Clever Mr. Vanska…

When the soloist for a performance with the Israeli Phil was barred from entering Israel this month, Mr. Vanska, who was the guest conductor, decided to whip out his clarinet and replace the soloist.  But not with the scheduled piece, by Aho — with Mozart!  In what parallel universe is this the best thing to do?  Hmmm….let’s think about this…

First of all, Vanska managed to completely upstage the Principal Clarinet of the orchestra.  Oh wait, they’re not soloists, you  might be thinking.  Au contraire.  As I learned from my flute teacher, Sid Zeitlin, who was principal flute of the Minnesota Orchestra at that time, the chaired players usually have all the major concerti at their fingertips and ready to go.  And, as he would frequently add, their playing is usually much more connected to the orchestra and musically correct that that of soloists, who have a habit of forgetting all but their own vision of any given piece.

Well, anyhow…

Then there is the issue of blithely substituting Mozart for Aho.  Now, I love Mozart, and am, in fact, addicted to Mozart — it could be said that I don’t have much of a choice!  Nevertheless, the two pieces are from different centuries and miles apart in their effect on the audience.  I wonder if the audience felt that it was in the Twilight Zone?  Exquisite as the Mozart is — with it’s haunting middle movement, written late in his brief life — it must still have been something of a jarring surprise to anyone who had their Aho hat on, so to speak…

Just my 2 cents…


Our Broken Churches: “The Fleece”, part one…M4B*

In 2013 I was looking for a church I could attend when my husband was working on  Sundays, which he frequently did.  We were also part of a Messianic community, but I did not feel comfortable attending service there without him.  That’s another story — an unusual one. I’ll talk about that in another post…

So, I watched a program from this church on our local TV station.  The pastor wore an open necked shirt, tails hanging out, and jeans.  Must be a relaxed atmosphere, I thought. He spoke about having a meaningful, personal relationship with Jesus.  Can’t go wrong with that, I thought.  We’ll call him Bob.

So I prayed about going to a service.  There was, in fact, a campus nearby.  In Edina, where I had once lived.  So it all seemed to make sense.  But the answer I received in prayer was to ‘go there and stand and wait.’  That did not make sense.  It was also, however, quite doable.

And so I did.  I discovered that they had very good coffee and donut holes that you could enjoy prior to the service.  You could even take coffee into the service.  Most there were fairly young and trendy.  Some looked like the old-schoolers.  I was comfortable with that.  Most were friendly, but in a practiced manner.  Greeters and all.

The early part of the service was very loud.  Rock praise music.  My earplugs went in.  Loud trance beat.  Not good for small children, I thought.  The sermon was streamed from another location.  The pastor again was cute and friendly.  He said a lot of positive things.  There were a couple of Bible verses tucked away in there.  It was a feel-good service.  I later learned this was a ‘religious experience.’

The campus pastor was a large man with an even larger voice.  Australian.  Super friendly.  But there was also a darkness about him.  Something intangible.  I did not introduce myself.  Just observed.  We’ll call him Rick.

I was not comfortable, but also not entirely uncomfortable. And so, I decided to return. After a few weeks, I decided to check out their new member series.  Four weeks.  One of the other potential new members was a bass player, so I thought that was a good sign.  During one of the meetings, we talked about tithing.  I mentioned a sermon of this pastor that I had seen on TV about ‘tithing until we are audited’.  When I brought that up, the group leader looked at me as if I were crazy, or had missed something.  A tiny red flag.  I later learned that they expect you to give not only your tithe, but well over and above your tithe — to them.  No, you don’t have to.  I asked about that.  You can split your tithe as long as you do tithe. But that is the hope, that you will give it all to them and more.

I attended a few events for those who hope to become small group leaders.  They encourage you to open up your home to them.  They served a delicious dinner too at these events.  I thought I might get to know people that way and tell them about the Zauberflote.  I realized I was being tracked by one of the assistant pastors by that time, who complimented me on attending the group leader dinner, which  he did not attend. Something felt off.

