My first day of being properly ‘back at work’ went very well in the morning, as I was efficient and grown up and many other adult things besides, all the while adding detail and thoughts to the cantata. I would say that two of the five movements are now more or less complete in piano score, which leaves me around three weeks to finish the remaining three and have the whole thing good to rehearse by the beginning of October.

Every piece has a tipping point when the writing becomes easier and it all begins to make sense, and this work reached that point some time ago. Ideas and tweaks are therefore appearing at a decent rate, but without disrupting what is already there, even if I must say that I am relieved that the rewrite of the fourth movement did not throw things out of kilter too much.

I also had first glance last night of a mock-up of the book, and while there is clearly a fair amount of work to be done it was still a great pleasure to see all of my and my co-author’s efforts manifest themselves in something tangible and physical, rather than as thoughts or images in an email. Launch day is still a good six months away, and all the heavy lifting in terms of the writing was done some time ago, so this has now become a rather pleasurable experience as we watch the project become reality from a little bit of distance.

Lastly, but emphatically not leastly, Parliament Choir were back in action last night after the summer break. Many members of the choir have had what could be termed an interesting time of late, and I had wondered quite how many would turn up to sing, given all the other pressures on their time yesterday, but I need not have worried.

The choir was in great voice and superb form, diving straight back into Gerontius as if it had never been away. You might very well think that they sang the line “Dispossess’d Aside thrust, Chuck’d down By the sheer might Of a despot’s will, Of a tyrant’s frown” with extra vigour – I couldn’t possibly comment.

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