In case you missed it, last Sunday was Easter, which this year happened to fall one day after my mom’s 86th birthday.
I called my mother on the way to work Saturday — sans Bluetooth, of course; that law we have is well-intentioned but superfluous and dumb and, being something of a poor man’s, modern-day Thoreau, I won’t follow it.
Somewhat surprisingly, she did not ask if I planned to go to church on Easter.
My mom, a lifelong Lutheran who grew up in Minnesota, is big into church attendance and I’m sure it distresses her a bit that I seldom go, the reason for which, as I always seem to say, is something of a long story that I won’t get into here.
Suffice it to say, however, that I’ve never not attended because I considered doing so a waste of time. And if Mom had inquired Saturday, I could have told her that yes, I did plan on making an appearance at church this Easter.
Somewhat at random, though not completely, I settled on First Presbyterian in Corvallis, and I ended up really happy with the choice. The people were nice, the pastor was succinct and altogether intelligible, the stained glass was stunning, and the pipe organ was captivating.
I’m a rock-and-roller by nature, but one thing I’ve always loved about being in church is the music, both when it’s time to sing and when it’s time to listen.
And a composition by Bach that was played at one point during the service — I think during the collection of the offering — inspired this week’s list: My Top 7 classical music pieces.
Before I get to that, though, I need to refer you to a fantastic website that I used for research purposes — basically to attach names to works with which I was familiar but didn’t know what they were called.
Here it is. I encourage you to check it out and click on the previews to remind yourself how deeply into our culture classical music has permeated without, likely, you even knowing it. These composers are killer talented; it’s not by accident we’re still appreciating some of them centuries after the fact.
OK, here we go on the Top 7, which could easily be a Top 50:
1) “Canon in D,” Pachelbel.
2) “Symphony No. 9: Ode to Joy,” Beethoven.
3) “Fur Elise,” Beethoven.
4) “Air on the G String,” Bach. (yes, it is sort of an interesting title)
5) “Cantata 147: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” Bach. (this is what I heard in church on Easter)
6) “Rondeau,” Mauret.
7) “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Copland.