I then found, to my surprise, that a couple who  had been in the initiation sessions seeming to present themselves as new members were, in fact, core members of the congregation.  I had been wondering if we were being evaluated in some way during those sessions, and that was the clincher.  I did not move forward with membership.

This was originally an Assemblies of God church.  A pretty solid denomination, I thought.  By this time, I had become sufficiently puzzled to email the Minneapolis AAG headquarters with my concerns.  I was, in effect, patted on the head.  On that same day I sent the email, I found out later, the lead pastor, Bob, was having a heart attack.  He did recover.  Odd coincidence, I thought.

I don’t recall when Rick first mentioned that Brian Houston was his childhood friend.  I knew nothing of this person, but decided to find out.  Houston is the leader of Hillsong Church, with a complicated and puzzling family history.  Some consider Hillsong a cult.

In another conversation Rick spoke of the ‘lifers’ — those who give abundantly to the church and apparently can be trusted, as they are sent ahead to the new campuses they are starting — or converting from existing, ageing AAG churches.  These are the ones who also get to travel for free around to the various churches and organizations they minister in various parts of the globe.

Of course, I thought it would be lovely for the church to hear the Zauberflote, so I thought perhaps a door might be opening when I sat next to the wife of the music leader at a dinner.  “What do you do?” she politely asked.  “I teach, and I am a classically trained flute player.” She put her face close to mine.  “Do you read music?” she asked.  I rolled my eyes. “I would love to recommend you as a Sunday greeter!” she said with enthusiasm. Great, I thought.  Dead-ended.

By that time I also attended a Holy Spirit retreat.  This took place during the Minnesota Orchestra lockout of the players.  I spoke to the assistant pastor who was the table leader about how the Zauberflote is a gift of the Holy Spirit and and how I felt a connection between the MO lockout of the Zauberflote by a cadre of players and the current player lockout.  “We don’t want people running away from you,” he said, “we want them running to Jesus Christ.”  I did not know what to say to that.  Before long, this pastor was transferred to a different campus, and eventually left the ministry to become a counselor.

And so, in the middle of all this, with doors seeming to be shut everywhere, I recalled what my original understanding had been….to go there and stand and wait.  The governing powers had met me at the door.  I just hadn’t realized it yet…


*M4B=Mozart 4 Believers



A curious comment by Mr. Vanska..

Lo and behold, as I was checking the archives at Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc blog, I found an article about Mr. Vanska’s new adventure in Japan.  That alone does not surprise me, as he seems to be making a grand getaway before things blow up at the MO due to their lockout of…the Zauberflote.  But what caught my attention is that he mentions, of all people, Mozart, in  his quote.  As if he liked Mozart…even appreciated him.  Based on his and his colleague Mr. Shrickel’s treatment of the Zauberflote, such a statement is truly ironic…

Here is the article…

Vortex of the Evil Eye…let’s ‘talk turkey’…

When my Father wanted the truth about something he would say ‘let’s talk turkey’.  Well, it is ironic that it is at Thanksgiving time of year when things are starting to fall into place about what has been going around me and one of my family members — in secret, in a deadly conspiracy of silence.  In fact, the knives have been out for us, but we were apparently not supposed to know  it.

There are those who  have a connection to us who have attempted to, and in some cases, succeeded, in causing us bodily harm through the ingestion of toxic substances of some sort without our permission or consent.  This has not gone unnoticed, unobserved or undocumented.  However, those who have been knowingly involved appear to think they are above the law — or that those who could help us will remain silent.  Let me simply say that is not the case.  In fact, victim reports are being filed in all the right places.

God is in charge, and we trust Him to be our Vindicator in this quest for justice.

I believe Wolfgang Mozart, too, was surrounded by a Vortex of the Evil Eye — those close to him who agreed to  his assassination.  Wolf did not survive.  But his Zauberflote is bringing us through and getting the truth out.

Will Orchestra Hall go dark for good this time?


