Re: OT Some musical discoveries
- I just wanted to say a few more things in response to Sumangali's excellent comments.
First, it's always been a source of wonder to me that Christ's direct disciples misunderstood him so badly. But when I look at his disciples in posterity, like St. Teresa of Avila, Hildegard von Bingen and Johann Sebastian Bach, I see that these people, separated from the Christ by centuries, were the ones who really received the Christ-Consciousness and offered it to the world.
Second, the St. Matthew Passion is beautiful and sublime beyond words. But, amazingly, it only represents a small fraction of Bach's musical genius. Try listening to the opening movement of cantata BWV 109, or the haunting and beautiful alto-tenor duet from cantata BWV155, or the otherworldy aria "Ach es bleibt in meiner liebe" from cantata 77. I could go on and on- Bach wasn't just a genius, he was something for which there is no name.
Third, I find that Bach's songs and Sri Chinmoy's songs affect me in different ways. I'd like to share my experiences with their music, and wish to emphasize that I am speaking only for myself. When I sing Bach's songs, I feel blessed in my heart. The songs come from the heart centre and are meant to be enjoyed and experienced in the heart. When I sing Sri Chinmoy's songs, I feel blessed from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. They touch my integral being: mind, heart, emotions, physical nature, everything. The spirituality or the divinity in Sri Chinmoy's music is remarkably accessible and palpable. Also, I like how they resonate in my inner ear. Whenever I sing my Guru's music, I feel wholly and unreservedly nourished.
Interestingly, listening to and loving Bach has increased my devotion and appreciation for Sri Chinmoy's music. Not bad for a kappelmeister and day school teacher in one-horse town Leipzig!
Here are the lyrics to one of the many appreciative songs Sri Chinmoy wrote for Bach:
Bach, Bach, Bach, Bach!
O heart-piercing, soul-stirring melody,
You quenched the unquenched thirst of Eternity.
- Dear Priyadarshan,
I am also a shameless lover of Verdi's Requiem. It's really fantastic. I have a version where Leontyne Price sings the soprano. What a marvellous voice.
I have Sri Chinmoy's Heart-Power-Victory tape, an organ performance, recorded in Australia. It is remarkable. I listen to it often.
Thank you for your constant inspiration, too, Priyadarshan. I especially like your newest book, "The Tuscan Guide to Scones."
I will look for the version of the Vespers with Emma Kirby- thank you for this recommendation. Do you remember the name of the conductor?
I always like reading your reminescences of your college music days. You write about music with such passion and immediacy.