Gerry' blog

Published by: mike on 20th May 2018 | View all blogs by mike

Dear Gerry,

     I had attended a sermon of sorts during which the vicar discussed how Mozart’s Mass in C related to the service he conducted on the Sunday.   This  was some months ago, but I recall the service is very much as you describe.

     Last Monday I saw a stage production of Paradise Lost.  This was in a theatre and drew comparisons between the theatre and a church.  It was a work in progress.          During April I attended a Catholic Mass.  It was staged in a concert hall and had been composed by Bernstein.  I think the Mass could be described as a melting pot of cultures.




  • mike
    by mike 3 months ago
    for me, the composer who conveys the numinous is Mahler. This is especially true if you hear his work performed in concert hall. I do find his music very sad - even grief stricken.
  • Gerry
    by Gerry 3 months ago
    Grief stricken - well, sometimes. But how about the Resurrection Symphony, (no. 2)? Audiences always give a massive cheer at the end, as well they might - they have just heard arguably the single most triumphant note in music (the last but two from the choir).
  • mike
    by mike 3 months ago
    Dear Gerry,
    I do agree. My favourite symphony is the first but that is probably because it was the last one I saw. The other work in the concert had been a Beethoven piano concerto. One wonders what Beethoven would have composed had he the same musical palette as Mahler?
    Some of what you wrote in your blog seem more expressed in religions of the East rather than the West. I saw an opera by Phillip Glass and was totally confused by the libretto which had many sources - including Ghandi I think the world mindfulness is used now. The opera takes watching paint dry one step further and considers what happens when paint begins to flake.
    The Milton was a research project. It had been staged in the small Jacobean Theatre on the SouthBank. This theatre does rather resemble a church or a chapel in that it has pews, is made of wood and is candle-lit. The musicians gallery served as heaven and a trapdoor in the stage as hell!
    I attended because of Milton's blindness. I had looked into a regency journalist who became blind - whose children acted as his amanuenses - as did Milton's daughters. Blindness was not a theme of the production, though Milton is both a participant and spectator of his own drama.
    There was a question and answer afterwards with the cast on stage. I contributed afterwards with some notes as the project reminded me of a semi-staged reconstruction of Bach's St Matthews Passion that I had recently seen. The material I found on the journalist -and the plot and reconstruction I imagined - had more potential on the subject of blindness than the Milton project which is a bit frustrating.
    A projected musical about the composer of regimental marches also has a religious theme, It is about a poet trying to compose a successful poem. Of course he never can do this, but reaches a point where a poem and the music combine. This is the climax. But it is far to difficult. The climax is not a march. It is a romantic theme - a bit like a Webber melody. My research established that this was the work that established the composer and might have been a poipular success in his own lifetime..
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