Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Beauty of a Hymn Under the Iron Curtain

By Bobby Chang

A friend of mine from college has been to Eastern Europe (Magyar) before returning recently back to Charleston. A former voice teacher said my voice had a Baroque quality, which has fitted me well with my love of classical and sacred music, having sung Händel, Franck, Scarlatti, Haydn, and others in recital or choral settings, drawing the ire of the "head" clergyman at church and his attitude against anything that isn't what Cathy calls "dippy junk".

A quarter century ago, the godless atheist Iron Curtain was extremely strict, and in our A Beka curriculum, we were taught the evils of the USSR, something that government-school curriculum (something I later was pushed) never did (in fact, they praised the values of the USSR). Imagine the thought of the legacy of Ronald Reagan breaking away the Iron Curtain and consider a clergyman was sentenced to fourteen years of prison under the Nicolae Ceauşescu reign of Romania when you find this Lois and Daniel Prunaru performance at the Romanian National Opera of a sacred hymn standard from Oliver Holden. Not only is this hymn strong in doctrine and theology, the singing is extremely beautiful!

Just think now that we're having leftists try to throw God off the public square, and we have schools and churches outlaw sacred song from venues, and see what is happening in the former Iron Curtain where such a wonderful arrangement of this hymn, and you ask yourself if you can accept the dippy junk of today when you compare it to this sacred song. There's a difference between singing with a karaoke machine (or a rock band) in ragged clothes, and singing with an orchestra (or organist) in black tie. Give me black tie.

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