So today is the day – a sold out performance of The Dream Of Gerontius at Westminster Cathedral with Parliament Choir and our guests. A year and a bit of rehearsal, a study day or two and here we are. It will feel odd to get to Thursday morning and wake having left this glorious music behind, but such is the way of things.

Elgar wrote “This is the best of me” at the end of the score and probably it was to that point, but I think he continued to grow as a writer. Having said that, there is no doubt that Gerontius is full-throttle stuff and demonstrates a composer in full command of choral writing, and I have definitely learned many, many things from the piece.

After this concert we will turn our attention to the Christmas concert, and I received news yesterday that The Oxen, my new carol for this event, will be getting two other performances the week after its première. Three outings in just over a week and a half is good news for this little piece which gains a great deal from the quality of the Hardy poem it sets.

I want to do some work on the new piece before the end of the week as I had built up a small amount of momentum on it, but I think that I am going to be just a little too busy. There are lecture notes to prepare and concerts to play and many other things besides so I shall have to work hard to fit it in.

That brief period when I fired off three submissions and sketched ideas with enthusiasm seems months away even though it was only last week. The next chance I shall have to do that also seems months away, although I am also aware that it will most likely arrive sooner than I expect.