Did you know the Triduum ends at sundown on Easter Sunday? That means it is ending RIGHT AS I TYPE!! How cool is that?
Faithful readers are familiar with my propensity toward one of two things around significant liturgical feasts:
a. getting all squishy and emotive
b. quoting T.S. Eliot
It must be an Easter miracle, because I am going to do neither. Instead, a few musical notes.
1. Holy Thursday included a last minute change from the Faure Pie Jesu to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s. The Faure involves extensive singing in the passaggio and was what I had warmed-up for. The Webber is theater-y (tediously Brightman-esque), includes a series of surprise A-flats, and IS A DUET. I just sang the melody all the way through. Feeling a little under the weather, I had no choice but to sing a blaringly loud A-flat every time it came up. I attempted a little decrescendo the last time around, but simply ended up holding the note too long and sounding like a show-off.
1a. I know assemblies want to show their appreciation, but PLEASE DON’T CLAP just before we are about to transport the host for the nightwatch.
2. You do not know dirty looks until you walk through a soprano section when you have been hired as a cantor “ringer”. Yikes, was I glared at on Saturday night. I’m sorry they didn’t pick you to sing the psalm! Don’t take it out on me.
3. Speaking of Saturday, in case you were wondering I am still WICKED ALLERGIC to lilies. So my ears plugged up and my throat closed up as I was trying to keep some sort of ensemble togetherness with a far off organ at the Easter Vigil. It was not my most beautiful work.
3a. In an incontrovertible sign of the spirit at work in the community, the litany on Saturday included the Venerable Bede. I just love that name.
4. Easter morning only comes once a year, so I had to bust out the Mozart Alleluia regardless of any lingering ailments. That meant, however, that I would be singing high Cs at around 9:20 in the morning, which is fair neither to me nor to the assembly. I soldiered on, and by mass #3 things seemed to have fallen into place…until just after the Mozart I had to lead the Bernie Farrell classic “I am the Bread of Life”, which with the organist’s transposition goes down to a low G, a full 2.5 octaves below the C I had honked out but a moment before. That was vocally interesting, to say the least.
Up next on the liturgical calendar? Divine Mercy Sunday, when I will no doubt make the case once again that Doubting Thomas got a bad rap.