Even though I am biased, I think I would have to say that yesterday’s premiere of the Te Deum Laudamus was a success. It helped enormously that orchestra and choir seemed to like it (a knowing look from an orchestral player after the first choral run confirmed his approval) and that we were under the secure of guidance of Simon Over, but, even so, this was one of the most secure of first performances, obstacles evaded, traps dodged, fun maybe even had. From the Portuguese ambassador to the volunteer ushers, everybody seemed to have enjoyed it, and the choir was buzzing afterwards – it was a fine evening.
A long journey home, though, through the night and finally pulling up outside my wonderful cottage at 2.30. I got out of the car and breathed in the silence – no traffic noise, no passing inebriates, no foxes – and marvelled at the silvery sky, lit by the radiant moon, although, to be fair, I had been marvelling at it all the way home, Stonehenge on the right at T minus forty eight minutes, which always makes me think of Thomas Hardy’s Channel Firing (“As far inland as Stourton Tower, And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.”).
Today marks the beginning of the briefest of respites between concert season and carol season, and the phone and emails have been busy busy busy over the part week. I am not sure how it has happened, but next week will see me working with some very well-known people indeed, mixing in exalted circles, so, frankly, who cares how it has happened. Live in the moment, and all that.
Christmas means carols, which means Sweet Was The Song, The Angel Gabriel, We Three Kings and the new Westminster Wassail, all of which should prove to be enjoyable. Upon reflection, that seems to be the emotion of the moment – for some reason, at Cadogan Hall yesterday, all the nerves, worry and organisational hassles of the previous days had melted away and I felt myself truly in the moment. In fact, if truth be told, I had to stop myself from smiling (and crying a little, with enjoyment, mind) during the premiere of the Te Deum – enjoying a performance in that way is a rare thing from the cauldron of the stage, but it was good. I should do it more often.