Thursday 5 August 2010

A trip to Woldingham

Having read Mac's post the other day about James MacMillan, (and if you don't think he's one big composer, take a look at the list of performances of his works on the Boosey & Hawkes website. This guy gets 2nd, 3rd, 4th...performances of his music all over the world and The Confession of Isabel Gowdie is an A Level Set work for OCR) I thought that would be a talk I'd like to hear.

A couple of hours later the phone went and it was Friend-round-corner asking me if I wanted to go for the day with her and her family. Interesting, the turn of events sometimes and not one but two new Priests were giving First Blessings after the Mass.

Anyway, the talk was very interesting and it's always great to hear a composer talking about his work and then playing bits. On the way home I said to the boys in the car that that composer is writing the Mass for the Pope and they were very impressed. 'Woah,'they chorused.

'Gregorian Chant; the sound of Roman Catholicism.' That was well worth hearing.

Also thought provoking was the observation that when composers are studied their religious belief is ignored, or religated to a foible.

I shall be buying the Mass when it's published.

Oh, yes and claim to fame I even spoke to him and he has seen this blog.
Happy Feast of St Dominic!

PS The Gloria is through composed and I think we can safely assume does not include clapping. Hurrah, round of applause! :-)


Patricius said...

"...the observation that when composers are studied their religious belief is ignored, or relegated to a foible."

Interesting, this, in relation to Elgar, for instance. None of the biographies appear to have been written by Catholics - most seem to try to re-make him in ther own, agnostic, image. One has the impression that his faith is an embarassment to them

leutgeb said...

Quite. When I was Junior at the RCM I sang in performance of Elgar The Apostles that was broadcast on R3. It's a huge, orch, chorus, semichorus, 6 soloists and ends with the Ascension. There's an entire minim Eb where there were just ten of us singing! And I got to hear John Wallace warming up on his trumpet between fire doors.

On the radio broadcast, during the applause, once the continuity annoucer had been through 'Elgar, The Apostles from the RFH London... and listed all the performers he then started to quote Elgar's daughter Carys (?) who told how a Priest was sent for when he was dying and that the Priest had said that he died reconciled to the Church, whilst Carys said he was dosed up on morphine and unble to assent to anything.

In other words, let's just wreck this moment. Elgar was an agnostic and Catholic Priests lie.

That was 1986.

Messiaen is another one. You can talk about bird song, Hindu stuff, but have you ever seen anyone talk cogently about Livre du Saint Sacrament?

Deeply Roman Catholic and let's waffle on about non-retrogradable rhythms and the octatonic scale.