Despite a slightly shaky beginning to the rehearsal the Missa Festiva sounded impressively feisty yesterday morning at Hampstead. There is clearly a moment in the Gloria that can catch out unwary sopranos first and maybe second time through, but the piece sounds good and hangs together well despite all the technical challenges of getting it written.

So now the piece goes to bed after its spell in the light, and hopefully it will return to repertoire some time later in the year, perhaps along with the Missa Dorica. Both have been my companions for over a year, so while I am not necessarily relieved to see them recede into the background for a while, I am still happy to be able to move on.

It means that the next performance will be in Anghiari at the end of July, the Tu Es Petrus as part of the Festival, and then This Light Of Reason later in the year in Bristol prior to the run towards Christmas. I have added in a cello part for that particular concert, the latest in a number of versions of the piece.

As mentioned on several previous occasions, it is the Dunstan cantata that will be my focus for the next couple of months at least, as this is a fair sized project that needs me to forge ahead as much as possible. Both text and music need to be hammered into shape, so I shall need to be as immersed as I can be in the piece from this point onwards.

It helps that the book looks to be very, very close to being ready to go to print, and it goes out to one of our proofers this week for forensic checking. As a side note, one of our more modern entries received a gong in the recent list of honours, so clearly at least one of our choices was right on the money.

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