Category: Things That Stir My Soul

My Wife’s (Almost) Favorite Song

By , April 30, 2014 9:48 am

For the uninitiated, Alex Boye used to be a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Here he is, this time singing “Goin’s Home” with the Choir.

Music for a Sunday Evening

By , June 23, 2013 11:01 pm

Fantasia on Early Latter-day Saint Hymns is one of my favorite choir pieces. Arranged and directed by Mack Wilberg and performed by BYU’s Concert Choir, it tells the story of the Mormon gathering to Zion, or the story of our journey from the pre-existence to life on earth and back to our Father’s presence, or _______ (insert your own interpretation). Unfortunately, I can’t find a YouTube video of the performance, so you’ll have to just listen. Here are the words:

Fantasia on Early Latter-day Saint Hymns (“Yes, My Native Land” “Redeemer of Israel” “The Glorious Day Is Rolling On”)

Yes, my native land I love thee.
All thy scenes I love them well.
Friends, connections happy country!
Can I bid you all farewell?

Can I leave thee, Can I leave thee,
Far in distant lands to dwell?
Can I leave thee, Can I leave thee,
Far in distant lands to dwell?

Holy Scenes of joy and gladness,
Ev’ry fond emotion swell.
Can I banish heartfelt sadness,
While I bid my home farewell?

Can I leave thee, Can I leave thee,
Far in distant lands to dwell?
Can I leave thee, Can I leave thee,
Far in distant lands to dwell?

Bear me on, thou restless ocean:
Let the winds my canvas swell.
Heaves my heart with warm emotion,
While I go far hence to dwell.

Glad I bid thee, Glad I bid thee,
Native land farewell, farewell.
Glad I bid thee, Glad I bid thee,
Native land farewell, farewell.
Redeemer of Israel, Our only delight,
Oh whom for a blessing we call,
Our shadow by day and our pillar by night,
Our king, our deliv’rer our all!

How long we have wandered
as strangers in sin,
And Cried in the desert for thee!
Our foes have rejoiced when
our sorrows they’ve seen,
But Israel will shortly be free.
The glorious day is rolling on, All glory to the Lord!
When fair as at creation’s dawn the earth will be restored.
A perfect harvest then will crown the renovated soil,
And rich abundance drop around without corroding toil.

For in its own primeval bloom, Will nature smile again:
And blossoms streaming with perfume, Adorn the verdant plain.
The saints will then, with pure delight, Possess the holy land:
And walk with Jesus Christ in white, And in His presence stand.

Then while the pow’rs of darkness rage, With glory in our view,
In Jesus’ strength let us engage, To press to Zion, too.
For Zion will like Eden bloom: And Jesus come to reign,
The saints immortal from the tomb, With angels meet again.
Words by Samuel Francis Smith, William W. Phelps, and Eliza R. Snow. Hymn tunes by Jacques Rousseau, Freeman Lewis, and anonymous. Musical setting by Mack Wilberg. From “All Creatures of Our God and King: Hymns of Faith and Praise,” by the Brigham Young University Concert Choir, Mack Wilberg, Conductor. Tantara Records

Easter Music

By , March 31, 2013 10:23 am

Susan Morris introduced me to Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3. The professor who recommended it to her said it could represent Mary’s viewpoint as she watched from the sidelines as her son, the Savior of the World was whipped, spat upon, and ultimately crucified. That Gorecki’s symphony was played at one of the concerts in Poland that commemorated Hitler’s invasion of the country gives you some idea of its tone, especially the first movement, “Lento: Sostenuto tranquillo ma cantabile,”which I post here.

As Inauguration Speeches Go, That Was a Pretty Good State of the Union Speech

By , January 21, 2013 1:46 pm

Here’s the last good one, delivered by another guy from Illinois:

Note the Teleprompter (1.0).

Music for a Sunday Evening

By , January 20, 2013 8:58 pm

My Mormon friends will recognize this as the tune to If You Could Hie to Kolob. My non Mormon friends will wonder what the heck Kolob is. In either case, as you read up on those subjects at the links, listen to Ralph Vaughan Williams’s magestical Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus:

Here’s the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing If You Could Hie to Kolob. Unfortunately, the video has some problems:


1. If you could hie to Kolob
In the twinkling of an eye,
And then continue onward
With that same speed to fly,
Do you think that you could ever,
Through all eternity,
Find out the generation
Where Gods began to be?

2. Or see the grand beginning,
Where space did not extend?
Or view the last creation,
Where Gods and matter end?
Methinks the Spirit whispers,
“No man has found ‘pure space,’
Nor seen the outside curtains,
Where nothing has a place.”

3. The works of God continue,
And worlds and lives abound;
Improvement and progression
Have one eternal round.
There is no end to matter;
There is no end to space;
There is no end to spirit;
There is no end to race.

4. There is no end to virtue;
There is no end to might;
There is no end to wisdom;
There is no end to light.
There is no end to union;
There is no end to youth;
There is no end to priesthood;
There is no end to truth.

5. There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.
There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.

Text: William W. Phelps, 1792–1872

The Hits Just Keep on Coming!

By , December 6, 2012 2:00 pm

Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, or Oscar Niemeyer as most of us know him, died today. He was 104 years old.

The great Brazilian architect apparently kept alive by keeping busy. He’s largely responsible for the design of Brasilia as well as literally hundreds of other buildings throughout the world, including the United Nations complex on Turtle Bay in New York City. You might recognize its similarity to the buildings that house Brazil’s national congress.

But for me, the treat of all of Niemeyer’s buildings is the Museum of Contemporary Art that sits in Niteroi, across Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janeiro. It sits like a space-age flower on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the Bay.

You enter the museum by walking up a gentle curving ramp that sports a bright red paint job in contrast to the otherwise white exterior.

Once inside, you can wander around–literally around–the circular interior and look at the collection of modern art. Frankly, Janet and I were disappointed in the collection until we turned from the museum’s walls and looked out its windows instead. Wow! There, framed by window after window, hung one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world: Rio de Janeiro.

I’m not sure if we ever turned back to look at the contemporary art.

Surprise Duet in Russia

By , December 6, 2012 9:43 am

Today would have been Dave Brubeck’s 92nd birthday. Apparently spry right up to the end:

Dave Brubeck Has Died

By , December 5, 2012 11:10 am

He was 91. I saw Brubeck perform at least three times, twice in Salt Lake City and once in Chicago. Joe Morello on drums, Eugene Wright on bass, Paul Desmond on sax, and Dave Brubeck on the piano.

Hat tip: Ann Althouse.

The Mo Tab’s New YouTube Channel

By , December 2, 2012 5:05 pm

You can find it here. I’ve attended at least three of the Choir’s annual Christmas Concerts, one with Sissel and David McCullough, another with Natalie Cole, and finally one with Brian Stokes Mitchell and Edward Hermann. Around Christmas, these concerts are one of the hottest tickets anywhere. They’re free, but you can only get them via a random, on-line selection process described here. As you’ll see, it’s too late to get ticket for this year, but put it on your calendar for next year.

O Sapientia

By , November 13, 2012 1:06 pm

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