Saturday, December 25, 2010

Noël in St. Gregory’s House - 聖グレゴリオの家でのイヴ

このホールでのクリスマスの合唱とオルガンの演奏がオーディオ・ベーシックの57号にCDの付録として収められているので、一聴の価値ありだと思う。録音の残響はやや多めだ。[追記: メインのリスニングルームでちゃんと聞き直してみたところ、残響は長くはなくて、マイクセッティングがややオフ気味という響きでした。]

予定としては演奏会だけ聴いたら、駅に取って返し終電に駆け込もうと考えていたのだが、結局は腰を据えてグレゴリオ聖歌やクリスマス・キャロルを織り交ぜたミサにも最後まで付き合った。最後は「聖しこの夜」で〆となったが、その前に歌われたモテットが素晴らしく、僕もかすかな覚えがあって旋律が自然と浮かんでくる。後で独唱されていた望月さんに聞いてみたら、ビクトリアの「O Magnum Mysterium」ですよと教えられ得心した。自宅にタクシーで戻ったのは朝の3時だった。


A friend of mine said that he planned to hear Messiah by Colegium Japan at Suntory Hall in the evening of Christmas Eve, and instead we went Saint Gregory’s House locally in the neighborhood of Higashi-kurume, but a more authentic occasion of ritual. We chose it because there was a late night concert of organ and choir before the midnight Catholic mass. The hall has one of only 3 Arhlent organs installed in Japan that is so beautiful to look at and so wonderful to listen to although it is not a huge instrument. This appears to me a totally opposite situation to Tokyo Cathedral, but this small space has something truly relieving.
With the recent Audio Basic magazine, issue No. 57, comes a complimentary CD featuring the Christmas music recorded in this hall, and it is worth listening to. I think the real acoustic of the hall sounds dry while the reverberation of this recording is long and clear. [Actually, when I played it in my main listening room again, the reverberation was not long, but the microphone seemed placed far from singers.]

Originally, we planned to be there only for the concert and then dash to the station to catch the last train home, but eventually stayed throughout the service of midnight mass that included Gregorian chants and carols. Everybody sang “Silent Night” for the finale, and the motet before it was wonderful and I remembered it as its melody popped up in me. I had a chance to speak to Mr. Mochizuki, one of soloists later at the lobby, and he explained me it was Victoria’s “O Magnum Mysterium”, and I realized that was why. We took a taxi and got back home at almost 3 a.m.

By the way, if one of Arhlent organs in Japan is to be trashed along with the demolition of Casals Hall, what an indescribable pity it is!

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