This week on Exploring Music we’re playing the B Minor Mass of J.S. Bach and I’m on the beach for some much needed R & R with family and close friends. On Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of streaming the program onto my i-Phone while walking along the beach in Corolla, NC. I had beautiful clouds out to sea on my right and a crimson sunset on my left. On the radio we were playing Glorias, first from Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, then from Bach’s F Major Mass, and then from the B Minor. Very interesting that the F Major and the B Minor are adjacent BWV numbers and yet present such different dramatic takes on some of the same material.
It was during the B Minor that I turned around to make it home
in time for an Indian feast prepared by one of our housemates, plus yummy rum drinks prepared by another, and this gave me a look at the waxing gibbous moon rising offshore. (And I just looked up waxing gibbous.) This portion of the walk was accompanied by Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the Orchestral Suite No.3, thirst and hunger.
Usually I’m so busy actually working on the show and other projects that it’s tough to find the time to listen to a whole show all the way through (much less while walking on the beach at sunset). I was reminded of the joke about the two bass players chatting in the orchestra pit before the opera starts. One of them has just returned from taking a few days off. His buddy asks him how his vacation was. He says, “It was great. I actually went to see the opera one night.”
“Oh yeah? What did you see?”
“Oh, I love Carmen. I always wondered what that one sounds like from out there”
“It’s great. I couldn’t believe it. You know that part where we’re playing ‘dum…dee dum dum dum…dee dum dum dum’? The soprano sings the most beautiful melody during that.”
(insert rim shot!)
I work with Bill M in New York, and then we send raw voice tracks to our crack team of editors toiling in Chicago. It’s nice to get the chance to hear a show put together, and I have to say that they do the most beautiful editing on the parts we send them that are a little bit ‘dum…dee dum dum dum…” It reminds me of how fortunate I am to be able to do this for a living.
We’re taking turns cooking dinner, and last night my wife and I made a Mexican feast, aka Taco Night. She made a delicious pork shoulder, which was shredded and used as filling, along with ground beef, black beans, guacamole, corn salsa, Chimichurri, rice and salsa from a jar.
Turns out exploring the music of the B Minor Mass doesn’t go so well with this kind of food preparation, so we didn’t get to hear the whole show last night. But tonight an evening beach walk beckons, even though it has turned grey, rainy and blustery. (The beach is actually closed by the weather, which is an odd concept for a kid from Hawai’i.) I’m thinking it might be just the right environment for the show tonight, which will focus on the crucifixus. Enjoy, and til next time…cheers.