Wednesday, March 11, 2009


In an effort to meet some people who enjoy doing some of the things I like to do, I joined the Loudoun Chorale Group. This spring we're singing Brahms Requiem ein Deitsches, which just means that we are singing it in German. The music is very beautiful, very haunting in parts and very lyrical in others. I've enjoyed learning to sing the music, which is kind of difficult to sing because of the dynamics. I started out in the alto section which is where I sang in high school. But by the second rehearsal, I knew that I was better suited to the tenor section, so I switched. I'm much happier because now I have notes I can actually reach. LOL! The blending of all four voice sections is beyond beautiful.

I heard we're getting some competition from Kurt Masur who is conducting the National Symphony Orchestra in the Brahms Requiem from April 9-11, 2009, at the Kennedy Center.

As a little background, the Requiem is in seven movements:

1. "Selig sind, die da Leid tragen" (Blessed are they that mourn)

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. They that go forth and weep, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them.

2. "Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras" (For all flesh is as grass)

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falleth away. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the morning and evening rain. But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

3. "Herr, lehre doch mich" (Lord, make me to know mine end)

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee. Surely every man walks in a vain show: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heaps up riches, and knows not who shall gather them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee. The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God and there shall no torment touch them.

4. "Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen" (How lovely is thy dwelling place)

How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cries out for the living God.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will always be praising thee.

5. "Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit" (And ye now therefore have sorrow)

And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. Behold with your eyes, how that I have but little labour, and have gotten unto me much rest. As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you.

6. "Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt" (For here we have no lasting home.)

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

7. "Selig sind die Toten" (Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord)

Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord, from henceforth. Yea, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home

My cute little dining room

It's been a while since I've posted anything to my blog, poor blog. Here are some photos of my cute (read very tiny) apartment. I have to say I miss my wonderful house and huge yard in North Carolina; but there's something to be said for a place that takes less than an hour to clean from one end to the other. Plus, it is kind of cozy. The only thing I hate is the fact that I pay more for this place than for my 1700 sq. foot house in NC.

My cute little living room

My cute little work space

Although it's hard to tell from these pictures, everything is within easy reach of everything else.

I know I'll miss having a garden this spring and summer, but I'm planning to put some tomatoes out in pots on my cute little deck. I also applied for a part-time job at a lavender farm, so I'm hoping that pans out.

Snow Day

It started snowing last night; and when I got up this morning, it was a winter wonderland. The roads were icy, and it was a blizzard outside. Since a liberal leave policy was in effect, I took a leave day. It snowed on an off all day. Although it may not look like much to the northerners, believe me, this was quite a bit for Virginia. This is the most it's snowed since winter started. I spent the day working on a transcript, laundry, and practicing the music that the Loudoun Chorale Group is singing for our Easter concert (good thing my neighbors probably weren't home). I love having a snow day, reminded me of when I was a kid growing up in New York -- well, except for the amount of snow ;-))