Schütz: Selig sind die Toten
Ensemble Altera; Christopher Lowrey, Director

Mass for the Endangered, “I. Kyrie” by Sarah Kirkland Snider
Houston Chamber Choir


Kyrie Eleison (Lord, have mercy.)
On earth, air, and water
Have mercy
On stone, tree, and flower
Have mercy, world have mercy
Kyrie Eleison
Give mercy to all wing and paw
Mercy to all creed and claw
On flower, seed, leaf and root
Give mercy to all broods and tribes
Mercy to all nests and prides
To tide and spring, squall and breeze
To those who plead for calm and peace
not hunted, hounded, poisoned, fleeced.
To barren, poisoned land
Forgive us
To the vanished, and the left
Forgive us, world forgive us
Mercy on this refuge,
this braided boundless stone
Mercy for their old
Mercy for their young
And mercy now for what we’ve done
Kyrie Eleison

I just learned of the passing of Sir Andrew Davis. He died yesterday.

The Guardian
Chicago Sun Times

… and of course there are more articles out there.

(Yes, I know Easter was a few weeks back ….)

Were You There? arr. Michael Garrett
Ensemble Altera

by Charles Villiers Stanford


MacMillan: Miserere
Tenebrae; Nigel Short, Conductor

At a recent opera orchestra rehearsal I was telling a colleague how much I love the human voice (and wish I had a good singing voice, alas). He agreed with me. There really is nothing like a wonderful voice … so lovely, so real, so … well … human! I think every instrumentalist should sing and, yes, I’ve written about this before. It doesn’t matter if we don’t have the best of voices. It’s just something we should do. And I believe it helps with our music making. I know that students of mine who were also able to sing had a better time with pitch, timbre, and vibrato. Especially vibrato. It tended to come more naturally to them. Sadly most of my students balk at singing. Some look at me in horror when I suggest they sing. I could go on about “back in my day …” but I’ll leave it here. Singing just isn’t as popular as it used to be.

If anyone reads this blog any more you know I’ve reduced my involvement tremendously. I miss having things to say and write about, but I think I just ran out of steam! I will, however, have more to write in, I hope, the near future. So if you check in occasion, but sure and check in again in a few months.

Meanwhile … here is a lovely choral work by Dan Forrest. Sort of movie music-ish, but I’m okay with that. Reminds me a bit of playing Lord of the Rings, actually. But that might be just me. It’s a sacred work, so some of you might balk at that like my students balk at singing!

The third movement, “The Sun Never Says” … well … I love that poem. I’d print it here, but that would be against copyright laws so if you click through to the YouTube video it’s printed there with permission.

A favorite sonnet put to music. Heaven.

Holy Sonnet XIV
John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

09. April 2024 · 2 comments · Categories: Oboe, Opera

Sometimes I wonder why we have certain licks in a piece. And I wonder how many “give it to the flute player!” (A suggestion that has been made over and over these past few weeks.) This is only a snippet … I play the measure four more times! Or I try to play it, anyway.

Handel: Alleluia (from “let They Hand Be Strengthened”
Caritas Consort