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13 GOING ON 12
In choir we are practicing excerpts from Stabat Mater, an Easter mass concert that we are performing together with the Lomma Women's Church Choir. It's the first time since I joined the choir a couple of years ago that we've done religious music (apart from a couple of pieces in the big 3000-member choir concert we performed in Stockholm last year).

Today we practiced from 10 to 4 in the chapel of the congregation house in Lomma, and it struck me again how much more majestic music sounds in a church with the open space and high ceiling. We worked really hard today, to the point where, nearing 3:30 in the afternoon, I was growing hoarse and having a hard time singing. Since we have another 10-4 session tomorrow, I have been napping resting my voice since I got home.

I'm no stranger to Latin choral music, having sung several years in a non-denominational church choir in high school and various other choirs where religious music was a mainstay. Stabat Mater is all in Latin, and it's quite complicated and moving music. Stabat Mater translates literally as "standing mother" and refers to Mary, grieving beneath the cross on which her Son died.

However, Stanza 19 is giving me fits. It goes like this:

Fac me cruce custodiri morte Christi praemuniri confoveri gratia

and translates (in one edition) as

Let the cross then be my guard, the death of Christ my watch and ward, and cherish me by heaven's grace.

The line is repeated several times throughout the stanza, volleyed back and forth by the higher and lower registers, alternating between the soprano and alto sections. And every single time we sing Fac me with its hard 'c' sound, I have to stifle giggles. I am so going to hell.

Check it out! Mosaic Minds Never Say Never issue
 naughty
mood: naughty
music: Pete Townshend—Crashing By Design


Comments

I cannot even allow myself to look in your direction anymore when we sing "Fac me." Yes indeed, we are 13 going on 12. And to make matters worse, when I told Björn about it, he pointed out that while Swedes might note it and then move on without continually hearing it the way we do, the very presence of English speaking you and me and Wendy probably makes them more aware of it. Oh mercy, what if I start a giggle fest at the concert?!

I can't look at Debbie either. And I think Björn is right because sometimes I catch some of the sopranos eyes and THEY are grinning at ME!

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