Since I hadn’t posted since my trip out west to Bend Oregon I thought I would regale you, my readers, with recent experience of mine. On a recent trip to New York City I had the pleasure of taking a trip to one of the city’s landmark churches for a choral performance. St. Patrick’s Cathedral was built between 1859 and 1871. It is currently the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. It is the largest Neo-Gothic style Catholic church in the U.S.
I had been a couple times before to view the church strictly from an architectural perspective. And of course it has some amazing artwork there that always lures me into staying longer than I intended. But on this particular instance we were to see a local Catholic choir perform. One of the performers is the daughter of a dear friend of mine. We hadn’t seen each other in well over a year. But out of the blue I got an email from him requesting my presence at this particular event. I gladly accepted.
The church itself is absolutely stunning. It faces Rockefeller center so it is essentially in the heart of the city. Since it has served as the seat of the Archdiocese for years it has been a popular destination and is well known, by Neo-Gothic lovers throughout the States.
A Glorious Performance
When I accepted the invitation I had no idea what an honor this performance was going to be. The choir is nationally known and has performed all over the world. I had never really attended church much as a child. And for that reason I’m not terribly familiar with the customs. To be honest they have always made me somewhat uncomfortable when they’re full of worshipers.
But when they’re empty I can see them strictly from a historical and architectural perspective and this gives me a great deal of enjoyment.
From an acoustical perspective the church is actually quite magnificent. While it is made up of cavernous rooms and all sorts of soaring ceilings, the company that installed the church sound systems did a fantastic job taming all of these difficulties. There was literally no reverb during the entire performance. This contrasted dramatically with the way noises would flutter about the structure sounding as if they were coming from 5 places at the same time.
Once the concert started I was truly in awe. While I must say I’ve never been comfortable with religion, this was truly a spiritual experience. The soaring voices and the magical harmony absolutely affected me. At several points throughout the performance I was brought to tears.
If you ever get the opportunity to go to a professional choir performance I would highly recommend it. It is on par with witnessing a great classical performance in one Europe’s great castles. It is truly moving.