Sunday, February 10, 2008

St. Olaf Choir - Remarkable Music

They are 68 strong, they hail from a small northern Mid-Western college, and they are (save for two members) all very white.

But they can sing like you are standing at the Gates of Heaven. I swear it.

I first heard of the
St.Olaf College Choir in December, when I saw their Christmas concert on PBS. And then, later that month, Nancy spotted a small add in a local newspaper that they would be on tour and stopping right next door in Pasadena.

And so, last Tuesday night, in the company of dear 20+ year friends Jeff & Sparky and Jamie & Polly, off we went to hear the Mid-Western white kids sing.

And sing, they did! The concert, in a word: amazing.

Powerful, subtle, moving, engaging, wonderful. Choral music is by no means a dead art. I promise you. At one point I was moved to tears by a choral treatment of Robert Frost's, The Pasture:

I’m going out to clean the pasture spring;
I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.

I’m going out to fetch the little calf
That’s standing by the mother. It’s so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.

You come too, indeed. Words of a simple rural life, so long gone from where I live today, busily hurrying through my urban life. Flying here and there, things to accomplish. Sometimes, I think I would rather clean the pasture spring.

Just a peek more at the St. Olaf's choir is found below, in a treatment of Mark Jennings "O Crux" (O Cross). I could not find the english translation from the Latin, but watch this, I think you will be blessed.

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