Monday, April 28, 2008

Joseph Smith Oratorio, something that actually garnered my standing ovation

I am a standing ovation snob. In a major way. You can thank Kelly DeHaan, our high school choir teacher, for that. He was a stickler about this, feeling strongly (as many of us do now) that a standing ovation should be an exception, something saved for something truly remarkable. As a result I am that individual who is usually sitting down while everyone else stands and gives a standing ovation at every performance, without seeming regard for the caliber of it. Come on now, did the high school choir really wow you to the point you feel driven to your feet? the community play was really that excellent? I know other people feel differently (though please note that at least Tara feels as I do, as do many of our friends who commented on her blog post on this same matter, a post I found very amusing). But Saturday I whipped out my standing ovation for the Joseph Smith Oratorio, which I got to see for FREE at Temple Square. But I venture to declare I would pay at least $10 to see it again, maybe $20.

Anyway, its a remarkable work and I find it incredible that an individual majoring in business at BYU wrote this when he was 22, in 6 months no less. It's beautiful and it's inspiring. And I have never seen a conductor so energetic. He was seriously passionate about the music, and that was also delightful to watch. I encourage you to check out this link where you can see little medley of video clips from when it was performed at Abravanel Hall or you can check out this link for several mini-clips. I especially liked "Oh How Great" and "Savior Redeemer of My Soul"---which is actually my favorite church song. The soloists were fabulous, not too much vibratto (sp?). And I actually enjoyed the full performance (rather than getting immensely bored in parts which sometimes happens at symphony type stuff, I know I'm a semi-uncultured individual, but I'm trying!).

So if you are LDS check out, you'll love it, its very beautiful and really strengthened my beliefs, it was a powerful spiritual experience for me. And if you aren't LDS check it out because it's beautiful and because I think the power of the music is very expressive about how many members of our church feel about our religion and Joseph Smith in particular. And I think the story of the life of Joseph Smith is inspiring regardless of whether you believe his claims---he endured and sacrificed a lot for something he felt passionately about, for which I am profoundly grateful.

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