Tuesday, December 17, 2013

More Thoughts on the Solstice

The monuments and myths of our earliest ancestors bear witness to their spirituality.  The solstice is central to much early worship marking the end of darkening and beginning of new dawn.  I believe that the great light of a new star and the belief in birth of hope incarnate are of a spiritual whole with centuries of earlier solstice celebrations.  Poetry and music kept belief and tradition alive long before the printing press.  The words and music to an old song were transformed by Johann Sebastian Bach into his beautiful Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248.  I offer below the chorale, Break Forth O Beauteous Heavenly Light, and then a link to a full performance of the Oratorio.  I chose a 2007 recording by the All South Jersey Senior High Choir for the chorale. Here is the link

If you are interested in a closer listen to the harmonies that float the chorale, here is an interesting version recorded by one young man, four times, so that he presents each voice part.

And finally, the Christmas Oratorio. Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Monteverdi Choir. Stonehenge offers a bold, but silent tribute to renewed  hope.  This piece is a full of the sound of glory.

My holiday offering.  Merry Christmas.

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