Staraya Ladoga (Fantasy Overture)

 

Staraya Ladoga (Old Ladoga) is a town on Lake Ladoga in Russia along the old trade route of the Varangians (Scandinavians) that connected the Baltic with Constantinople.

I have posted before on The Telescope poetry inspired by old stories and various locales and now here is some music written to evoke that old river road across Russia.

I wrote this for string orchestra on Finale a couple of years ago.  The computer I wrote it on is down, but the midi is up on SoundCloud. The bass is a little too loud. I hope you hear boats rowing, rivers, and  lakes.

Here are some pictures related to the Varangians and that journey.

Nicholas_Roerich,_Guests_from_Overseas
Guests from Overseas. Nicholas Roerich (1901) 
Volok_by_Roerich
Through a Portage. Nicholas Roerich (1915)
Oleg Trizna_1899
Oleg being mourned by his warriors. Viktor Vasnetsov (1899) (Oleg of Novgorod’s burial mound is still to be seen by Lake Ladoga. )
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Did Christ o’er Sinners Weep?

“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it” (Luke 19:41)

 

Did Christ o’er sinners weep,
And shall our cheeks be dry?
Let floods of penitential grief
Burst forth from every eye.

The Son of God in tears
The wondering angels see:
Be thou astonished, O my soul;
He shed those tears for thee.

He wept that we might weep;
Each sin demands a tear;
In heaven alone no sin is found,
And there’s no weeping there.
~Benjamin Bedome

Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Who would choose sorrow? But on the other hand, should you choose delusion and not be aware of the truth? Should you numb yourself so as not to feel it?

Who would choose sorrow? But on the other hand, should you choose delusion and not be aware of the truth? Should you numb yourself so as not to feel it?

But on the other hand, should you choose delusion? Not be aware of the truth? Should you numb yourself so as not to feel it?

In Luke 19 Jesus is weeping over Jerusalem, knowing the judgment that will come on her. There is a misconception that knowledge detaches us from emotion, but Jesus was the one who really knew how terrible the sins of Jerusalem were, and the reality of her coming judgment.  And knowing, he wept. But could he have known and just hardened his heart so as not to feel the pain?

But could he have known and just hardened his heart so as not to feel the pain?

That would be a reduction impossible for the perfect man. Love is both action and emotion in God and man, made in his image; how could either part of love be cut out of the perfect man, the Son of God ?

(I’m trying to encourage myself in this post not to hide my heart away from compassion, even if it means  pain.)

Anyone wanting to flee the pain of knowing the truth and feeling compassion remember this before you throw away your heart — remember that your heart’s only use is not for sorrow, but for joy as well! Jesus knew of coming joy beyond the weeping.

Promised in Isaiah 65 is this:  “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” (Isaiah 65:17-19)

And specifically, this joy in the day of glory is for those who mourned for her in the bad days,

“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her” (Isaiah 66:10)

So let’s not benumb ourselves from feeling anything, let’s weep for sin and death, (in ourselves and everyone) and joy in God’s restoration and salvation. ~Watchful