I’ll a give an organ recital this Saturday – オルガンリサイタルを予定しています

I’m playing an organ recital this coming Saturday, May 20, at Chigasaki’s Keisen Church.  It begins at 2:00 pm, and is free.  The organ is a very nice instrument built in 1998 by Gebruder Reil of Holland. Here is a video of me playing through “Vater unser in Himmelreich” during a practice session.

5月20日(土)、茅ヶ崎恵泉教会でオルガンリサイタルを行う予定です。詳細は以下の通りです。教会のオルガンはライル社(オランダ)の楽器です。美しい音色と繊細なタッチを楽しく練習しています。先日の練習セッションで撮ったビデオを見れば、オルガンの音は少し聞くことができます。

Program

  • Praeludium in d-moll, Vincent Lübeck
  • Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Vater unser im Himmerleich, Georg Böhm
  • Komm, Heiliger Geist, Franz Tunder
  • Voluntary in D Minor Op. 5 No. 8, John Stanley
  • The Bells, William Byrd
  • Prelude, Gerald Finzi, arr. Alan Ridout
  • Fanfare, John Cook

プログラム

  • ヴィンセント・リューベック:前奏曲 ニ短調
  • ゲオルク・ベーム:コラール前奏曲「天にいますわれらの父よ」
  • ヨハン・ゼバスティアン・バッハ:コラール前奏曲「装いせよ おお愛する魂よ」 BWV 654
  • フランツ・トゥーンダー:コラール前奏曲「来たれ  聖霊よ」
  • ジョン・スタンリー:ヴォランタリー 二短調
  • ウィリアム・バード:鐘
  • ジェラルド・フィンジー:前奏曲
  • ジョン・クック:ファンファーレ

 

 

Posted in Organ ~ オルガン関係, Pipe organ links  パイプオルガンリンク | Leave a comment

A walk on the dark side

Being the owner of a blog can be exasperating.  You know you should post regularly, avoid all forms of negativity, and provide the reader with useful and/or entertaining content.  But life doesn’t always run along such sunny tracks, does it?  Since the beginning of the semester I find my self continually bombarded by “must do’s” that seem to come from all directions.  One project successfully completed means 3 others are demanding immediate attention.  Human relations further clog the wheels of productivity.  There are times when I wonder how long it will be possible to continue pushing forward on so many fronts.  I spoke to my dad the other day on the phone – he retired (voluntarily) at 58 and was able to focus on what he enjoyed doing since then.  I’m already past that age but have years to go before his sort of freedom will be possible.  So, today’s blog post is a one-man collective sigh.  I’m sure tomorrow will bring something positive (though I have to go to work on my day off…).  So just read today’s post and realize we all have these sorts of days.  I’ll sign off with a few photos that match the mood of the moment.  In the world, but not of the world, so to speak.  For the time being.  

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Happy Easter!

This post could be variously titled “Easter at Rikkyo,” “I bought a wide-angle lens,” or “Two weeks without a day off.”  Your choice.  Whichever you choose, it is still Easter, and I wish you the best for the day.  In Tokyo we went from moderately warming weather to a full-blown early-summer sort of day.  Air conditioning in the chapel saved us (and the organ!) from melting.  I wonder who the patron saint of air conditioning is?  When I find out I’ll make a donation to his/her shrine.

A high mass in a university setting means that we have nearly infinite human resources to draw upon.  Twelve trained acolytes are required?  No problem!  Six ushers in black suits?  Fine!  Forty experienced choir members at the beginning of the academic year?  Of course!  Six priests?  Naturally!  A full handbell choir?  How about a double set?  As always, Easter at Rikkyo is a joyous event.  Not only because of the resurrection theme, but because is serves as sort of a reunion.  Recent grads (we hold graduations in March, you will recall) attend, former choir members with babies come to show them off, and the fourth-year choir members temporarily on leave for job searches take the morning to come and hear their juniors navigating the music of the one hour forty minute high mass.

