A Resonant Easter Greeting


Although we tend to associate George Frideric Handel’s Messiah with the Christmas season, the oratorio debuted in Dublin on April 13, 1742, and its earliest performances often coincided with Easter.

For the Dublin premiere, approximately thirty cathedral-trained singers made up the choir, accompanied by an equally-sized orchestra of strings, winds, trumpets, and timpani. Over the years, Handel himself revised the score innumerable times, customizing it to suit the number of available musicians.

Eventually, larger-scale productions became the norm, sometimes utilizing as many as four thousand singers with orchestras to match. Today, tastes have changed; intimate performances presenting Messiah with baroque chamber ensembles are more common.

Still, certain passages such as the famed “Hallelujah Chorus” seem to demand a grander presentation. Especially for the Australians and New Zealanders among my readers, and for music lovers of every sort, I offer this version: the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs joined with the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra, performing live at the magnificent Sydney Opera House.

Happy Easter!

Comments always are welcome.

Singing, on Easter Day


is the instructor.
We need no other.
Guess what I am,
he says in his
incomparably lovely
young-man voice.
Because I love the world,
I think of grass,
I think of leaves
and the bold sun,
I think of the rushes
in the black marshes
just coming back
from under the pure white
and now finally melting
stubs of snow.
Whatever we know or don’t know
leads us to say;
Teacher, what do you mean?
But faith is still there, and silent.
Then he who owns
the incomparable voice
suddenly flows upward
and out of the room
and I follow,
obedient and happy.
Of course I am thinking
the Lord was once young
and will never in fact be old.
And who else could this be, who goes off
down the green path
carrying his sandals, and singing?
                                                   “Spring” ~  by Mary Oliver


Comments always are welcome.

Working On Easter

Bluebonnets at work


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird –
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished —
the phoebe, the delphinium,
the sheep in the pasture, and the pasture —
which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.
                                               “Messenger” ~ Mary Oliver


Comments always are welcome.