Monday, December 18, 2006

A day of music

We did our musical program, essentially, twice yesterday. First service we did the three (of 7) longest numbers without narration. Then at the 10:30 we did the entire program. That is the one I have the swinging solo. It really went well. Bren, Amy and the kids came to listen. We all went to Burgerville (a NW phenom) for lunch.

Aleene and I went to Portland with our friends the Springers (ret. preacher) to the Portland Baroque Orchestra presentation of the Messiah. This was presented in a beautiful chapel (seating about 350) at Lewis and Clark College. L&C is an upscale liberal arts institution located on the SW side of Portland. So it is about 20 miles from us. I drove and Ed navigated. Actually it was easy to do. But back to the music.

They had about 30 in the chorus and four soloists. The PBO (see above) was made up of about 10 strings, five woodwinds, two brass trumpets, harpsichord and harp...and percussion, of course. Very small, very discrete and very good.

The soloists included a countertenor (first I ever heard) who sang the alto solos. He was incredible. My first reaction was that he was a unich, but after Aleene punched me a couple of times I gave up that thought. Then I figured he must be singing falsetto. But it turns out he has a high voice that is trained that way. It was hard to watch at first, but if you closed your eyes he sounded like a contralto. After the first couple of numbers I could look and then I really got to like watching him. I looked forward to his solos to try and figure out how he did that.

The soprano was a cross dresser (just kidding) a slightly built young woman who had a magnificent voice. I said to Aleene that she did not look hefty enough to support a voice that size. She was great.

We noticed that one of the tenors in the chorus was the soloist at our church for the community sing-a-long Messiah two weeks ago. That is an indication of the quality of the chorus. I have to think this was the best presentation of the Messiah that I have ever seen (not that I have seen many above the New Castle Music Club Chorus with Ann Welsch at the piano and Kitty Allen at the Scottish Rite Cathedral organ. Do I have that right? Help me readers that might know.) We loved the Messiah. This morning's Oregonian, however, panned the performance stating that it lacked passion. Oh well. He never heard the NC Music Club in 1956.

We then went to Wu's Open Kitchen to eat. This should not be confused with Mr. Wu of Silk Road. There are three Wu restaurants in the Portland area and they have a big window facing the dining area where they cook facing you. Very interesting.

Lastly, they found one body yesterday on Mt. Hood. I am doubtful that the other two are still alive or they would have surfaced yesterday. We could see Hood on the trip to Portland yesterday. You cannot see it very often in the winter; too cloudy. But yesterday it was like a magnificent star shining in the east. As one climber said on the news yesterday; "...look at her. That is why we climb it in the winter." Very real magnetic attraction to the spirit of some.

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