Last Sunday´s concert was wonderful, so much so that the music of Brahms is still pleasantly wafting around my mind! Having lived with the music for three months, and sung in a memorable concert, the music became a close friend from whom I had to take leave. I think all singers feel a sense of loss at the end of a concert, just as finishing a good book, when the characters have become close companions, leaves a part of your heart in limbo.
Last night I rehearsed with Devizes Chamber Choir, where we are singing another Latin Mass, this time by Cherubini, and another "Te Deum" by "Wonderful Wolfi Mozart." Luigi Cherabini was born in Florence in 1760, the tenth of twelve children. He showed early musical talent and was taught by his father, a musician at the theatre in Pergola. This Requiem was composed in Paris in 1815/16 for a memorial service to King Louis XVl, who had been guillotined during the French Revolution. Robert Schumann praised the Requiem as being "without equal in the world," and it was played at Beethoven´s funeral. It is a gentle piece, a hymn for the dead sung in Latin. All choirs around the UK are busy at the moment, preparing sombre music for Easter.
Mozart´s "Te Deum," a hymn of praise to God, is a lively, rigourous work full of contrasts. At first it seems deceptively easy to sing, but on close inspection it has many subtle changes in tempo, that can catch you out if you loose concentration. It is great fun to sing, especially the first movement with its fast tempo, an slow adagio in the middle section, and then a return to the first theme at a fast tempo. I cannot live without music, (and a cup of tea of course!)