Yesterday morning I was part of a performance of Geoffrey Bush’s Missa Brevis Salisburiensis at Mary Abbots, a work infrequently performed and a composer whose work, while hovering on the fringes of examination syllabuses and the like, is not well known. It was a particular pleasure to be a part of this as his charming widow was also present, and we spent a lovely hour afterwards with the other performers and some of Bush’s colleagues chatting and reminiscing, and I was able to glean some nuggets about the compositional life from people who have been there. I love hearing about how other composers live their lives. There is, after all, no handbook on the practicalities of the musical life and one just picks it up as one goes along, so any information is hugely valuable. There is a wonderful interview with Bush here, again full of nuggets dropped here and there for those who wish to pick them up.
I have the morning off tomorrow before returning to Somerset and then a busy patch, so I think I might spend part of the day trying to find some of Bush’s music to listen to. The Missa Brevis was in interesting thing, diverse in style, reminding me in some places of Ridout and in other places of Britten, but always well written, and that, whatever the language, is what really counts.