Thursday 1 September 2005

More plans

Well, I got a nice surprise at last night's committee meeting; London Concord Singer's December concert will have something of a St. Cecilia theme and one of the works planned is my motet I Vespri di Santa Cecilia. It was written for the choir's 30th anniversay in 1996 and is in 14 parts (8-part choir and 6 soloists) and sets various antiphons for St. Cecilia's Day from the Roman Missal. Its one of those pieces which plays with bi-tonality and with the sense that one group in the ensemble lead the others astray as one tonality dominates over another. This sense of dynamic in the voicing is something that I rather like. In my early cantata Vocibus Mulierum, the final movement opens with the choir singing a setting of the Latin Litany of the Blessed Virgin. The mezzo-soprano soloist enters, singing my translation of a speech by Maria Deraisnes, a French 19th Century Feminist, 'I decline to be an angel'. By the end of the movement she has seduced all the women into her way of thinking, leaving just the men chugging through the litany on their own.

I look forward to revisiting I Vespri, though I'm not planning any changes; I'll leave looking at it till the first rehearsal when it will be a nice surprise. When so much time has elapsed it is almost as if the music was written by some other guy, and whilst he gets some things wrong, he gets some things right as well! The piece also exists in a 30 part version, but I'm not holding my breath about getting that performed.

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