19 October 2018

More clarinet than usual

The sound of the bells gave notice that the dismal procession was advancing.  It passed slowly through the principal streets of the city, bearing in advance the awful banner of the Holy Office.  The prisoners walked singly, attended by confessors, and guarded by familiars of the Inquisition.  They were clad in different garments, according to the nature of their punishments; those who were to suffer death wore the hideous Samarra, painted with flames and demons.
– Washington Irving, footnote, Rodd’s Civil Wars of Granada

As I beheld my clarinet case resting between my feet on the Red Line this morning, it suddenly occurred to me that I could not remember the last time I played my clarinet in Boston twice in the same week.  Possibly as far back as the Bullish Upticks concerts.  I’ve brought it in today to play my Voluntary on “Beautiful Savior” with Louise Mundinger for Evensong at St Paul’s on Tremont Street this afternoon.

Curiously, the subject of Evensong at St Paul’s (in a general way) arose in my HTUMC Choir rehearsal last night.

The upbeat arrangement of My Lord, What a Morning which I prepared in the spring, which it was utter madness to suppose that I could teach my choir, no matter how brave, in the space of a week (heaven knows what I was thinking, then) we have not yet come near to mastering.  Plus, we are missing some key singers this Sunday, so I have swapped in my expansion of the Gordon Jacob arrangement of Bro. James’s Air for this weekend’s anthem.  For the following week, I reckoned on refreshing the chant version of Psalm 91 which we first heard sung at Holy Trinity Monastery in Petersham.

I said refreshing, because I knew we had it in the filing cabinets; therefore, I brought it in to Danvers planning to sing it.  And, it is easy; therefore, I took it as read that we had sung it.  Yet, none of my choir recognized it last night, and the fact must be that yesterday’s rehearsal was the first exposure they have had to the piece.  This was an edition I prepared originally for my Evening Service in D, in the year when I served as Interim Choir Director at St Paul’s; and the legend Evensong appears in the top left of the score – which prompted a question from my agreeable and musically inquisitive choir.

I dreamt last night, not that White Nights was done, nor that I was working (as such) on the end of White Nights, but that the whole remainder of White Nights to be composed was sketched out in detail, and that all I need do is roll up my sleeves.  I also dreamt that my publisher, Mark and I were walking around town (talking about verbs, interestingly . . . or, it seemed interesting in the dream, anyway).  Also, he opened the door to a Lyft car and gave the driver a cassette tape to duplicate (bet you didn’t know that service was available from Lyft).

Monday, Sudie & I shall rehearse The Mystic Trumpeter for the first time.

Word just in that Carson Cooman will play one of the Op.28 pieces for Morning Prayer at Harvard this Monday. 

And I am scheming a kind of mini-cantata for HTUMC for the Christmas concert.

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