Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Singing in the shrouds

This actually happens to be the title of a good book by Ngaio Marsh, but I thought I'd use it to start off my posting on this blog.

After a long fallow period of not singing much due to various reasons, the past few weeks have been quite busy - a friend's wedding, evensong at Ely Cathedral, a performance of Tallis' Spem in alium (amongst other works) - and to come, Haydn's Nelson Mass. It does make me aware of how poor my sight-reading is, and how I should practise more. But Sunday's concert made me realise how much I enjoy choral singing. Even though all three works were in languages other than English (Latin and Russian), and though most of the time I was unaware of the real meaning of what I was singing, it is very moving to be part of such a group. The combination of words and music together are perfect, and bring something to each other that they do not have alone.

The pieces performed at the weekend were Tallis's 40-part motet Spem in alium nunquam habui (to give its full title), Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil, and Psalm 150 in Grandsire Triples by Finnish composer Jaako Mantyjaarvi. To be able to take part in the Tallis was a rare privilege - being in forty voice parts, it rarely gets performed.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home