06 September 2017

What Cheese That Might Have Been

From the Archive: 6 Sep 2007

Last night was the first [St Paul’s] choir rehearsal of the new season. We’re some 17 strong, of whom we had five new singers last night; so there is good ‘institutional continuity’ (where so much of the choir was brand-new last year, we were two or three months basically learning to sing together). The new bass seems a good addition to the section.
First off, and quite flattering, one of the pieces we are singing this coming Sunday, the first of the choir’s return, is my Alleluia in D. Also in this initial sheaf of music for the choir’s folders are Nuhro and Bless the Lord, O My Soul. Not sure when Ed is planning to do the latter, but he mentioned All Saints as the occasion for the Nuhro (and since the Cathedral will not have a full service on Thursday, 1 November, we will observe the Feast of All Saints on Sunday, 4 November).
Violist Peter Cama-Lekx (who has now been officially ‘migrated’ from the bass to the tenor section) and I will play a lunchtime recital on Wednesday, 5 December. In the tradition of presenting All Henning, All the Time, Whenever the Traffic Will Bear It, the program will be:
Sonatina sopra Veni, Emmanuel, viola sola
Blue Shamrock, clarinet solo
The Mousetrap, clarinet & viola
(Blue Shamrock was approvingly labeled “funky jungle music” by one listener at the piece’s premiere.)
We’ll also play The Mousetrap as the Prelude for the 9 December service; for that auspicious occasion, I have already devised a theological alternate title: Meister Eckhardt, or, The Cheese Which Baits the Divine Mousetrap.
So far, The Mousetrap contains (apart from genuinely original material) allusions to the music of Bach, Beethoven, BrahmsShostakovich (you know: all the religious composers). Aye, ’Tis a knavish piece of work, but what o’ that? Your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not ....
10 years ago today . . . revisiting this post proved an especial pleasure.

What I still remember, years later:  “Funky jungle music” as a descriptor for Blue Shamrock;  Ed’s liking of Nuhro.

What I had entirely forgotten:  The mad idea that The Mousetrap could serve as a Prelude.  (Of course, I was still at work on the piece, and perhaps I did not yet realize how very substantial a piece it would prove.)  And I am not sure which tickles me more:  the alternate title, or the mere fact that I had devised one.

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