The weather has improved, giving me a chance to get on with sanding the teak trim. I am not allowed to use any power sanders in the marina, so my nails are down to the quick. The snow on deck for a good part of the long hard winter in Amsterdam soaked through the varnish and the job turned out much more involved than I had thought. By the end of the week I should be ready to go sailing again.
But I got several breaks to day. First to 10 o’clock service. No Gregorian choir and the same 50 or so worshippers in this large100 year old church. But the service was beautiful and the priest seems to take the low attendance in stride and delivered his sermon as if he were preaching in Saint Patrick’s on Madison Avenue to a full house.
Karolien, my sister, and Herman her husband, stopped by to see my new location. Then Roger, the one other American in the Marina, suggested we go to a concert in the afternoon at the Grote Kerk. This is the Saint Nicholas church, going back to the beginning of the 15th century. It became a Dutch Reformed church as a result of the Reformation. It had a monastery. Monnicken (dam) translates to Monks. The concert was well worth it. The choir
consisted of two sopranos, two altos, two tenors and two basses. The orchestra played an organ, base, cello, bassoon, two oboes, three violins. The choir started, without accompaniment, with Bruckner’s “Pange Lingua” and ended with Bach’s oratoria “Wer nur den lieben Gott laesst walten”. The orchestra played a Sonata from Zelenka, this is where the virtuoso oboe players were very impressive. And a Rondo from G.Rolla with beautiful violin solos.