Yesterday was spent working with the Parliament Choir on our concert featuring the Brahms Requiem in the autumn. This seems rather a long way away, but Parliament keeps strange hours and we always find ourselves with fewer rehearsals than we would like, so getting ahead is no bad thing. We also ran through the hybrid Ay Hyd y Nos – Mairi’s Wedding which will be performed at the Commonwealth Carnival in Westminster Hall on July 2nd. Despite a slightly clunky gearshift in the middle where the two pieces have been somewhat hastily patched together it seems to work pretty well. Provided somebody coughs loudly at the appropriate point I am sure we can divert attention away from my judicious use of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.
It was good also to swap notes with a couple of readers of this blog and to discuss the noble art of board gaming. I am always relieved to find out that my readers are human, not only because it means that people are slightly interested in what I write, but also because it lessens the likelihood that some computer somewhere is hunting me down as a recipient of spam. I get more than enough unwanted attention from Virgin Media, thank you very much, despite my repeated requests to have myself removed from their mailing list. If their broadband is anything like their now defunct Formula One team it will be terribly slow, unable to go the distance and losing bits along the way.
One of the topics of discussion at the rehearsal was the BBC’s recent silent coverage of the Jubilee flotilla, thus doing a grave disservice to those composers who had been commissioned to write pieces and the performers who had spent many hours rehearsing them. Not even to have mentioned these works in the coverage seems to me to have been a grave lapse of insight on the part of Auntie, but presumably people are not deemed to give a fig about modern Classical music as long as Sir Paul and Dame Shirley are wheeled out of their gilded retirement homes to dazzle the bemused monarch and her subjects every so often. In ancient Rome they were well aware that the people could be appeased with bread and games, and it seems that not much has changed. I do not often feel sorry for other composers, mainly because I view their success with admiration and desire (the decent ones, at least), but I think that they have every right to feel aggrieved.
In my latest attempt to get myself properly organised I have laid out a strongly detailed plan for the week, mainly to enable me to get my Anghiari introductions at least partially out of the way. I have a dangerous tendency to sit befuddled if I have too much to do, unsure of where to start when, of course, the sensible thing to do is to start anywhere, anywhere at all. The momentum of the past couple of weeks is worth continuing, however, so, if I can stick to my plans week, I know that it will represent nothing but good news, and make me feel pretty smug at the same time.
In terms of writing, Everyone Sang is still right at the top of the pile, but there are two performances to look forward to later this week as well, those of Missa Seria and the revised St. Mary Abbots Jubilate. The former piece lived in my sketchbook for a good couple of years before a chance remark made me get on with the job of finishing it, since when it has been fairly frequently performed, especially at St. George’s. The Jubilate has seen the light of day less often, although they have kindly shifted bits of the service around next week in order to make way for it, which is a significant and appreciated gesture. This will be its first outing in a newly revised version, and I think it is bearing its age reasonably well, all told.
Part of my intention to be more productive and organised and productive this week stems from my desire to spend another day doing something away from my desk, maybe tramping around a field somewhere. It may also mean that my blogs are slightly more regular than they were last week, although whether that represents something to look forward to is something to leave to my human readers. The spambots will arrive come what may.