Monday 12 December 2005

Sunday morning was my last appearance at church until after Christmas. As it was Sunday we were able to use the organ (traditionally we don't use the organ in Advent, or Lent, but are allowed to on Gaudete Sunday). The name comes from the Latin text of the Introit which starts with the word Gaudete (Rejoice). We did Schubert in G; a mass to which I am supremely indifferent except for the sublime soprano solos in the Benedictus and the Agnus Dei. We also performed Emmanuel Fisher's Ave Maria; Fisher was a distinguished Jewish composer who wrote us this motet not long before he died. He had never written for the Christian church before and the result is very striking and quite a favourite with the choir.

In the evening we returned to the Barbican for the LSO's concert of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius. Unfortunately the illness bug was still around and Ben Heppner was ill and was replaced by David Rendall. Rendall's performance was a little careful but very enjoyable, but I had been looking forward to seeing what Heppner made of the role. A full review will appear in due course.

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