I have found favor in the eyes of God
February 26, 2011 2 Comments
Sarah and I experienced something tonight, and I found it moving in a spiritually profound manner.
We went to hear the most recent of the Dumbarton Concert series, which in this case was Andrius Zlabys performing Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I and Adam Neiman performing Chopin’s Preludes, Op. 28. I had expected to hear all of the Bach, and then all of the Chopin, but in this case, the program was structured as alternating pieces according to the ordering Chopin used.
The sheer beauty of the pieces brought tears to my eyes multiple times – Bach’s no. 24 in b minor and his no. 16 in g minor were particularly striking: I heard in Zlabys’ performance the hints of walking basslines such as would be fully at home in a modern jazz band, and the edifice Bach created has formed the basis of pretty much all of western music. Chopin’s no. 15 in D-flat major does a phenomenal job of capturing the emotion of a single line of music – he reveals depths formerly hidden, and it is sheer joy.
I hear their passionate music / Read the words that touch my heart
I gaze at their feverish pictures / The secrets that set them apart
When I feel the powerful visions / Their fire has made alive
I wish I had that instinct / I wish I had that drive
Hearing these excellent performances of some of the finest works ever written for keyboard instruments, I realized that, like Salieri, I have the ability to appreciate genius in composition without being one myself; unlike Salieri, I see this as a sign that God has favored me in showing me beauty. I will never create a work which is their equal; however, I can appreciate the things that they have done and allow it to inform and uplift me – my eyes when closed see the majesty of the works of God which He shows to me via their work. And thus, I feel the blessing of the Holy One, Blessed is He.