Monday, 10 September 2012

Evening Hymn by Purcell

Monday comes around SO frequently! Definitely more than every 7 days! Here we are again at the beginning of a new week and more beautiful song.

I was teaching a most lovely Purcell song today. The most hypnotically gorgeous 'Evening Hymn'. I was teaching it to P, one of my ladies who has achieved so much in the last x number of years ! I am constantly amazed by my mature students who put so much hard graft into their singing.

My most heartfelt comment was simply that it blew me away that I was teaching such tricky and high 'falutin' repertoire to folk who are not wishing to make a career in the vocal world, and who must practise in between full time jobs, families, grandchildren etc. and still come up trumps every time.

P is a most accomplished soprano with a ringing and warm top to her voice, and who has made giant strides, most especially in the last couple of years. I have so much admiration for P and her peers, even more so when they tackle with such cheery optimism and utter determination songs of the difficulty of the aforesaid Purcell.

I love Purcell. He writes with such word painting and such wonderful melodies full of heart wrenching ends of phrases. Evening Hymn has phrases which need such a strong legato and which ride so majestically over the repeating ostinato bass line. This type of technique needs solid and consistent breath control, an accomplishment which my ladies have worked very hard to conquer.

I like to use the harpsichord button on my clavinova and give the singer the more authentic lightness of touch needed for early music. I think they enjoy it as much as I do ! At least I hope so !

Many congrats P, you deserve a Gold for the fantastic progress made since those early days !

I suppose we really need to mention Purcell for giving us the tools to make the progress!

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