Last night’s rehearsal proved something which I have suspected for some time.
I do not know the Hallelujah Chorus well enough to sing it from memory.
Despite having sung in around twenty performances of Messiah and all the preceding rehearsals, and despite knowing one or two of the other choruses quite well, I still get befuddled in Hallelujah, especially in the middle where the Basses are dotting Hallelujahs and For evers around like occasional puffy white clouds in a brilliantly blue outback sky.
This will not come as a surprise to family and friends, who continually suffer my memory lapses with a good deal of tolerance and forbearance. They will remind of the time, for example, when I omitted two entire pages of script in a performance of a school play. In my defence I would point out that it was a single sex school and I was playing the part of Mrs Winslow in The Winslow Boy, and that my voice had broken during the rehearsal period so sounding like Mrs rather than Mr Winslow for the performances was a bit of a strain.
It is said that opposite attract, Anne has the most prodigious memory for everything, including the most intricate of details, which pass by most people by. So that makes it highly like that my memory capacity is, well, like it is, somewhat limited.
All this does not alter the fact that Carlos wants us to sing Hallelujah from memory at the performances in a few weeks’ time. And we cannot have one or two people surreptitiously looking at half-open copies – we all have to embrace the idea and learn the music off by heart.
So, if you happen to have a few tips about how to learn music, would you be so good as to take me quietly on one side one Thursday and pass them on? Or contact me by email at – wait a moment, I will just have to check it out – firstname.lastname@example.org .