Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
you did not wield the powers of state,
nor did you need a scholar's gown
or priestly robe, to make you great.
You never used a killer's sword
to end an unjust tyranny;
your only weapon was your word,
for truth alone could set us free.
You did not live a world away
in hermit's cell or desert cave,
but felt our pain and shared each day
with those you came to seek and save.
You made no mean or cunning move,
chose no unworthy compromise,
but carved a track of burning love
through tangles of deceit and lies.
You came unequaled, undeserved,
to be what we were meant to be;
to serve, instead of being served,
a light for all the world to see.
So when I stumble, set me right;
command my life as you require;
let all your gifts be my delight
and you, my Lord, my one desire.
Friday, 4 September 2009
And he goes on to say, 'She has a point, and a very strong one. All creeds are respected in the orchestra's mission statement, but where some Muslim players maintain their observances and their pride in an ethical heritage, none of the Jewish Israelis, least of all their secular conductor, appears to show more than liberal disdain for the archaic rules of a discarded faith culture.
This is a serious shortcoming. Religious faith of all degrees, from mild affinity to wild fanaticism, lies at the heart of the Middle East conflict. If the Diwan does not represent all forms of faith, its role in the peace dialogue cannot be more than an ephemeral gesture.' It's created quite a stir!
In a follow-up post, he makes this statement, 'Whatever one's personal beliefs, however, all musicians ought to be aware that without religion there would be no music for them to play. It was the church that laid the foundations for symphonic music and a search for God that led most of the great composers to write as they did. Beethoven may have been anti-authority and Verdi anti-clerical, but with the lone exception of Richard Wagner it is hard to find a major composer before the 1918 who actively denied the existence of God and was not driven to compose by a religious impulse.' Again, the response is lively!
But then, for some pure entertainment, Tom Service, in his Guardian blog, directs us to an extraordinary performance of the Flight of the Bumble Bee, by The Philharmonics here. Sometimes you think you've heard it all, and then!