It is going to be a busy day. Already I have been transferring sketches of the Te Deum to computer, tapping in the material I jotted down yesterday. It turned out that I had set one of the clauses of the text twice, but, luckily, the second version worked substantially better than the first, so the effort was well spent. The added Psalm verses at the end remain to be set, apart from the final couplet, something I doubt that I will be able to fit in today, but maybe on Wednesday, leaving me a few days to flesh out an accompaniment and get a rehearsal score to Parliament Choir.
The score thus far is, I think, nicely unified, a single pulse through from beginning to end and a clearly defined harmonic and melodic language too. As I have mentioned before, with a choir such as this it is hugely important to make the music performable, but also interesting and challenging. It is a fairly narrow target, and I have possibly stretched some areas in this piece, held back in others, so overall I hope that the balance is right.
I’ll be attending a concert of music by Nicholas Ludford later on today in the chapel for which he wrote it. It is also the chapel where the Parliament Choir rehearses, and as I am – apparently – the first composer to be associated officially with Parliament since Ludford himself nearly 500 years ago, it will be a fascinating experience, what Finzi called “shaking hands across the centuries”. Both my immediate predecessors as Organ Scholar at Magdalen will be involved as well, so this will be a real highlight of my week.
Then, after just a little teaching, I’ll be off for a meeting with the choir who are planning to perform the premiere of 1215: Foundation Of Liberty and after that the wonderful Southbank Sinfonia, conducted by Simon Over, will be performing my orchestration of Loewe’s Erlkonig as part of their concert at St. Martin In The Fields. For a day with only a little actual work, it is going to be busy, hot too, but back to Somerset tonight.