Sunday, November 7, 2010

Job: a just man

For a dedicated agnostic, Vaughan Williams wrote some of the most strikingly beautiful religious music of the twentieth century both framed within the liturgy - his Mass in G - and within 'secular' settings as with the piece I listened to as I drove to visit my mother: Job: A Masque for Dancing.

When I was nine or so, my mother found me, to her great surprise, propped up in bed reading the Bible! A surprise doubled by finding that I was reading the Book of Job with fascinated incomprehension! I was engaging in sibling rivalry as my older brother had embarked on reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation (a task I believe he completed).

I have no idea why I chose Job but it was my first acquaintance with that haunting text that had so drawn the attention of my beloved Blake, as here, with Job's complaint:

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