Vetrate di Chiesa

My friend Hillary notified me on Facebook about her concert with the ISU Symphony. Sure am glad she did.

So the family and I enjoyed our first orchestral concert since we left Kansas City two years ago. The young miss was relieved not to have to dress up, but proclaimed herself bored after the first piece, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.

I wouldn’t have stated it that way. While I appreciated the performance, especially of the soloist, and the orchestration of the piece was interesting, I can’t say I was really impressed with the work. Twenty-plus minutes of angst over lost love seemed a little self-indulgent to me. I guess I’ll have to listen to a few Mahler symphonies.

I really was looking forward to the second piece, Vetrate di Chiesa. Wasn’t disappointed. I was first introduced to the recording (image, above) when I worked in public radio in the 80′s. The cd was one of the first I acquired at the end of the era of vinyl. My sensitive wife once jumped when I was playing the disc in the immediate transition from the hushed Flight Into Egypt to the archangel Michael’s battle with the forces of evil.

Respighi studied briefly with Rimsky-Korsakov, another non-German composer I have at the peak of my pantheon. I love their orchestrations.

Along with Hillary in the second violins, another one of “our own” was performing tonight. Michael was on the pipe organ in the recital hall for bits in his namesake’s movement, as well as the last “window,” Gregory the Great, which quotes something of Gloria VIII (I think).

The students clearly are not a professional symphony, but I thoroughly enjoyed the concert in spite of the occasional intonation problem. Lots of other students were in the audience. And I always appreciate musicians giving their all.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Vetrate di Chiesa

  1. Tony Barr says:

    Imagine that! ‘Twenty-plus minutes of angst over lost love seemed a little self-indulgent to me. I guess I’ll have to listen to a few Mahler symphonies.’
    I fell in love with Mahler in my early teens. He was later to join my inner circle, which predominantly featured Pink Floyd’ as my icons of abnormality.
    To like (nay, love) Mahler is to flat-line amidst the mystery and magic of life. He draws a straight line lasting almost an hour, and undulates around this tonal pole expressing immense joy and beauty, angst and hope. He was as conflicted as Roger Waters, and I love him for it! The outpouring of one’s soul in both controled and raw emotion, wrapped in etheral and cataclysmic sound, is surely not too far from the roots of Gregorian Chant? Again, imagine that!

  2. Todd says:

    Thanks for the comment, Tony. I don’t know what it is with me and the 19th century Germans.

    When the soloist sang about the burning knife, I had a creepy thought steal into my head about just putting the composer out of his misery: plunge the knife in deeper.

    People on this site and elsewhere have tried to convert me to these guys, Bruckner and Mahler especially. People have even sent cd’s. I borrow disks from the library. Maybe I need to go to a locked room in Vienna for a month with an iPod crammed with 1750-1900 for it all to soak in. After JS Bach, nothing from Europe really excites me till the 20th century. Don’t know why, as I was exposed to classical music as a listener from a young age.

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