The heavens were telling the glory of God –or at any rate we were on Saturday, singing Hayden’s The Creation. Coming on the heels of a performance of Elgar’s mammoth work The Apostles, this really did feel heaven-sent. The music was intuitive, the quaver runs instinctive and best of all, the tessitura –that is the median range of the voice –lay comfortably for all of us.
Better than that, because the music suited the choir so well we were able to really enjoy this performance; we had fun singing it, and from talking with audience members afterwards, we’re left with the impression they had as much fun listening. There was a good deal of laughter from them anyway, and we’re taking that as a good thing.
Certainly our great discovery in the event of the performance was the realisation at the sheer amount of humour embedded in The Creation. Having never heard it sung through continuously until Saturday evening, we had failed to notice this before. The one difficulty was trying not to laugh ourselves while sitting in the balcony as we listened to the archangels (all right, the soloists then) run through what seemed a never-ending list of the animals created. Whales were a surprise, and not the only one.
All in all it was successful evening, the music growing into one great triumphal and tuneful shout to close it. As ever in the aftermath of a concert, we feel a bit bereft without our routine of Friday night rehearsals and building practice into the week. Don’t feel too badly though; we’ve an Advent Carol Service looming on Sunday with unsingable chant that needs to be taken to task, and the music for Monica’s Waltz arrived this morning. We shall certainly be grappling with that while anxiously waiting for The Trees on the Mountain to follow it. And in the New Year it’s Brahm’s Requiem, supposing we’re still here and haven’t moved on. In many ways we hope we are, and as the small issue of the language of the German Requiem is undecided, let it be known our vote is for German. We valiantly relearned The Heavens are Telling to gratify the conductor, but we don’t think we’d be able to do it again if asked to translate Wei Lieblich sind Deine Wohnungen.
We’ll be sure to let you know the outcome anyway. Meanwhile, there’s been a glut of good music this week, and we still haven’t quite come back to earth after all that time singing the world into being for an evening.