Friday was one of those funny old days. It started well enough, as I managed to spend enough time on my current piece to get the orchestration finished in first draft, which was more than I had expected to do. It began to go downhill shortly thereafter, however, with more untoward discoveries on the house and associated trips to various purveyors of building equipment. Despite escaping in the evening and sitting in a very pleasant locale with something described as Porsecco Spurmante (sic), I returned to what is left of my house to find that my lovely neighbours were having yet another very very loud party, just as they did last weekend.

The omens were not good, as, at midnight, the time when one might reasonably expect such an affair to be wrapping up, there were scores (literally) of young people still arriving. It was obviously a better party than the one last weekend, for this one continued until 4.30 in the morning. Last week’s had only staggered on until 3. It led to the occasional fractious scene, and phone calls to landlords, councils, police and so on. Doors were knocked upon, requests were made, but, as suspected, the party just went on and on. And on.

Saturday has therefore been a very very long day. I opened my eyes this morning wishing fervently that it wasn’t 7.30 already and my wish was granted – it was 7.28! On three hours sleep, therefore, I have played for a Parliament Choir rehearsal, taking a sectional for the first couple of hours, and then gone on to perform a concert with the Anton Bruckner Choir at the Temple. This concert included the Cantique des Cantiques by Daniel-Lesur, and, my oh my, what a piece it is. It is fiendishly difficult, but stunning in execution. Credit to the ABC and to Chris Dawe, their conductor, for pulling off such a great performance. I heartily recommend that you seek out a recording, for performances are hard to find, because it would be criminal not to hear this extraordinary work.

I have snatched forty winks here and there (not during the Daniel-Lesur, of course) and tried very very hard not to let my performance suffer as a result of my extreme tiredness. I really should be in bed now, but this is the first chance I have had to unwind all day. Besides, not a peep is to be heard from next door, so I am making hay while the moon shines.

It was more good news for Sweet Was The Song, however, as potential performances continue to accumulate, include whispers of not one but two broadcasts. This carol really does seem to have legs, as it were, and somebody else has asked to see a copy only today. If all of these nibbles come to fruition, there will be – at the latest count – 9 performances of the work this Christmas, which is hardly bad at all. I wonder what the critical mass is for it to become viral, as I believe the trendies say nowadays. It would be nice for it to start generating its own momentum and, fingers crossed, maybe the occasional commission.

I hope that tomorrow is a better day. A Ferrari victory in the Grand Prix would be a good start, but my money has been on Vettel since the start of the season, so it looks like being payday at last. Then I like to think that I will hammer at the edges of the orchestral piece until something worthwhile emerges. If it’s a really successful day of work, I might just throw a party in the evening. Until 5 am, maybe.

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