Thursday, September 17, 2009

enjoying arts for free p2

It's amazing how during those months of waiting, I would get little blessings here and there and couldn't help but marvel at His providence. During spring, I got to indulge in some performances for free.

Since I never expected those, it was to my delight that I got more of such tickets when summer came rolling around.

Arts #4 : Choral Concert

Date : 6 Jun 2009
Time : 6pm
Venue : Rikkyo University Chapel

As part of a series of bicentenary concerts, the British Embassy Choir chose to perform works from 2 masters of the choral art. 2009 marked the 200th anniversary of the death of Franz Joseph Haydn and the birth of Felix Mendelssohn.

From the works of Mendelssohn :
Richte mich Gott (1844)
Mein Gott, mein Gott, warum hast du mich verlassen (1844)
Heilig (1846)
Hear my prayer (1844)
Wie de Hirsch schreit (1837)

Whereas, the Mass in Bb (1799) composed by Franz Joseph Haydn was performed after the intermission.

It really was quite different listening to sacred music being performed in a chapel. It must be something in the architecture of the hall that allows sound to travel with such clarity and vigour, more so considering that a lot of them were volunteers and members of the Embassy.

Since I went with the grrls at church, Zadli became the rose among the thorns! Plus we had visiting guests, the American-Korean Jessica and the British-Korean Praise (yes that's her real name). So it was quite interesting to note how different these 2 "Koreans" were compared to Hyun, who is a true-bred Korean.

Arts #5 : Art Gallery

Date : 15 Jun 2009
Time : 11am
Venue : Takashimaya | 日本橋高島屋8階ホール

Yuri passed me some free tickets to the Encounters of Beauty exhibition just a few days before it was about to end. Just by glimpsing at the ticket, I was wondering if this was a showcase of tools used by Japanese women in the past to beautify themselves, or artifacts meant to convey the meaning of beauty.

I decided to leave the house in the morning since such exhibitions close early on the last day (I had missed the Ikebana one earlier). Not surprisingly a lot of the visitors comprised of お祖母さん and お祖父さんs! Who else would be so free to visit an art gallery on a Monday mid-day in a posh departmental store ya.

There were many antique paintings, art pieces and folding screens, many from the Edo period, which is considered the most prestigious, as far as history and art is concerned. It was also during this time that works were sponsored by 武士*, and often depicted the owner's power and virility. Impressive landscapes, not excluding flowers, birds and other animals were were painted for this reason.

Arts #6 : Orchestra and Choir

Date : 27 Jun 2009
Time : 5:30pm
Venue : Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space

I was just at this exact same hall 1 month before to catch the exact same piece being performed. Well, only 1 of the 2 was the same, Johannes Brahm's Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op.45. The other was Johann Sebastian Bach's Präludium Und Fuge H-Moll, BMV 544.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the 2 performances, so didn't mind listening to the 1st piece again. According to Imm whose professor was one of the bass in the middle, both the choir and orchestra are not professional singers and musicians themselves, but have put up a performance for the love of music.

This time we got complimentary tickets right at the A seats, which are on the same level as the stage. I wouldn't be surprised if these seats cost at least JPY10,000 for a world-class orchestra.

During intermission, we even managed to see the pipe organs rotate all the way from the back to the front. No wonder I thought they looked different from when I first went there!

Together with many other outings and treats, I really enjoyed those remaining months in Tokyo. Even if I didn't manage to get a proper job, it was as if God wanted me to truly enjoy Japan before I left.

The rent especially took a toll on my finances, but now looking back, I had one of the best times in Japan. I'm really grateful for caring friends who were very concerned about me and hoped I would get something so that I could remain longer in Japan. Money cannot buy any of that, and so, this chapter of my life has taught me to be content in more ways than one.

* 武士(P); 武夫 【ぶし(武士)(P); ぶふ(武夫); もののふ(武士)】 (n) warrior; samurai;

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