only ours showed the folk art paintings.

I’m glad we were able to stay for the concert that evening. Sitting in the church letting the sound of the music and the voices wash over us… I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Saturday evening in Lent.


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