Back to St German's for the Wednesday school Mass, with a class that seems more eager than others to sing at the service. After coffee and a chat in the Day Centre, I had to return home and arrange another bereavement visit, for a funeral on the thirty-first of this month, passed on to me by Fr Phelim. This one, will be that of a young girl who died unexpectedly of a winter bad chest. It's usually people my age and older who succumb to 'the pensioners' friend', except when there's a major epidemic, from which God preserve us. This will doubtless come as a shock to the extended family, and they'll need plenty of time to prepare, so the sooner I can make contact the better. By lunchtime, I had secured a rendezvous for Friday morning at St Catherine's.
Thursday morning, a walk to St John's Canton to celebrate their midweek Eucharist, then a return home to await collection an hour later to return to St John's to officiate at a funeral. This was followed by a journey to Thornhill for the burial, then an hour in the Crem waiting room until my second funeral office of the day was due to start. I used the free time to complete my Duo Lingo daily exercise, as best I could given the flaky signal, and was quite surprised, given the distractions, to get 100% again, eleven days after the last time. I thought the set of exercises were easier than others lately. Difficulty levels in the exercises seem to vary, but so does my ability to avoid typos, memory and attention lapses.
I was home again by five and eating an early supper prepared by Clare, so we could leave early and walk across the Taff to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Clare is a supporting 'Friend' of the College, and gets concert information and ticket concessions. This evening, we heard a performance from an excellent and classy jazz ensemble - piano, bass, drums, alto sax - music students playing standards from the 'cool' era of the fifties and sixties, in a manner of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. This kind of is part of the musical sound track of my early adolescence. I'm familiar enough with the music to know it almost off by heart, to know that they were exploring this music with fresh positive energy. It wasn't just faithful reproduction, it was proper jazz, and had me smiling from ear to ear.
Then we had a solo recital from a brilliant pianist, playing pieces by Debussy, Liszt and Chopin with great sensitivity and passion, making full use of a fine concert instrument, plumbing the depths of its finest subtle sounds in quiet pieces as well as its rich energy in the stormy dramatic moments. I found myself reflecting of the different emotional energies of these contrasting kinds of music for the first time and maybe that's a result of being in a smallish recital room with excellent an acoustic, making for an intimate direct experience of hearing music without the meditation of electronic amplification. The jazz spoke of the delight of playful adventure with simple melody, harmony, rhythm. The classical pieces in all their variety and length, explored the range and depth of powerful emotion, from contemplative awareness to passionate grief and anger. All this comes from the music as much as from the performer, and maybe somewhat from the hearer as well.