I am in awe of musicians. How wonderful it must be to pick up an instrument and make music. Those who can do it probably won’t understand how envious we are, those who, like me, are musically inept. But I guess someone has to be the audience.
It’s amazing the way the members of an orchestra make such complex and interesting sounds and then combine those sounds with all the others at just the right time, all blending together into something grand.
But it’s not just orchestras. Just to play the piano nicely would be great, or the church organ, or a guitar, a sax, an accordion… well, maybe not so much the accordion.
The choirs I have seen and heard use a wonderfully wide variety of music.
I know I’ve mentioned it before but I like it when a big pipe organ, like the one at King’s College, is played loud on a stereo with a good sub-woofer, one that can shake the walls. On their Heavenly Voices CD there is the final number by Karg-Elart that takes the bass notes down into a subsonic range and vibrates through me and makes the neighbors dogs bark. It feels good.
Libera’s DVD from their Leiden concert features a small but gorgeous orchestra along with, of course, Fiona Pears in that slinky black gown, and her beautiful violin.
The orchestra in Les Choristes en Concert is larger and they do some fancy things I’ve never seen like plucking the violin strings with their fingers. The percussionist uses some odd instruments and in one song he keeps time with a couple of smooth palm-sized river stones (a type of rock music I guess).
Saint Johns’ College Ave Verum DVD features their really talented organist, but the choir also does a couple of numbers with just a cello and a harp, a nice combination.
I have a version of Amazing Grace by the Vienna Boy’s Choir that incorporates a surprising electric guitar and a guitar also plays a large role in some of the American Boychoir songs.
When I saw the Vienna Boy’s Choir last fall I was a little surprised that most of the songs were a cappella while only a few were accompanied by the piano. Those kids are great with or without music.
The thing is, I am grateful to all of the musicians of the world for what they give us. What would the world be like without music?