The arts are a wonderful gift of God’s giving to this world. According to Aristotle, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” On the second weekend of Advent we took in a lot of the arts and it was truly amazing. It was a good weekend to be reminded of the inward significance of things.

 

On Saturday we took in Vivaldi’s four seasons at the Detroit Symphony. The music and the atmosphere were amazing and it was indeed a great evening. The power of the music and place to which it takes you is remarkable.  We bought the tickets at the auction and we took Catherinanne’s Parents and her brother Mike and his wife Patty.  Many Thanks to Walter Fisher, To Barbar at Butterfield Limo, and Louis and La Cucina for donating to the auction, the items that made up this great item.

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We all had a great time! Four Seasons has four concertos – convenient since there are four seasons. These were written to go along with four sonnets. Here is a translation of a piece of the L’Inverno (Winter) –which is the fourth concerto.

 

We tread the icy path slowly and cautiously,

for fear of tripping and falling.
Then turn abruptly, slip,

crash on the ground and,

rising, hasten on across the ice lest it cracks up.
We feel the chill north winds course through the home

despite the locked and bolted doors…
this is winter,

which nonetheless brings its own delights.

 

Which of us could not relate to this yesterday. When we emerged from church, the world as we know it was glazed with Ice and as the day went on it seemed to get worse – slippery pavement and cautious footsteps were the theme of the day.

 

In the afternoon yesterday we saw Theatre Windsor’s production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Among the cast was or very own Nicola Adams who gave a brilliant performance as she always does.  We attended this show with our Goddaughter Allanah and we all had a great time. Allanah kept me up to speed as she has been reading the book in school and she was very excited to find that it was the same work.   It was a great production and the children in the play were magnificent.  The play is a funny and touching story of a group of six welfare children who take over the church Christmas pageant. The minister, the church ladies (Incidentally, Nickki played the church lady role VERY well), even the other children and all the powerbrokers of church-land immediately assume the whole thing will be a disaster. In the end the touching generosity of this “broken” family and the enthusiasm that they show win everybody over. Hearts are changed everywhere.  I was very moved by the whole thing. I confess that watching young children perform is more than I can really manage nowadays and I found myself quite emotional. Again, this is another great example of the arts picking away at what is on the inside.  

 

If that was the end of the day, we would have had a fitting end to the weekend. That would have been enough good art filled entertainment for one weekend. But alas, we had a special performance last evening of the Essex Singers. This group of singers offer “a cappella” music that is tremendous. Among the talent in that group is our own Christian Paulton. As we have grown accustomed to his talent, we were not surprised at the calibre of the Essex Singers, as we know that any group of which is he a member would be marvellous. Each and every member of that group was so impressive last night. They performed for the better part of an hour and a half and it was magic. The proceeds of last evenings events will go jointly to St. Mark’s by-the-Lake and St. Mark’s – Windsor and we offer our thanks to Sue Paulton and the people of St. Mark’s for hosting this great event and including us in it. On behalf of the wardens and the parishioners of this parish, I say thank you to Christian and to the Essex Singers for a great night.  If indeed the arts are as Aristotle mused, a reflection of inward significance, the quality of last nights performance is no surprise. It was clear that in the hearts of each performer is a great love of music and a great love of what music can provide.  While each person there left with a great deal of goodness in their hearts last night, what was most obvious is what was given from the performers straight from their hearts.

 

So that those of you who could not be there might get a small taste of the great evening that it was I invite to take a look at this youtube video I produced, comprised of photos and video from the event. You can view it by clicking here(I removed the embedded vidceo as it seemed to work slow. The link to youtube will work better) If you like what you hear and would like to purchase a CD from the Essex Singers send me along a note and I’ll make sure your order gets through to Christie and Christian (They make great Christmas Gifts!) BE SURE TO TUR OF THE MEDIA PLAY UP TOP SO THAT YOU HEAR THE SOUNDS OF THIS VIDEO WITH THESE GREAT PERFORMERS!