12 December 2017

Advent II post-mortem

Long day, yesterday [Sunday . . . going to press late].

Winter storm Saturday evening into Sunday, perhaps 5" of wet snow; so, two cars to clean off ere I might head off to church.  Needed to be at church early to set up the handbells.  Good service.  Grabbed a warm sub for lunch, counting on a long joint rehearsal. Good rehearsal, and ran as long as (but no longer than) I had anticipated.  Executed the three-stop grocery run.  Delivered the goods, in time to turn around and head to the four o’clock Master Singers concert.  The highlight, which indeed opened the program, was my dear friend Pam Marshall’s Shepherds & Angels, a 12-number suite for choir accompanied by harp, violin & tambourine. After the concert, met with the director, who apologized for not yet listening to the music I sent.  I assured him that I am alive to the busyness of the season;  he in turn affirmed that he doesn’t mind my reminding him.  I think I shall wait, either until after New Year’s, or when we have the latest Triad concert hoisted up to YouTube. On the way home, picked up the mono RCA cable (the miracle of Amazon locker), which proved exactly the thing wanted to get the sound from the telly to the sound bar.  Quite an impressive difference.  It was too late to start up Godfather III, so I contented myself with some of the videos from Genesis and We Can’t Dance.

There are only two items of Henningmusick on the docket for this weekend’s Christmas Concerts:  the revival (i.e., only the second performance ever) of Gabriel’s Message, my arrangement of the Basque carol for two baritones, small unison women’s chorus, flute and violin;  and the new Fantasy on « I Saw Three Ships » originally for cl/hp, but here for clarinet and piano.  The harpist had a struggle with the bug that’s making the rounds, so she was not able to spend practice time with it;  we’ll swap in something else, I am thinking of What Child Is This.  The flutist whom Charles hired is a bit . . . reactionary.  There’s a measure at the end which she seems unable to count (she inserts a beat of rest).  Charles tried rehearsing that wrinkle out, but she just would not get it.  And then she had the cheek to call the writing “awkward.”  I kept my own counsel, but I certainly thought of the proverb, “A bad workman blames his tools.”  “Awkward” is now become my second-favorite cloth-headed response to my music – the first being, of course, “The worst viola sonata in the world.”  I really don’t see that being displaced anytime soon.

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