Anghiari Festival, Festive Voluntary, Intersection, Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir, Melody Divined, New York Philharmonic, Of All Persons and Estates, Robert Botti, The Lord Is My Light
It is turning into a good patch for my music. I am still basking in the wonderful performance of Of All Persons And Estates from last Wednesday and looking forward to against the pull of silence at the Anghiari Festival. Then in August there are performances of Melody Divined at Arundel Cathedral and The Lord Is My Light at Durham Cathedral. Enough to be getting on with for the time being, one would think, but I had an email drop silently into my inbox last night which informed me that Intersection, a short work for solo oboe, has been selected for a first performance in New York next month.
As it happened I was already a glass into a bottle of Italian red at the time after a long, long day of running around the hot and humid capital, made longer by the fact that I had left my music in Kensington and had to return there after the evening rehearsal with the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir to retrieve it. With the Anghiari Festival also looming large and having taken up almost all spare moments over the past week or so, time at home is at a premium, so my other half and I reverted to type, stayed up late, relaxed and then, email received, started celebrating a little as well.
I love the idea of having my music performed in America. It happened with the Festive Voluntary and, although I was only there for a few days, thoroughly enjoyed myself and determined to try to find an opportunity to return at some point. While I cannot make the hop over the Atlantic for a piece which is over pretty much before it has begun (unless some kind sponsor would like to step in, of course..!), I am still delighted about this latest development, another non-choral piece to help widen my portfolio. Also, the performer, Robert Botti, is principal oboe of the New York Philharmonic, so I know that the piece is in the hands of an exceptional player.
With the MSFC last night we rehearsed Melody Divined, having done some work on it a couple of months back. Whereas then I felt that people were feeling their way just a touch, I think that it has come a little more into focus this time around and some kind comments were muttered at certain points. I spoke to the choir a little about how I go about the setting of text, more of the sound of my voice for them, unfortunately, but hopefully interesting in terms of giving an insight into this particular composer’s mind.
As I walked home yesterday, gone ten o’clock, I realised that it must be three years almost to the day since I packed up my sight-reading books for the last time and ditched my career of teaching piano and organ in schools in order to devote more time to writing. It feels like only two years, but three it is, and I have managed to survive thus far, even have some proper work done on my house and gift myself a garden. Heavens, there are even plans to escape to the country in 2015, and I am sure that I shall be in reflective mood over the summer.
I would have to say that things have gone well, although, as ever, I probably need to push even harder. With all that has already happened this year, though, it really does feel as though things are picking up momentum. Most likely I am experiencing a particularly healthy cluster of performances, but it genuinely does seem as though this might become the norm rather than the exception, and that is very exciting indeed. Add Intersection to the list and it just tops up this composer’s tank of happiness in time for the Anghiari Festival which is going to be demanding, as always, but filled with wonderful experiences. Today, though, is a chance to get things done, spend some quality time with companion and cats, and pause for breath.