Resurrection, restoration, rebirth…these words all have connotations of starting over and overcoming the past, and evokes both hope and inspiration for the future. We are continually encountering new seasons of renewal in our personal life, our spiritual journey, our communities, and in the world around us – new “Springs” in every aspect of our lives.

Today’s prelude and music for meditation come from Ludwig van Beethoven’s famous Sonata number 5 in F major for piano and violin.  Affectionately known as the “Spring Sonata”, this picee makes Beethoven’s great love of nature abundantly clear.  Beethoven felt that the presence of God was reinforced by the natural world around him, and it is in works like the Spring Sonata that we can feel a more spiritual side of Beethoven – as well as his thoughtfulness and humor.  The first movement’s gentle lyricism suggests the beauty and freshness of spring, and grows into a sprightly exuberance that seemed like a great way to begin the service together.  The second movement, a simple and flowing adagio, is introverted and elegant – ideal for moments of reflection and meditation.

Allegro from Beethoven’s Spring Sonata, performed by Itzhak Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy

Adagio molto espressivo from Beethoven’s Spring Sonata, performed by Itzhak Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy

Today’s offertory was a piano transcription of a German art song by Franz Schubert.  Frühlingsglaube means “Spring Faith”; the full translation of the lied was a perfect fit for Rev. Jill’s message.

The gentle winds are awakened,
They murmur and waft day and night,
They create in every corner.
Oh fresh scent, oh new sound!
Now, poor dear, fear not!
Now everything, everything must change.
The world becomes more beautiful with each day,
One does not know what may yet happen,
The blooming doesn’t want to end.
The farthest, deepest valley blooms:
Now, poor dear, forget the pain!
Now everything, everything must change.

Frühlingsglaube, performed by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore

Today’s service ended with the Allegro from Vivaldi’s beloved La Primavera from “The Four Seasons”.  Spring practically explodes off the page with every note, as seen below. (Descriptions are taken from the accompanying sonnets for this work; author unknown.)

“Spring has arrived merrily”

“the birds hail her with happy song”

“and meanwhile, at the breath of the Zephyrs the streams flow with a sweet murmur:”

“Thunder and lightning, chosen to proclaim her come covering the sky with a black mantle”

Allegro from Vivaldi’s La Primavera, performed by Itzhak Perlman