Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Soweto Gospel Choir

I felt like I had never heard Amazing Grace before and will never be satisfied hearing anywhere else in any other way. And the whole concert was like this.

They sang traditional songs as well as popular (but not "pop") songs. And every one was a gem. And every time I asked myself how they could possibly move on and top the song they had just sung, they did.

And the dancing was energetic and wild. And they did a lot of it while singing. And I couldn't see how they could possibly do both. But they did.

The performance of Amazing Grace included four soloists, each of whom sang relatively straightforward with some improvisational flourishes and they were all beautiful. But then a final soloist came out and took her verse into a completely different musical universe. Then all of the soloists sang their verses at one time, improvising off of one another in a kind of dialog between sinners testifying. I just don't know how they did it or why it worked so well--but it was blindingly gorgeous.

They finished with a performance of several Christmas carols, some reworked with an African beat. They kept asking the audience to sing along and normally I would have but I didn't want to miss a note of their singing.

The carols were kind of an encore. Except the group didn't leave the stage to be called back. They just stayed in hopes of wearing the audience out. And wear me out they did. This was music as a catharsis, which good gospel music is. But I could have listened to this well into the night.

Let's face it, this is the worst holiday season in my lifetime, but this concert was the the best gift I could ever receive.


VO said...

"Let's face it, this is the worst holiday season in my lifetime"

Mine too but I don't have anything that is gonna soften the blow.

Donita Curioso said...

Vo- Feel better soon, wouldja? How 'bout you come over when you feel up to it and we'll get creative at my kitchen table?

BABoR- Wow. I guess I didn't really realize that you needed a boost so much. I'm glad you got so much out of it. For me, it was a very enjoyable evening. For you, it was something that you really needed. I had a really nice time. Thanks for the invite.

VO said...

Okey dokey!