14 February 2014

Wintry mix, the Holmboe First Symphony, & Journey in the South

Yesterday we had enough of a wintry mix that I decided simply to cancel choir rehearsal last night. In that interval, fellow 9th Earian Charles Turner wrote a piece for voice & clarinet for us to perform on Sunday's service in lieu of the choir, an arrangement of a shape-note piece, Come All Ye Mourning Pilgrims (I almost wanted to type O Come, All Ye Mournful).  It's a lovely little arrangement, it will be fairly easy to put together before the service, and it is sterling of Charles to have put it together "on demand" (I didn't demand — he offered, and I accepted).

This week I have at long last been revisiting (gradually) the Holmboe string quartets and symphonies.  (I liked them staggeringly well, the quartets especially, on first hearing, so there was nothing of avoidance in the unseemly delay.) Yesterday I came back to the Symphony No. 1, op.4/M.85 (1935), which strikes me as a first symphony every bit as strong as Nielsen's, Shostakovich's or (technically a special case) Prokofiev's. The modal, rhythmic profile of this one makes me think (in an entirely flattering way) of The Lion in Winter.

As for mine own musick, the good news is that our Olivia Kieffer in Georgia, whose Reinhardt University Percussion Ensemble performed Journey to the Dayspring this October past, has hoist the concert video up on YouTube; and a cracking performance it is.

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