Sunday, January 16, 2011

Le Chef-d'œuvre (Masterpiece)

      I wish that I had knowledge of classical music.  I know some basics, and I have always loved listening to classical music, but I've never studied it and I certainly cannot place a song that I hear in its classical period. Some of that knowledge would have come in use today, because I would love to be able to identify the closing piece that was played at the St. Pierre Cathedral this morning.  The other knowledge that may have helped would be in the French language, because then I could have at least asked somebody.
      It started out with several measures of fast and high notes that seemed to lift the vaulted ceilings of the Cathedral straight off of their walls.  It was very beautiful and delicate, almost like listening to a harp.  And then the bass line kicked in.  The low pipes on this organ are bigger around than I am, and when they blast, the bass reverberates through the thick stone walls and you can feel it coarse through your entire body.  The sheer contrast of the delicacy of the high notes and the raw power of the lows was awe-inspiring.  Nobody moved from their seats or grew restless, despite the fact that the service had ended.  It was breathtaking.  The organist did his work for at least ten or twelve remarkable minutes, before ending with a ten-second long major-chord that brought tears down my face.  Awe-inspiring.
      I'd love to know the song, but I don't think that any sound system I'd be able to play it on would do it justice.  I will go back next week to see if they can play me another masterpiece.


  1. Ahhh, wonderful. Take the time this week to learn how to say, "What was that piece that ended last week's service?" So glad you are spending time in church and savoring the rich beauty around you. Now you can begin to appreciate the value of a solid, classical, liberal arts much to learn and love in this lifetime ! xo

  2. Was there a written program at the service Paul? That would have given you the name of the piece I bet. Your descriptive writing is wonderful, thank you for taking the time to share!