I knew Albert for seven years, but I didn't know that he preferred to be called Albert until his memorial service, which was held last Saturday.
Most of the choir members I sang with during my tenure at South Church came to the service, and we put on our old robes and gathered in the choir loft and sang for Albert.
First: Most of Sing Me To Heaven
The first few lines are missing, but the lyrics are:
In my heart's sequestered chambers lie truths stripped of poet's gloss.
Words alone are vain and vacant and my heart is mute.
In response to aching silence memory summons half-heard voices
and my soul finds primal eloquence and wraps me in song.
Wraps me in song.
If you would comfort me, sing me a lullabye.
If you would win my heart, sing me a love song.
If you would mourn me and bring me to God,
sing me a requiem.
Sing me to heaven.
Touch in me all love and passion, pain and pleasure
Touch in me grief and comfort, love and passion, pain and pleasure.
Sing me a lullabye, a love song, a requiem.
Love me, comfort me, bring me to God.
Sing me a love song, sing me to heaven.
This is the not the best we've ever done, but that may be because several of us were weeping.
Next is the Kyrie Elaison from John Rutter's Requiem:
Our organist and I had a discussion about Rutter, who is kind of a guilty pleasure of both of ours. He mentioned that in his one of his music theory classes in college, the students all used to make fun of silly Rutter, but damned if the sweetness of his compositions doesn't just grow on you.
Also from Rutter's Requiem: Lux Aeterna
This features Sarah Callinan on the soprano solo. She was our soprano section leader for 4 or 5 of the years I sang at the church. I think much of the piece sounds better when sung by a boy's choir (that "lux aeterna, luce at eis" sung with the purity that can only really be achieved by young treble voices is so lovely), but I love her voice on the solo.
Sadly, my camera ran out of memory and Loki wasn't able to capture our last song, And I Saw A New Heaven, which is a glorious piece of music, and one that I think we actually performed better than we ever had before, but....like all of us, it was ephemeral and fleeting and will only live on the memory of those who were there. Which is appropriate, I guess.