Yes, as so often happens, I have been beaten to it by someone else. It is a fairly common feature of my life. I have an idea, and before I get to develop it, someone else gets there first. But then, as my poor exasperated Mother would often remind me when I was slow to do something, “I suppose we should expect it. You were three weeks late in arriving in this world, and you haven’t caught up a minute since!”
But it’s nothing to complain about. It is Roger who beat me to it, by commenting in this week’s Bulletin how privileged we are to be singing the sublime music which is Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor. Which is what I had been going to write about today.
It is enough of a thrill to listen to a good performance of the work, the ebb and flow of the tempi and dynamics colouring the wonderful harmonies, bringing the words of the Mass alive.
But when you actually sing the piece, rehearsing sections several times as we did last night, you realise just how exquisitely Mozart crafted the individual notes into phrases, and then the phrases into complete sections. And then of course there is the contrast between the sections, highlighting each one’s meaning and place in the overall work.
I would like to add to Roger’s words that another privilege, very much evident last evening, is that of being led in rehearsal by a professional musician who not only has a huge reservoir of musical talent and understanding, but is prepared to share his knowledge and innermost feelings with us amateur singers.
Not only that, his passion for and his determination to make the most of the music is infectious. No-one at last night’s rehearsal can have been left in any doubt about what we were singing about, how we should sing and what we will eventually communicate to our audiences.