06 July 2017

Relations devout and otherwise

This may have been the most harmonious Harmonia Monday gig that I've done. It started with a thing of beauty, Saint-Saens Ave verum corpus, then Stravinsky Ave Maria. The Saint-Saens was just heavenly and I liked the Stravinsky for its changing counts and unexpected rhythms and intervals. Then a few Victorian-soundings things that invited apt accents and a strange one, Banchieri Contrapunto bestiale alla mente. That one sounds strange and it was but it amused and was easy to learn and remember, mostly for tenors who just barked (yes, arfs) regularly as a bridge between Fa-la-las. There were tunes from Schubert and Mendelssohn and Grainger and Elgar and the like with themes ranging from religious to indulgent, even carnal. But along with the glorious religious songs above, I fell for a few madrigals dated around 1450, from Morley, Sing we and chant it, and Dowland, Come again sweet love. There's some schmaltz out there, of course, not least from Schubert with lyrics by Shakespeare. Unlikely? Try Who is Sylvia? Lovely, fair, wise and with swainly commendations. But it's a good way to learn something of singing and reading and the music ranges widely and informatively. That's Harmonia Monday.

Harmonia Monday performed its bi-annual open day under Shiela Thompson and Oliver Raymond (conductors).

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