Saturday, April 7, 2007

Overheard in St. Patrick's Cathedral

Two smartly-dressed women, during the interval of the Good Friday concert.

"Sorry, who's taking the photographs?"

"That would be Stella."

"Riiiight. Just that, well, she's actually taking some while the singers are onstage."


"'s quite bright, the flash."

"I'll...I'm so sorry. I'll go talk to her. Excuse us. Stella? Steeelllaaaaaaaaaaaa!?!"

The programme for the evening was:

Allegri's Miserere
Bach's Ich Habe Genug.
Faure's Cantique de Jean Racine and Requiem.

All pieces were beautiful, but the Bach didn't hold me. It's a cantata in 5 movements, with a bass soloist. It was the only piece I wasn't familiar with and we were sitting to the side, which meant we were away from the soloist and the acoustic seemed to swallow him up. The cold air inside the church was extremely unfavourable to the musicians; the acoustics weren't great on the whole and it also played havoc with the instruments. In the Requiem, which was played last, some of the brass sounded decidedly odd and the violin part in the Sanctus sounded a little out of tune and offputting. It was a minor quibble though; on the whole, it was a fitting end to Good Friday. We're learning the Cantique in choir and hearing it sung live is really impressive, especially when you consider that Fauré was a 20 year old student when he composed it. His Requiem, written not too long after, is such a gorgeous piece of music that I almost want it for my own funeral - if people could sit that long. Apart from the violin in Sanctus, it was a rousing and moving performance. It's hard for go wrong with Fauré, really.

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