Here is the choir.  In addition to the normal joy of the Easter service, a member of the choir was baptized (congrats, Mr Arai!).

 

As is the norm for high masses recently, the choir moves from the balcony to the chancel.  This means I can’t sneak any photos of the vent, colorful as it is.  The best I can do is to share a choir’s view from the chancel before this morning’s rehearsal, and a closeup of the altar flowers.

Today was day thirteen of constant on-duty at the university.  It feels like eons ago, but on April 4th and 5th Rikkyo University held a series of seven entrance ceremonies for the entering class of some 5,000.  I directed the chorus and orchestra, while my colleague and university organist Yuko Sakiyama played the grand organ at the Tokyo Metropolitan concert hall.  Photos of the hall and organ:

In between ceremonies students are allowed up to the organ for a bit of a play.  This being Japan, all was done by committee:

Even the stop-pulling:

After thirteen straight days of work, and some twenty events for which the choir had to sing, “the wife” and I headed out for a casual lunch.  Nothing like beer and burgers outside to refresh the soul and body!

Finally, I did mention wide-angle lenses, didn’t I?  Well, I sold several unused lenses in order to buy a used super wide-angle lens for my camera (Fujifilm’s XF-10-24mm).  What fun it has been to shoot with!  All of the photos in this post were taken with it.  I’m very pleased so far, and look forward to taking it to England the next time I visit.  Look out, cathedrals!

 

 

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Music - general ~ 音楽:一般, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

A nervous time 〜 緊張しています

Quite frankly, this is not my favorite time of year.  I don’t at all mind sitting through seven university entrance ceremonies, or directing the chapel choir at sixteen (!) separate chapel welcome ceremonies in three days.  What I dislike is the tension of wondering if this year the choir will catch 83 altos and 1 tenor, or 64 basses and no sopranos.  The Rikkyo choir is all volunteer, so I have no scholarships or other carrots to dangle in front of potential members.  The students are hard at work talking to potential members, so wish us luck!  I will continue to chew on my fingernails until I know we have enough new singers to keep up the busy schedule of the choir.  Here is a PR video the students made for the recruitment season.  Have a look (listen) if interested.

不安な時期です。他の大学クラブと同じように、立教大学のチャペル聖歌隊が新しいメンバーを募集しています(新歓活動と言います)。今年、37人の新しいアルトに対して1人のテナーしか入部しないとどうなる?12人のベースに対して一人のソプラノになったら選曲はどうするか?とかを既に心配しています。まあ、現役メンバーの努力を期待するしかありませんね。そういえば、学生たちが作成したPR用ビデオがあります。ご覧ください。そして、立教大学聖歌隊に興味ある新入生が見ていれば、是非お越しください。

Posted in Choral ~ 聖歌隊関係, Church music ~ 教会音楽, Music - general ~ 音楽:一般, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

An end, a beginning 〜 終了、そして、開始

Look closely.  It is a person bundled up against the cold.  He or she has been sitting on that blue sheet all night.  No, this is not a homeless person, but rather, someone taking part in an important spring ritual here in Japan.  He or she is a place holder in a park where later in the day friends will join for “hanami” or a cherry blossom viewing party.  Since the blossoms don’t follow the calendar, hanami parties often miss the actual peak and can be held under really miserable conditions.  But Japanese people are fanatics for the season, which is also an end and a beginning.  Schools and universities hold graduation ceremonies in late March, and then turn around a week or two later and welcome their incoming students in early April.  So, the annual riot of cherry blossoms comes right around this turning point, which makes them all the more poignant.  Kids leave their classmates and move on to other schools or jobs under the cherry blossoms.  Retirees say goodbye to long-time colleagues during the drifting of the petals.

