EASTERN EARLY MUSIC FORUM
Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610
4th – 6th May 2007
St. Stephen’s Church,
Tutored by Philip Thorby
HILIP Thorby guided us through the music with his usual expertise, patience and humour. Notable quotes scrawled in my score include: “basses: try and sound like Rabbinical Daleks”, “the Dixit Dominus is sex and violence, we’ve had the violence, so now...”, “sopranos: you negotiate with aplomb something infinitely more complex than Monteverdi ever envisaged”, “what’s the problem with the ‘amen’ – is it the words or the music?”
THE weekend was character building. Not
only did some of us have to learn some quite tricky vocal lines, but we also
had to negotiate
FOR the gig itself, some last minute shifting of venues saw us installed at St Stephen’s, a late mediaeval church, whose central stained glass window rather auspiciously had the number “1610” (presumably the year of installation) in the middle. A narrow chancel and the usual Oxford Movement collegiate choir stalls – why do churches hang on to them?! – didn’t help but after a bit of shuffling, a spot was found for everyone, even if the results were slightly reminiscent of the works of M.C. Escher.
ALARMINGLY, what had been billed to me as a “workshop performance” for family and friends, seemed to have produced a full house, their faces beaming with alarming expressions of expectation. The queue for the church’s single toilet delayed the start of the performance, the memorable quote being, “I’m not playing that bloody toccata until I’ve had a wee.” The proceedings then roared into life and were well received by all and sundry.
THE only less than delightful thing about the weekend was the weather.
Extracted from EEMF Newsletter 66, November 2007