Holy week is upon us, and I thought I might write a short post inspiring folks to meditate on a few musical selections while also enjoying the simplicity of black coffee. Holy week marks the last week of Lent, and this is a wonderful opportunity to go sans sugar and cream if you can.
Black coffee doesn’t have to be terrible. If you would like to try your coffee black this week, I would recommend you use a single serving method such as the pour-over, aeropress, or french press and some fresh coffee. The aeropress will typically have the brightest and cleanest taste of these three methods, and so that is what I will be drinking. If you are interested in learning about making black coffee more palatable, check out my post 6 Tips to Enjoy Black Coffee.
If you only own a coffee pot and don’t have a grinder, I recommend you stop by a local roaster and purchase a medium to medium dark (city to full city) roast and have it ground for your pot. While you are there, you may want to try a caffé americano. The americano combines espresso and water to create a very smooth drink – a great entry into black coffee!
If you are new to this site and have no idea where to start with regards to coffee, check out my Start Here page. This page links to posts relating to the various components of coffee brewing.
There is an abundance of beautiful music associated with the various themes of Holy week. I have selected a few personal favorites that you may enjoy.
The first is a choral arrangement of Ubi Caritas, composed by Maurice Duruflé. Ubi Caritas is a Gregorian chant melody that has long been used as one of the antiphons during the Holy Thursday Mass. You may notice a version of this chant being sung if you find yourself at church this week. Of course, you probably won’t be so fortunate as to encounter the very fine Duruflé version. The King’s College singers do a wonderful job as always.
Maurice Duruflé was a french organist and composer who lived between 1902-1986. Although he had a relatively small output, he was well known for obsessively polishing and editing his music. Each work is a masterpiece.
St. Matthew Passion BWV 244
This second selection is something you may wish to leave playing in the background, as it is quite long. This work is J.S. Bach’s setting of the Passion according to Matthew. This is a great example of the German Baroque styled oratorio. Oratorios feature an operatic presentation suited for performance in a church. This work is widely considered to be a masterpiece of western music. It can be appreciated by Christians and non-Christians alike.
If you are unfamiliar with oratorios and operas, you may notice alternation between different styles of delivery. The main sections feature arias, choruses and recitatives.
- Arias are songs featuring accompanied solo voices.
- Choruses are songs featuring multiple voices.
- Recitatives advance the narrative using sung speech.
I hope you enjoy these selections and take up the challenge of drinking black coffee for the next few days. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my email list below to receive notice of posts via email.