海外の方が上の写真を見ると、座っている人がホームレスだと思うに違いないです。しかし、日本人が同じ写真を見ると、4月上旬に撮ったと想像しますね。座っている人が花見の場所を確保するため、寒い夜、ブルーシートの上で過ごしました。この季節は終わりであり、始まりでもあります。大学に勤めている人間にとって、3月末は大好きな4年生を世界へ送る時期です。私が指導している聖歌隊の4年生は素晴らしいグループでした。リーダーシップ、音楽のスキル、そしてパーソナリティーが豊かな学年でした。これから、新しい環境(職場、大学院、など)で頑張ってください!そして、新生活についてなるべく早く報告に戻ってください。

Rikkyo University is no exception to the March-April turning point, of course.  I said farewell to an excellent senior class in the choir.  I will miss their musical talents, as well as their bright personalities.  You can sense the latter in these photos, can’t you?  Here they are.  Well done, seniors!  Come back often to visit!

Tomorrow and the following day (April 4-5) Rikkyo University holds its seven entrance ceremonies at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space.  The choir, glee club, and university orchestra are on duty, as am I, the conductor for the ceremonies.

明日、明後日(4月4〜5日)、立教大学の入学式が東京芸術劇場で行われます。約5000人の新入生を迎えるため、入学式を7回行う必要があります。音楽はチャペル聖歌隊、グリークラブ、オーケストラと学院オルガニスト崎山裕子氏が担当します(私は指揮者です)。

Yesterday was Sunday (April 2), my last chance to visit a local church before the choir resumes its duties in the university chapel.  One of my colleagues will take services at Tokyo’s All Saints Anglican Church on a monthly basis, so I joined the service there.  The church was a surprising find, squashed in between modern houses and apartment buildings.  The poor thing hasn’t been painted for an eon, and looks in a sad state from the outside.  But once inside, the visitor is surprised by the beauty of the space.  It’s surprisingly light and airy, and is decorated by paintings done by a parishioner.  Here is the exterior and interior of All Saints Church:

昨日、新学期前の最後の日曜日でした。大学のチャペル礼拝より、街の教会礼拝に出席したかったので、日本聖公会東京諸聖徒教会へ出かけました。この教会は初めてでしたが、外観から判断すれば、ちょっとかわいそうな姿です。長年、外壁塗装が行われず、しかも、周りは綺麗な住宅地です。しかし、教会に入りますと、びっくりします。明るくて、歴史的な礼拝堂が目の前に広がり、壁画はあらゆるところに展示されています。大変美しい教会です。

As is my usual practice, I walked the 7 km to the church, and then another 4 back to the university, stopping of for lunch in a place who’s mascot is a huge poodle.  He wanders the restaurant freely, greeting diners, and then plopping down on the outside deck to watch the street scene.  I wanted to take him home.  For a couple of minutes, anyway.

日曜日は良い天気でしたので、自宅から教会の7キロ、そして、礼拝後大学へ4キロほど歩きました。ランチは途中で見つけたレストランで、食事より印象的だったのがお店のペットでした(以下の写真)。レストラン中を自由に歩き、そして、時々レストラン前のデッキで昼寝していました。連れて帰りたかったほど良い犬でした。

On my way back I passed through two beautiful temples.  After all, one shouldn’t be partial to a certain religion over others, should they?  After the morning spent in the Christian zone, I figured an hour or so in a temple would be a perfect balance, so to speak.  And they are so photogenic!

大学に近づくと、2箇所の美しいお寺がありました。午前中はキリスト教の環境にいたので、午後は仏教関係の施設を訪れれば、人生は良いバランスを整えるではないかと思いました。

That is about all for this overly-long post.  I will close by posting a few photos from a spring break walking date with “the wife.”  We strolled over to the very retro (read, slightly tatty) Oyama Happy Road Shopping Arcade for coffee and some photo time.  Here is what we saw.

明日から忙しくなると思いますので、溜まっている写真を一気にアップします。以下のものは先日、“ザ・ワイフ”と一緒に大山ハッピーロード商店街を訪れた時です。とてもレトロで、写真家にはとても面白いスポットです。オススメします。

 

Posted in Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment