Monday, 9 January 2012

O Soft was the Song of My Heart by Elgar

My favourite picture of Elgar, looking benign and a bit Father Christmasish!

Well, the new term starts today, back to the grind so to speak! Actually there are a few regulars who are still on holiday this week so I am eased in with a three quarter timetable. However, because I am off to adjudicate at the Hong Kong Festival in Feb and March, I am adding in an extra day of teaching for those youngsters and oldsters who are committed to high end exams, or singing in the Skye Song School in April.

So my usual washing and shopping friday is now a full teaching day. I worked out that there would only be around 5 weeks of this term before I was away, and not returning until, in effect, next term! I don't think I have ever been away for a month before, and that is a lot of of lesson time missed for the heavily weighted (not in lbs and ounces you understand!) with repertoire.

Some lovely repertoire is being sung at all of these events however. I taught a young man last friday who cannot come this week as he is to have a small operation in hospital today. He brought the gorgeous 'O Soft was the Song' by Elgar. I love it when they get to late teens and suddenly start to really understand how music works, and not be intimidated by 'grown up' songs, like the Elgar, which has changes and moods which require different colours and movement.

He had learnt it well, but the joy on his face when he heard the accompaniment and the harmonies swirling around underneath the voice was a wonder to behold, and at the end of the first sing through he said, ' Ah now I understand where the tune is going!'. Elgar had the most wonderful ability to take us away from the key, dance us around in completely unrelated keys and then bring us home with total satisfaction and finality. I loved it, even though some of the poetry he used was less than stellar sometimes, his melodies and tunes more than made up for any poetic flaws.

When one sings Elgar it is like being wrapped up in a blanket of rich sound, or perhaps akin to hugging a Faberge hot water bottle!

Now there is a flight of fancy!

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