On the Porch.
By the door is a rosemary plant trained as a wreath, accented with a brown fabric ribbon. On the door is a large gift bag with a snowman and the wording “Let It Snow,” ironic this week with the temperatures into the 70’s each day. On the plant stand at the double window is a pot of lavender with red ribbon. By it, on the floor, is a planter with spearmint growing and small ceramic reindeer lounging by it. There are large silver bells with red ribbons suspended over the center porch railings, and there is a lantern with a small candle at the south end of the porch. On the black rocking chair made in Troutman is a bright red pillow with MERRY CHRISTMAS in white. Later today I will put up a 6’2″ artificial pre-lighted tree in clear lights, for which I have bought traditional ornaments. I am not a grump this Christmas. Will I add a string of lights to the porch railings?
A Christmas Concert.
In the program notes for a concert of community choirs hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, Bishop Scott Dyreng writes, “The Mormons have a great tradition and love for choral singing, as demonstrated often by our famous brother, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. One reason choral singing is so meaningful to us is because of the symbolism of having a group of very different individuals who, when they follow the direction of the Savior, unite to become greater than they ever could have been on their own.”
Bishop Dyreng’s words proved true, as five area churches joined the host church, and showed diversity of Spirit united in music. Hunter’s Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church sang two gospel sings with moving, powerful, free spirit. The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church presented two contemporary anthems, both sung a capella. The Mebane United Methodist Church presented a handbell selection and two selections from a contemporary Christian cantata. The Women’s Singing Circle from St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church sang three carols, an African-American spiritual, an Irish carol, and a Canadian carol. The Latter-day Saints Church presented two anthems in traditional style. The Methodist and Catholic choirs joined them in a final anthem, “Good Christian Men Rejoice.” Choirs and congregations joined to end the concert with the traditional hymn, “Joy to the World.”
Duke Performances. Valentina Lisitsa, Pianist. Scriabin and Chopin. Saturday, December 12.
Pianist Listisa is brilliant. She performed a demanding program, each half about an hour of playing, pausing for applause only at the end of each half. I have not seen a more relaxed technique. The concert was well-attending and enthusiastically received.
The program was twelve preludes and five other pieces by Scriabin and twenty-four etudes of Chopin. At the end of the concert, the audience knew how Scriabin used the idea of prelude and how Chopin used the idea of etude. The big program was interesting, but it overwhelmed me, and no connections between Scriabin and Chopin were mentioned or revealed. The encore was no less impressive, Liszt’s Third Hungarian Rhapsody.
I’m anticipating winter. The solstice is Monday, the 21st. I hope you will have good days. Thank you for reading.