Thursday, March 26, 2009

Music Near the Market

Since I'm on spring break from classes this week, I was able to attend Trinity Lutheran's "Music Near the Market" afternoon recital. It's one of the organ institutions of the Cleveland area, but it was the first time my schedule had allowed me to go hear the instrument. And the organ itself is definitely the draw for this event - constructed by Rudolph von Beckerath in 1957, it is entirely mechanical. The instrument was hand-built using basically the same methodologies of Bach's era. It has nearly 3,500 pipes in 65 ranks and 5 divisions. (For comparison, Bethany has roughly 700 in13 ranks and 2 divisions, so we're talking about a major organ that's roughly five times as big as ours.)

The half-hour recital itself was quite nice with plenty of Bach and an overall focus on shorter hymn-based chorales that were appropriate for Lent. The playing was superb, and the audience of 25 was appreciative.

However, when it came to outreach and ministry, I felt that the event fell a bit short. I think it was a missed opportunity that no one greeted newcomers at the door, no formal introduction was made, nor was an invitation extended to join in worship. The church facilities are well past their glory days, with crumbling plaster and loudly clanking radiators. I had trouble balancing my joy from the music and the event in general with the small crowd and the dismal surroundings. Perhaps it's my theatre background - we're always glad to have an audience of any size, but we always wish the marketing effort had brought in more people!

If you happen to be free on Wednesday afternoons, the event is definitely worth the trip. You can even stop by the nearby West Side Market for some shopping after the recital, go to one of the great restaurants in the area, or just enjoy a walk around the area in the spring air like I did. A great way to spend a few hours of my spring break!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the question of esthetics. Doesn't it feel good when things look "nice?" Tom's grandma Ann just re-wallpapered her kitchen. It didn't really need it, but it does make her feel better. The Lakota say that every spring the snake crawls out of its hole with a new skin. Lent is a time not only to fix up the house and yard, but to put on a new skin of religious understanding. I, for one, find reading and responding to these articles helps accomplish this.