Jewish World Review April 22, 2013/ 12 Iyar, 5773
Simple gifts, or: Boston in Little Rock
By Paul Greenberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After great pain, a formal feeling comes --
Before the final chamber music concert of the season at the
The evening's music weaves the familiar together anew. There is a classical version of Amazing Grace (Higdon). Next on the program is the feature attraction of the evening,
The sound of chamber music fills, and overflows, the chamber. Packed with chairs for the overflow crowd, the great hall of the
The old Bible hymns that form the backbone of "Appalachian Spring," composed as the most awful of wars was finally ending, can be picked out with the comfort of recognition, like safe harbor in a sea of troubles. After a great war comes great peace. The peaceful past comes gently back, and we remember where and who we once were.
The swelling, restorative music ascends, buttressed by folksong after folksong, alternating between lush and lustrous, as if illuminated by light from above, culminating in that old Shaker hymn:
'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves
in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley
of love and delight . . .
When true simplicity
To bow and to bend
we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn,
will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning
we come 'round right . . .
Somewhere in a mountain meadow, an eight-year-old boy who loved to run and climb, whose picture was in all the wirefotos out of
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