About Me

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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Gloria!" ~ glorious, indeed!

Jeanie
I think she is headed to the frog pond. The design is mouth-wateringly gorgeous. And its foundation is K1P1 ribbing, with about half of the stitches being twisted so that the dropped stitches will not compromise their neighbors. It has been decades since I worked K1P1 ribbing for any length of time – I became a convert to K2P2 about 20 years ago – and after only five rows I am about ready to shriek. The fabric is lush and luscious, with a wonderful hand, and I fear that I will not have enough yarn to knit this up.

However, I am not going to rip out the needles until I try a few other things first, with other cakes of the yarn.

Firestarter
Stalled for a couple of days, because the designer’s “drop the stitches, cross them and place them back onto the needles, and oh by the way, twist the stitches as you knit them” is just too frustrating for me on size 0’s. I tried using a toothpick as a cable needle at work, but while it was smooth enough for its intended purpose, those minuscule stitches kept snagging.

I discovered this fact about 15 minutes after I realized that Jeanie needed to go into time out. Thank goodness I had the Stripedy Socks warming up the bench!

Christmas Concert
Oh. Wow. First, the choir and orchestra and band did a magnificent job with some challenging music. Second, I do not like Rutter’s “Gloria”. I suppose it works on a technical level, but it is far too atonal for my taste. Much, much prefer Dvorak’s “Gloria”, which is melodic and soul-stirring. [Or Van Morrison’s “G-L-O-R-I-A”, which is neither, but is a different sort of classic!]

There was one moment in the finale to Brahms’ “First” where a horn player burbled, and those were a couple of notes sour enough to make my fillings hurt! I was sitting next to my friend L, whose son is in the orchestra and is not a horn player, and after the concert I said they ought to take that poor horn player and stuff him head-first into a spare tuba.

The bell choir from a neighboring church were guest performers for [unsurprisingly] “Carol of the Bells”. Lovely, just lovely.

LittleBit’s solo was in the second movement of the “Gloria”, when rising up out of the musical mud there is this all-too-brief, ethereal soprano descant. Maternal prejudice aside, those few measures were what saved the piece for me.

She asked me later which piece I liked best. And much as I loved that Brahms finale, and her solo, my favorite was “O Come, O Come Immanuel”. They brought in the bell choir again, and everyone played with such reverence and love and awe. The choir director is a devout Christian as well as a skilled musician, so she knew how to direct them. And I sat there, moved to tears, which are welling up again as I type this.

I asked L, as we were gathering our things and our children, if she thought any of the kids in the choir knew what they were singing about, and she said, “A few, maybe, but not many.”

That song, for me, ties together the Old Testament longing for the Messiah, with the New Testament witness that He has come and will come again, and the New World witness of the Book of Mormon [which is another testament of and for Christ], and the modern revelations we have received since Joseph Smith came along to shake up the status quo. It is the most Hebraic of the Christmas carols that I know, and it speaks to the same part of my soul that loves bagpipes and Appalachian music.

My shared copy of Knit Kimono arrived in the mail yesterday. Tinks bought it, and we have shared custody. [ have full physical custody, and she has visitation rights.] And I also picked up a cookbook for one-serving meals at Half-Price Books after buying ribbon for packages at the shop next door. I had a small balance remaining on the gift card I got from one of the attorneys last Christmas.

3 comments:

Tan said...

I like the Rutter Gloria.

Julie said...

I will have to agree that I wasn't *pleased* with much of the music that they picked for the concert this year. “O Come, O Come Immanuel”was probably my favorite, too. I do love "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" but it was very quiet and almost hard to hear in the balcony. That poor horn player on the Brahms piece I just felt sorry for (though I also felt sorry for my ears). And I was also not a fan of the big "Gloria" piece. I felt like the kids were struggling just to play it, (though the solo was beautiful). And the bell choir was lovely, I was happy to have a close-up seat for their pieces.

Lynn said...

I like his "Clap Your Hands". I think it is amazing. They sang that in the fall concert. And maybe he has written other things that I would like.

Dvorak, on the other hand? I don't think I've heard anything of his that I didn't absolutely, instantly love. And Rossini, though he obviously had it in for violinists. And Telemann, particularly his work for the recorder :)