What I’m Thankful for #17: The Grandest Music and Musical Genius

This is one in a series of daily posts I conceived of writing many weeks ago while the election still raged on, as I looked for something to write about of more lasting value. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving seemed perfectly appropriate for it. Just in case you wondered, the topics introduced are not necessarily in any particular order. I hope the series is of some small encouragement to you, even as my site traffic takes a dive.

I have appreciation for many different kinds of music. Today I express my thanks particularly for the grand elevating pieces of music that lift the human heart upward, hopefully in expression of praise to the Creator: from Handel’s Messiah to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The chorus at the end of the latter provides one of the most sublime moments in the world of music, in the hushed stillness that anticipates and quickly crescendos into the full “Ode to Joy” theme sung by the complete choir and supported by the full orchestra.

In every year but one since I’ve been in Colorado, my wife and I have made the Boulder Messiah Singalong a tradition, and we will likely attend this year, too. There’s nothing like being surrounded by a couple hundred strangers in a small church and soaking in the words of Scripture through the musical genius of Handel’s score. And, if you dare, you can sing along, too. The best part is the reprise of the Hallelujah Chorus at the end. Close your eyes, and you begin to realize a small foretaste of the sounds of heaven.

These two pieces only scratch the surface of an abundance of grand, sublime music that God has left us through the untouchable genius of many composers today and in times past. It’s wonderful to have the soul stirred, the heart lifted, and the mind elevated – even if for but a brief moment.

Around our household the tradition is that the Christmas music can’t start until after the Thanksgiving feast. Otherwise, we’d overload ourselves with a wide array of great songs too early. But I truly love that final month of the year for its musical value. Thankfully, it will be here soon.

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