Apparently the graphic designer for the Oahu Choral Society Bach program and postcards, doesn’t know what BWV stands for when used after the title of a Bach work. It was consistently listed as BMV 232 throughout, so I was trying to figure out that instead of “Bach Werk-Verzeichnis (BWV), maybe he/she thought the concert was sponsored by Bavarian Motor Works, the car manufacturer (BMW)? Or else, maybe the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM)?
On Friday night Mark Russell and Rudy Riingen picked me up from my condo, and loaded my suitcase into their car in addition to the organ footstool (which had been left behind at the church) and we headed off for Blaisdell Concert Hall. We got a parking place within a half-block of the entrance to the hall and determined that they would pick me up at the bus stop right in front after the concert was over.
When I sat down at the organ, Sally Hattemer, the Executive Director of the Oahu Choral Society, told me to give the chorus the pitch for the opening Kyrie and the “E” for the tenors in the Credo on the second half, even though that’s not what was done in rehearsal. So when conductor Esther Yoo took the podium, she first looked at me and winked, so I gave the B minor pitch. After the slowish tempo of the first movement, I was afraid that that I would miss my plane, but the rest of the work clipped along nicely. Particularly memorable was Jennifer Lane‘s aria, “Qui sedes” with English horn soloist, Scott Janusch, who played oh so beautifully. And during the “Gratias agimus tibi” chorus which has the powerful timpani entrance, wave after wave of “the chills” (aka “chicken skin”) washed over me. Here’s Andreas Scholl’s performance of this gorgeous piece:
After the last curtain call, I raced out to the waiting car, and we zipped to the airport in no time. Forget about trying to sleep on the plane, because even though I was upgraded to first class and had plenty of legroom and the cabin was quiet. I played that whole concert over in my head at least two or three times! I couldn’t shut off the Bach! But according to a story on NPR, “Earworms: Why That Song Gets Stuck In Your Head,”I may be one of those rare people who can hear a whole concert: “Simplicity is one of the elements that we’re looking into. It does seem that the majority of the earworms that people report are relatively simple. But it can’t be the whole story because I’ve got people reporting … whole symphonies being stuck in their head, so it does vary, very much, from person to person.”
Maybe having the B Minor Mass as an earworm is not so bad after all, because it’s such great music!
But when I finally arrived in Seattle about 11:30 am, after a layover in San Francisco, and a very chatty 3-year-old seat companion who, with her mother, climbed over me to get to the bathroom at least 6-8 times on a two-hour flight [my fault for choosing an aisle seat!] I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep until later that night. It was time for Celebration Peter Hallock! which I will write about in the next post.