As hoped, as promised, I managed to get some writing done yesterday afternoon on the Dunstan cantata, and with a rather freer schedule today I hope to be able to make some further headway. Yesterday’s session was more about details and links, adding in material here and there as I get a feel for how the piece breathes, rather than writing new notes, although today may well be different.

I also received a short notice booking yesterday, finding myself at the organ console for Evensong at Wells Cathedral, back in that wonderful world of the gentle rhythm of choirs and the buildings in which they sing, what Howells so memorably described as the immemorial sound of voices. Of course, as far as cathedrals go Gloucester will always hold top spot for me, but Wells is very, very lovely indeed, and I was happy to be asked, happier still to find myself available.

I am back in London over the weekend, as usual, and the highlight will be the performance (the third) of Missa Festiva at Christ Church, Hampstead on Sunday morning. With three performances over the first six weeks or so of its life this piece is doing pretty well so far, and I would be keen to push it some more.

The piece continues to throw out interesting questions for me, such as whether it is two separate works or just one, as the first two words of this sentence would intimate. Also, when was it premiered? When it began to be performed at the start of December last year or at the first appearance of the Festiva in April this year?

This may be just indulgent compositional chin-scratching, but it does have a practical effect on matters such as competition and submission deadlines. It is bad enough that the Dorica has already been through three titles, confusing me slightly, everybody else a little more, and anybody who would care to look at my catalogue in a century’s time beyond redemption, so, having finally settled on nomenclature I think it is about time that I did the same for dates.

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