a variety of voices

Samantha Powers – some time back in the UN
“what chance do any of us stand, if we allow this? Haven’t we learned anything in 70 years?”   

My brother in law – watching the news, horrified
“We haven’t changed in a 1.000 years – it’s the same cruelty. The same barbarism “

Two friends –  in a Brussels restaurant
“Could there be a civil war here, too? You really can’t know what’s going to happen. Who would have thought evn only 5 years ago that the world would have regressed as it has now? It’s  human nature – an irrepressible selfish struggle for life, for power. Bloodthirst. Us versus them. Compassion? Yes, for for one’s fellow group members, for one’s co-religionists.”

Immanuel Kant – at his desk
“From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned.”   

Walter Benjamin – in the 30s
“[the technocratic conception] recognizes only the progress in the mastery of nature, not the retrogression of society”

Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis”

Thank you for the music indeed  -  pouring out harmony.  And thank you for a civilisation that took the time and energy to build these  musical instruments  -  imagine all the craft and ingenuity that went into inventing & making them. These instruments - so material, so terrestrial, so technical – but so sensuous,  too, singing & sounding along the human voices.

And thank you for this particular Bach ensemble,  performing Bach cantatas since 35 years now. Capturing so well their typical alternation of jubilation and meditation. 
They’re mostly amateurs, with visiting professional soloists.  A mix of different nationalities, each with their independent part,  singing together, in a Brussels chapel, bound by their love of music and Bach.    

Every year, after the Xmas performance concert, members take tours, each in their native language, to extend their best wishes to the public. In Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Italian, German, Dutch, Greek, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, French, English, …..   A happy concert of voices.

post scriptum

So far for an attempt at Xmas spirit  ... written only a day before a terrorist ran a truck in a crowd on a Xmas market....So far for "peace on earth to men of good will"

The FT cites the editor in chief of BILD : "It may yet turn out that the terrorist assault on Christmas time Berlin is the price of the German display of generosity, so widely praised, 18 months ago. [...] To live with that frustrating idea ....[...]Will a majority of Germans bravely accept the notion that nothing in the world, including compassion towards strangers, comes for free?"  



leenhuet said...

Dat zal een prachtig concert geweest zijn. Er gaat niets boven echte concerten, denk ik. Muziek van mens tot mens. (Ik grijp steeds meer terug naar eenvoudige dingen, simpele oude rituelen.)

billoo said...

And thank you for a civilisation that took the time and energy to build these musical instruments - imagine all the craft and ingenuity that went into inventing & making them.

That is a wonderful thought and wonderfully expressed.

Swann Ffflaneur said...

ja, heel ontroerend, samen met anderen luisteren hoe mensen samen muziek maken. We hebben zo'n menselijke rituelen nodig, met echt contact. Daar kan geen streaming service of geen CD tegen op ....

Swann Ffflaneur said...

thank you b, for your comment. it is good to remind ourselves that the human species can also work towards beauty and harmony ...