Tangled up in a vortex…

A vortex of time and space swirls around.  It is confusing and often loud, but not everyone can hear it.  It surrounds the Zauberflote…There are waves of energy coming through it continually…sometimes waves of shalom, other times waves of angst.  There is a dark angel in the vortex, trying to control the waves.  There are a few people in the vortex; some past, some present. Impressions of them filter through…There are influences…there is night and fog, a threat of oblivion, as the night angel tries to silence the living, but by the zauber they manage to escape…there are impressions of things to come, and odd coincidences that bring new things to life…it is magical, and at times frightening…we are all caught up in it…all the real-life characters of the opera…the Queen of the Night is gone now, but another — a paler version — tries to take her place.  Monostatos is not just one man, still spinning falsehoods and madly conducting a small orchestral group…but also a large orchestra of the same name, pulling the wool over the eyes of the citizens who support them…keeping secret what they know is happening…

The vortex stretches from Vienna to New York, and from there, to Minnesota…we are all tangled up it it, and right now things are not really making sense…we seem to be tumbling, falling apart, losing each other as the lies are unmasked and the truth comes to the light…and it seems that there may be someone else in the vortex…it’s hard to tell…sometimes seeming to send direction, at others appearing to try to ignite the vortex…around it all, in the sound of the flute, there is also is a voice…

After the lockout…

I gave a series of concerts in the Art Room of the Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church. One was all-Mozart, one all-Bach, and in a third was mixed. As I put up posters everywhere from Orchestra Hall to Dinkytown, the hang-up phone calls to the phone number I had posted continued, as well as the ongoing shunning by Monostatos and other players. I became concerned, not only for my own well-being, but for that of my children.

The man I call “Monostatos” had enlisted the MO lawyers to try to keep from having to pay child support for the children he had so enthusiastically adopted just over a year earlier. He had also threatened my life on a number of occasions, including two which involved calling the Police in Hopkins, where we lived. I did not press charges at that time because I had no doubt that I would not live to see my children grow up if I did. For the same foolish reason I also did not ask for a restraining order. I decided to go under the radar and protect my children.

Our lives were not easy. All of this was extremely difficult for my children, who are the most flexible and good-natured people that I know…to this day. All the hopes they had for a stable environment, as well as mine for them, came crushing down on us, while Monostatos and his colleagues played on as if nothing had happened. I felt as though, by deliberately denying our credentials, they were taking food from the mouths of my children. In fact, I found a cruel irony in their vigorous complaints about all the hardships they had to endure during their own 18-month lockout.

But then, that is how the Zauberflote works — what others intend for us becomes their own fate…

Did Mozart really have the last laugh in ‘Amadeus’?

In addition to Tom Hulce’s crazy-sounding giggle as he played Mozart in the movie “Amadeus”, we experience it yet again as the credits roll. Cute, we might be tempted to think. It is certainly consistent with the characaturish treatment of Mozart during the movie, which happens to slander just about everything about him — except his music.

But, if there really is an occult secret being held by ‘insiders’ about what really happened to Mozart and how he actually died, and that secret has an effect on us even today, could this ‘last laugh’ actually signal something else?

The movie “Amadeus” was created by those who consider themselves insiders in the saga of Mozart. It is supposed to give the general public the impression that they too can participate in this ‘secret knowledge’.

But have the conspirators, instead, created a big problem for themselves? If those who consider themselves ‘insiders’ start to take on the characteristics of the “Amadeus” version of Mozart — even perhaps including the crazy laugh — have they not given themselves away?

And, if that is the case, does not Mozart really have the last laugh?

Inside his head…

I am excluded, locked-out, ridiculed
They glare at me with side-eyes, as though
I am some sort of circus freak
They seem to lie in wait —
Who will be the next to try to take me out?
I wonder…
Perhaps I will slide by them, unharmed, this time
He has already delivered me from so many dangers.
I know I am only here because of His saving grace
that protects me.
And I must shine on, shine on.

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