03 November 2009

Mourning, Reading, Watching, Listening

Renowned composer and organist Paul Manz died last week of cancer. He was a wonderful gift to the church and a man of great dignity and grace. In 1999, I had the distinct pleasure of singing his best known work, "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" under Manz' own baton for a service of lessons and carols for Advent with the choir of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his son, John, was on the pastoral staff. What I remember of the experience was the absolute clarity, focus and musicianship he brought to the ensemble. And, of course, he blessed us by sitting down to the organ for a hymn or two. His death is a great loss to music as a whole, and Lutheran music in particular. Here's the best version of "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" I could find via YouTube. I think I may have posted this before, but it's worth another listen if you've got the time:

Let's see - other stuff.

Having finished Trinity by Leon Uris, I'm now well into the sequel, Redemption. Calling it a sequel is a bit much to this point: in a rather bizarre fashion, Uris used Redemption to flesh out some of the story from Trinity, telling stories we've already heard from other characters' perspectives and so on. It's still good writing, but the constant "haven't I read this before?" gets a bit dreary. Thankfully, we're drawing near to the end of the retelling, and there's a lot of book to go, so I'm expecting the remainder to pick up quite a bit.

I'm really excited for tonight's premiere of the new "V" on ABC. Even cooler, SciFi (no, I will NOT use their new version - it's not spelled "Scyence Fyction," you morons) has been rebroadcasting the original miniseries and episodes. Since Alanna is home with a fever today, we spent a few hours watching the original miniseries this morning. Ah, childhood memories. And the show itself is surprisingly good. Decent effects for TV at that time, and not nearly as clunky as I expected it to be. And what other miniseries had Freddy Kruger as a bumbling alien?

After using his song "Holy Now" for my sermon on Sunday, I've been listening to a lot of Peter Mayer this week. This would be the Peter Mayer who does NOT play lead guitar with Jimmy Buffett, although that Peter Mayer is cool, too (and Lutheran! The Jimmy Buffett one, that is.). So, here's another Peter Mayer tune, "Molly O'Malley's" Enjoy.

Grace & peace,

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