Singing the Pergolesi Magnificat brings back a trio of memories for me.
They are all associated with friends who sing tenor. Good tenors, I have to say, like my best man of fifty years ago, Chris, whose choir, as you may have seen a couple of weeks ago, has just sung almost exactly the programme which M W Choir will perform in a few weeks time.
And then there is Richard, with whom I both worked and sang for a while. The more we MWC men have sung the Sucepit Israel from the Magnificat, the more it rings bells in my mind. The penny has finally dropped. Richard persuaded me to join him in a concert of duets, including Sucepit Israel, as part of an Arts Festival in the village where we used to live. I do not do solos – but somehow a set of duets seemed OK. It turned out to be quite nerve-wracking, but we had more compliments than complaints, so it cannot have been too bad.
And then that reminded me of Mark – a most wonderful first tenor in the choir in Salisbury. He lived in an out of the way village with no public transport and he did not drive, despite the fact that he made a living from developing night-vision goggles for the military. I happened to pass his door on my way to Salisbury, so I willingly took him there and back every week. When re-audition time came, another nerve-wracking episode, I figured that the conductor would have to treat me leniently as, were he to dispense with my services, he would also loose that excellent and scarce resource, a quality first tenor.
Oh yes – I have just realized that should be a quartet, not a trio. My younger brother, David, showed no interest in music as a youngster – he was a consummate sportsman, both cricket and soccer. But when he moved to Cardiff (Wales, not New South Wales) and then retired, he somehow found himself in a Male Voice Choir – as a first tenor, eventually singing the high solos. The choir must be quite good as it is called on to entertain VIP visitors to international rugby matches at Cardiff Arms Park.
So – it is quite something for me, as a lowly baritone, to have been associated with four top tenors! Quite a quartet!