Monday, March 12, 2007
"Sibelius in the Snow" or "You can't subdivide Infinity"
I would like to share with you some thoughts about music, written during a snowstorm last year.Do you LOVE music? Are there pieces you find painfully beautiful? I once heard a woman preach a sermon where Bach’s Air on the G String was used as an [excellent] illustration preceding her insights on beauty. The week before, she asked a conductor who attended church for help in arranging the music. Later, he and I shared other pieces that rose to the heights of searing, heart rending beauty. He suggested some of the Shostakovich quartets; my choice was the slow moment of Faure’s last piano trio. But today, in snowy Boston, is a "Sibelius Day. " Even the few short minutes of "Andante Festivo" moved me to tears. Does that happen to you? Maybe when the trumpets enter in the last movement of his Symphony No. 2? What about the English horn at the beginning of the 6th Symphony? Can you listen to "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein" (Make, O Lord, my heart pure and clean) from Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" without weeping? Has the first note of "Aus Liebe" --- For Love [My Savior Died]--- ever made your eyes moist? That even surprised me, but I knew the soloist, and I knew she was singing of love that had transformed her. Do you have a favorite piece you can only hear in Heaven? The last duet from Turandot? I remember a dream about Heaven, where giant angels, looking like tall gray statues, were singing Bruckner’s "Te Deum. " That’s sometimes used as the finale to his 9th Symphony, once thought incomplete. I want to hear him conduct it, complete and perfect, in Heaven! Anton Bruckner will be there, he who dedicated his symphonies "To God, should He choose to accept them. " So, I was thinking that maybe I’d missed the heavenly premiere–but I don’t think I missed it at all. How’s that? Time only exists on earth. I think every moment in Heaven will be the first moment, when we see God face to face, and know as we are known. "You can’t subdivide infinity. " How can there be time without the sun? Heaven has no need of it, for the Lord Himself is the light, eternal and beyond time. Well, that’s an engineer-who-loves-music’s view of Heaven. And now, back to earth!