View from the choir
A friend once asked me, knowing me to be musical, if I was in a rock band when at Uni. Not me, I was in the madrigals group. I like my music complicated, I like to perform stuff that takes months to learn, and I like it to be a couple of hundred years old. Anything that’s still being performed after two hundred years must be good.
Our concert was yesterday afternoon. We generally start with an overture that doesn’t involve us, so we sit on our chairs trying hard not to scratch or cough. I like to spend the time looking over the sea of grey heads that comprises our audience. I like to spot the woman who has come to every concert, always sits in the front row and always falls into a restful slumber about thirty seconds in. She’s not even particularly old.
Of course, performing what we’ve been working hard on for months is always terrific too, but I love watching the soloists. Our bass soloist this time was fascinating. He’s very tall, with quite a small head. During rehearsals he was wearing a large jacket which gave him the appearance of actually being composed of two smaller basses, one standing on the other’s shoulders. He also had the habit of either buckling at the knees while singing or standing on his toes. It was as if whoever was holding his string wasn’t concentrating very hard. I was delighted to see this habit was taken into the concert.
Our conductor is a man with very high blood pressure, coupled with the artistic temperament. He’s the only person I’ve ever seen actually foam at the mouth. Many of our concerts feature our chamber choir singing a piece that’s a bit too tricky for the whole choir to sing, and so it was in this concert. We’ve worked very hard on this piece and our focus is sharpened as we all wonder if this is the concert where blood will start pouring out of his ears because we’ve over pronounced a B. Fortunately it wasn’t, and we made it through the piece without the organist smashing her fists into the keyboard like she did in rehearsals. A lovely time was had by all, and we get a week off to rest the tonsils before starting off on the Brahms Requiem.
I didn’t end up wearing the pendant I posted I last week’s blog, I wore this: