A “BACH FOR PHILIP” REQUIEM

MAY DAY IS ALSO SAINT PHILIP DAY

Today is May 1. When I say “May Day,” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Hopefully it’s not a distress call by sailors and aviators. 🙂

For me, the first thing that comes to mind is May Day parades. Both in Belgrade and in Moscow’s Red Square. And the smell of Spring, like the sound of La Primavera (see Vivaldi Goes Country).

Spring is the time of rebirth. And a stepping stone to summertime fun and freedom. Soon, the school year will be over and we (kids) would be free to do whatever our hearts desire.Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 12.36.49 PM

But did you know that today is also Saint Philip Day? Yes, a special day commemorating the life of Philip the Apostle, not the Evangelist. The former is always listed fifth among Jesus’ disciples.

Since Philip, Peter and Andrew all shared a common birthplace (Bethsaida), they were among the first to be called by Jesus to follow him. Philip, in turn, recruited Bartholomew (Nathanael). And so on, and so forth…

I did not know that May 1 was the Saint Philip Day, either, until the spring of 2014. It was revealed to me by the Spirit just before Easter. Which is not surprising, since I was there at the Crucifixion.

One of my (ALTZAR) past life incarnations was that of Philip the Apostle. Like his teacher, he was also crucified – upside down in Hierapolis (today’s Turkey – see below).  That is the event we mark today with the Feast of Saint Philip.

Well, on April 28, 2014, an ethereal piece of music came to me. It was the “Air on G-string” by J.S. Bach. Elizabeth thought it sounded like wedding music. To me, however, this Baroque piece sounded like a solemn Requiem Mass (mass for the dead).

By the way, this was the first Bach piece that has ever come to me, at least in this lifetime. I figured there must have been a reason for it.  And on April 30, 2014, I realized that I was to record it as a “Bach for Philip Requiem” for Saint Philip Day.

Since I had just started playing it only two days earlier, this recording is far from perfect. But I figured that timeliness was more important than the professional vanity of a musician.

And now, here’s Air on G-string: “Bach for Philip Requiem” – recorded entirely on my Arizona Clavinova in the afternoon of 5-01-14, the Saint Philip Day:

* * *

ABOUT PHILIP THE APOSTLE

Saint Philip Brooklyn_Museum_-_byJames_TissotRubens_apostel_philippus Philip by Rubens

Following the resurrection of Jesus, Philip was sent with his sister Mariamne and Bartholomew to preach in GreecePhrygia, and Syria.

Mariamne. by the way, is identified as Mary Magdalene by the Gnostics

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 10.15.23 AM

According to Acts of Philip, Philip converted the wife of the Roman proconsul of the city of Hierapolis (in today’s Turkey). This enraged the proconsul, who had Philip, Bartholomew, and Mariamne all tortured. Philip and Bartholomew were then crucified upside-down. But Philip continued preaching from his cross.396px-Philippus_San_Giovanni_in_Laterano_2006-09-07

As a result of Philip’s preaching, the crowd released Bartholomew from his cross. But Philip insisted that they not release him, and he died on the cross.

Another legend is that Philip was martyred by beheading in the city of Hierapolis. Philip is commonly associated with the symbol of the Latin cross in Christian symbology. Thus he is depicted as the cross holder in this by Mazzuoli at Saint John the Lateran Basilica in Rome, the official residence of the Bishop of Rome (i.e., the Pope – below). 

798px-Facade_San_Giovanni_in_Laterano_2006-09-07

 

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