I was asked by my organist to sing along with the Soprano cantor for one song today at Mass, the song being, naturally, Franck's Panis Angelicus. Singing that song has been on my bucket list for a while, and I have sung it a few times, but I never feel like I have quite crossed it off yet. I could always have done a little bit better. After all, I am singing for a very important audience, and I want to give Him my very best.
It's funny that it is on my list at all. That piece is not terribly difficult, so singing it isn't that great an achievement. Plus, it is a terribly popular piece that has, in its own way, been done to death. It is at every wedding, every funeral. Most of the major operatic singers (and many more popular singers as well) released a version of it sooner or later. In a sense, there is no upside to singing that piece: it is virtually impossible to look good doing it. No one will ever come up to you and say "Wow, I have heard this piece sung by Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras, Corelli, Price, Norman, Battle, te Kanawa- but yours, man, yours was the one." And yet, I am still looking forward to the next time.
One way or another, I am happy and grateful to have had teh chance. Even more so because the soprano who was singing for most of this morning agreed to sing the canon part of the second verse, and allowed me to be the lead singer of the piece. Not many would agree to do that. I am in her debt over that.