Saturday, 30 March 2013

A Ceremony of Carols and a disappointment

I am finally home. After a long and very interesting time away, I finally made it back to Paradise in one piece, if a little shattered!

I must make up all the information folders for the Paradise Song School, the first week of which begins on Monday morning! So tomorrow is 'admin day', meeting up with two singers who are arriving a couple of days early to settle in before the onslaught, so to speak, and trying to get a proper nights' sleep!

I had an excellent, if very long evening on Tuesday at Godalming with the adult choirs. Some lovely groups, and most pleasingly, some groups of young singers. Such a youthful group sang the fantastic 'This Little Babe' from Britten's A Ceremony of Carols. This is a piece I love. Even Britten haters like this Christmas piece for treble voices and harp.

That particular piece is so exciting, and written so brilliantly to almost mimic the beautiful echo one gets in a large cathedral. The SSA parts positively overlap with each other, and give the sensation of being in the most echoey vaulted basilica or mammoth cave, with the vocal lines crashing with waves of sound into each other. It is marked Vivace, and vivacious it is indeed.

Written for young vibrant voices, it sends shivers up my musical spine whenever I hear it. Sung as well as it was is a sparkling and exhilarating experience. When I am adjudicating something so incredible, I find it almost impossible to write ! I find myself singing along in my head, and accidentally writing the words which the singer or choir are singing - it makes for a few interesting and odd sentences ! The crossings out are not pretty, but at least it means I was really listening to them !

On a sad note, you will sympathise with my despair when I got to the Travelodge and found that the wonderful Thai restaurant had closed down two months ago........

I was distraught. A pub it had to be, very good food.

But not Thai.

A brilliant performance for your delight !

Britten with the original trebles for whom this was composed.



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