Requiem Concert this Saturday@Rikkyo – 10月25日:レクイエム奉唱会(コンサート)@立教大学

This Saturday, October 25, the 64th annual Requiem Hoshokai Concert will be held at the Rikkyo University Ikebukuro campus chapel.  This year’s requiem will be Mozart’s, as completed by Duncan Druce.  If you haven’t heard this version, you really should give it a listen.  It is miles above the pallid effort made by Sussmayer that is normally used in concerts.

This fall semester I am officially on sabbatical.  One wouldn’t know it, though, as I am working with the chapel choir through the Christmas services.  I am not, however, conducting the Mozart Requiem – Dr. Steven Morgan will be taking my place on the podium for that.  I had the pleasure of hearing the dress rehearsal last Saturday night.  The performance is going to be excellent.  The chapel only seats 250, so I suggest anyone wanting a seat arrive early.

I will be conducting the first half of the concert, which is a performance by the student choirs in music ranging from the English Baroque (Purcell) to Afro-American spirituals.



Here are some photos from the recent Mozart Requiem dress rehearsal.

Steven Morgan working with the requiem orchestra

Steven Morgan working with the requiem orchestra

University organist Yuko Sakiyama at the organ

University organist Yuko Sakiyama at the organ

Steve Morgan directing the chorus and orchestra

Steve Morgan directing the chorus and orchestra

Baritone soloist Philip Haltman sings "Tuba mirum"

Baritone soloist Philip Haltman sings “Tuba mirum”

plenty of variety in the chorus

plenty of variety in the chorus

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Rikkyo ~ 立教 | Leave a comment

Typhoon time cycling – 台風の時期サイクリング

Yesterday typhoon No. 19 passed through Tokyo. It was the second one in a week, and was called a “super typhoon” while still down south in the Okinawa area. Fortunately, there was little damage in the Tokyo area, but severe flooding, some wind damage, and several deaths did occur in other parts of the country.

Today, the morning after the typhoon, dawned bright and hot in Tokyo, so naturally I went out to have a look on my bike. The wind was tremendous on the cycling path. Riding down the Arakawa River was a breeze. My 30 km ride to Kasai Rinkai Park usually takes 90 minutes, but today I did it in 75. Without really trying I found myself buzzing along at 40 kph. This was pretty entertaining, of course, but the thought that I’d be fighting those same winds on the way back up the river helped keep a lid on the hilarity. Surely enough, upon reaching the Edogawa cycling path I ran directly into the fury of the wind. It was loud! It was violent! I pumped as hard as I could for an hour, yet rode so slowly that I was passed by a jogger at one point. My speed fell as low as 9 kph for one stretch. Fortunately, the always-beautiful Mizumoto Park and its trees provided shelter from the wind and a bit of photo time. The wind downed a layer of cedar (or cypress?) needles onto a part of the park walkway, and the scent was intoxicating! Payback for the hell of the cycle path, I thought. This and other photos of the park:




After an hour ride back to the Arakawa cycle path I returned to the battle of the winds, and faced another two hours of hard pumping to get back to the day’s start point. Post-typhoon skies did compensate for the struggle, though. Here are a few photos of the latter part of the ride:
Bonus view 1: the view from my home’s rooftop after last week’s typhoon. Mt. Fuji was beautiful at sunset time. ボーナス写真、その1:先週の台風の後、家の屋上からの風景。

Bonus view 2: a lunchtime walk took me to Mejiro’s Japanese Garden, where, among other things, this little flower caught my eye. ボーナス写真、その2:目白日本庭園で見た小さな花。


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Festival time in Kobe – 祭り

IMG_5967.JPGMy “the wife” and I came across the Kobe Alive 2014 festival while enjoying an after-dinner stroll. Dance teams from all over Japan were gathered here to give performances in town. It was loud, hot, and a lot of fun. Here are some photos of the dancers.
夕食後、”ザ・ワイフ”と一緒に散歩して来ました。偶然に “Kobe Alive 2014 新舞”と言う祭りの会場を見つけました。日本中から若いダンスチームが元町アーケードの中でパーフォーマンスを見せてくれました。熱くて、うるさくて、楽しかったです。
1. This group was overflowing with energy このクループはエネルギーに溢れていましたIMG_5976.JPG


2. Waiting to perform スタンバイ

3. Post-performance blues? 演奏後、落ち込んだ?

4. Kobe’s Chinatown was even more colorful than usual tonight 中華街は


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Summer (?) in Kobe – 夏(らしい)神戸

Greetings from what might just be my favorite of all Japanese cities, Kobe. Mountains, water, history, shopping, gourmet, etc., are all here in a digestible size package. We have all those things (except for mountains) in Tokyo, I suppose, but not in so neat a package. Before the days events I took a morning walk (well, climb) up from my hotel. On the way I passed the Kobe Mosque (1936, oldest mosque in Japan) and was invited in for a chat and look around by one of its members. They had finished morning prayers after 5 am, so my visit before 6 wasn’t any interruption. The men I met were all from India or Pakistan. Here is the building:


After spending 30 minutes in the mosque, I climbed up the mountain behind Suwa Park, and enjoyed the panoramic view of the city. As I noted in today’s post title, summer has returned, so the somewhat cool breeze of the morning was welcome. Photos of the walk: 諏訪山公園から登りました。展望台へ行く途中に諏訪山神社がありました。
1. Suwayama Shrine 諏訪山神社


2. Wire tunnel one passes through on the way to the viewpoint. 通らないといけないワイアトンネル

3. The goal – Venus Bridge above the city ゴール:ビーナスブリッジ展望台。



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Signs of the season 〜 秋になりました

2014-09-16 ride (47 of 68)Signs of the season.  Summer has blown away, and we enjoy cool evenings and warm days without the need for air conditioning.

A recent ride along the Arakawa river dike was enjoyable, thanks to the prolific blooming of autumn flowers.  At left is the “higanbana,” or cluster amaryllis, which can be seen blooming everywhere in the countryside of Japan at this time of year.  Other photos of the ride below.



彼岸花@秋ヶ瀬公園 Cluster Amaryllis @ Akigase Park

彼岸花@秋ヶ瀬公園 Cluster Amaryllis @ Akigase Park

2014-09-16 ride (45 of 68)

彼岸花@秋ヶ瀬公園 Cluster Amaryllis @ Akigase Park

Other flowers along the river dike. 荒川土手の風景。

2014-09-16 ride (66 of 68)2014-09-16 ride (57 of 68)

Finally, I have updated (slightly) the cycling page with a recent ride with this chap.  If you want to read more about the 90 km city ride, click here. 最後に、サイクリングページを更新しました。先日、この人(いえ、寅さんではなく、森田さん)と一緒に出かけました。この90キロのコースについて見たい方はここをクリックして下さい

2014-09-17 ride wAzusa (12 of 13)

Morita Azusa at Shibamata Station, Tokyo

Posted in Cycling, Nature ~ 自然, Photography ~写真, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment