A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Lacrimosa dies illa At Dunbar Heights United Church
Saturday, April 19, 2014




 

Good Friday - Rosa sericea subs. omeienses f. pteracantha


 At 71 it is beyond impossible to forget and abandon a Roman Catholic background. This is particularly so when I have been listening to J.S. Bach’s Saint John Passion as performed by Monica Huggett’s (violin) Portland Baroque Orchestra with my friends Tyler Duncan, bass and Matthew White, alto, for a few days.

 How can one forget one’s religious heritage when one opts for an intimate performance of Mozart’s Requiem at Dunbar Heights United Church? I could have gone to listen to a mass choir version in a symphony hall. This on a sunny day, but still a somber one was a better choice.

It was only last night as my granddaughter Rebecca and I returned from an evening at the theatre that I explained that the music we were listening to was Bach’s St. John Passion. I told her, “I am listening to it because tomorrow is Good Friday.” In an ignorance of the times she asked, “But isn’t it Easter?” I had to retort (gently), "Christ had to die on a Good Friday to leave us with hope on Saturday and his Resurrection on Easter Sunday.”

Before going to this Friday evening performance with my friend Graham Walker, of the Requiem by Soloists, Alexandra Hill, soprano, Melissa Howell, alto, Clinton Stoffberg, tenor, Joel Klein, baritone, the Centennial Choir and Chamber Orchestra of the Dunbar Heights United Church, emphatically directed by Greg Caisley, I thought of the colours of these three significant days.

It occurred to me that Good Friday must be black or red or both. Saturday is the day of hope. The colours can be green (renewal) or blue (the colour of the Virgin Mary). And of course Easter is white as it represents Christ’s resurrection, His defeat of death into the light, white light, white vestments.



Easter Saturday - Geranium 'Rozanne'

During the Good Fridays of my early youth, my mother would beckon me in from playing with my friends in the street sometime around 1pm. On that day we could not listen to the radio or any kind of music. My grandmother Lolita would arrive and the three of us would kneel. Abue, as I called my grandmother would read the Seven Last Words of Christ. After all that I would return to the street unable to explain to my best friend, Mario Hertzberg why I had left our play.

I believe that my grandmother, who was a fine coloratura soprano would have condoned to my listening to music today. She could not have possibly denied me the Requiem and she would have enjoyed as much as I did the fine solo soprano that is my friend and tocaya Alexandra Hill.

 Walker and I lucked out as we sat on the front row a mere four feet from Director Greg Caisley, and I could have even played footsies (Caisley would not have approved, after all she is his wife) with Concert Mistress Yi Zhou who could have easily wacked me with her bow had I tried, that’s how close we were.

Back, hidden by the choir, was legendary trumpet player (now retired but not so quietly) Martin Barenbaum. I had his records back in the 70s in Mexico and I once heard him play Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 2 (with an almost impossible trumpet part) at the Orpheum in the 80s.  

While the small chamber orchestra was not playing with period instruments, its presence in the church with us up front had all the lovely trappings of Walker and I being dukes of the realm listening to the performance in our palace salon.

Easter Sunday - Magnolia stellata

One of the interesting characters in the church as my eyes wandered away from the statuesque Alexandra Hill, is the Reverend Richard Bott, who seems to be the great organizer, the sound recorder, the usher to fit more people in (it was packed) but most importantly to make pleas, gentle pleas, for our donations to keep these wonderful concerts going.

Another person of note, for Walker and me was spotting a bearded Ken Hughes, baritone, in the choir. Hughes is a legendary graphic designer and former instructor at Emily Carr. He taught Walker design. With Hughes I worked on a campaign to get Bob Bose elected as Surrey Mayor. 


Another standout for this vile amateur that I am is tenor Clifton Stoffberg who I saw recently as part of a Musica Intima collaboration with the Turning Point Ensemble and the Nu-BC Collective, Thirst

. Both Melissa Howell, alto, and Joel Klein, baritone were steady in their parts along with that firm and also steady man at the cello, Stefan Hintersteininger.

This was my first live Mozart Requiem. It is a performance that I will treasure for as long as am able to remember.






Director Greg Caisley takes a bow

Alexandra Hill, behind right Ken Hughes, Clinton Stoffberg




     

Previous Posts
The Grandkid At The Gateway Theatre - A Gabork Of ...

The Bomb-Itty Of Errors -Teaches An Old Dog A New ...

Dead Toads

Saintly Derivations

The Name Of That Rose

Annie Captured Our Hearts In Red

Monica Huggett & Two Grounds For Praise At The Pla...

Monica Huggett - Fantastically Baroque - Early Mus...

Los Artistas & La Modelo

Three Bohemians, LInda, Borges & La Recoleta



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3/6/16 - 3/13/16

3/13/16 - 3/20/16

3/20/16 - 3/27/16

3/27/16 - 4/3/16

4/3/16 - 4/10/16

4/10/16 - 4/17/16

4/17/16 - 4/24/16

4/24/16 - 5/1/16

5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17