Inspirational concerts in San Francisco
This time of year, I yearn for some upliftâsomething more ancient, wiser, and larger than the mall. Music, as so often is the case, is a good antidote to consumerist angst. And it doesnât get any more inspirational than in the French Gothic stained-glass shrine of Grace Cathedral Episcopal Church, atop San Franciscoâs Nob Hill.
Concerts this season range from the American Bach Soloists performing Handel’s Messiah (Dec 14) to church-choir performances (Dec 11â20) to an organ and brass extravaganza (Dec 21). You neednât be Episcopalian to enjoy the melodies, made more pleasurable by the vaulted ceilings and the church’s massive 7,466-pipe Aeolian-Skinner organ.
You do, however, need endurance to make it through the three-hour Messiah. Last year, my grandmother, mother, and I all started nodding off by the post-âHallelujahâÂ denouement. But thatâs an old lesson: When you seek the larger-than-life, be prepared for something big. Advance purchase recommended for Grace Cathedral events (from $15; 1100 California St., San Francisco; www.gracecathedral.org or 415/749-6300) and for American Bach Soloists (from $20; www.americanbach.org or 415/621-7900). â Lisa Taggart