Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

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presbyter
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Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

Post by presbyter »

Congratulations to our member alan from Malvern, who has made it, as it were, to the Edinburgh Fringe.

His Te Deum forms a part of Choral Matins on Sunday 21st August at St John's Episcopal Church, Princes Street.

http://www.thechoir.co.uk/#/music/4553354609

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Nick Baty
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Re: Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

Post by Nick Baty »

I see that he's also in all three of the new collections coming out this year. Well done, Alan.

Alan
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Re: Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

Post by Alan »

Thank you, both! I'm in Edinburgh right now, and I will let you know how it goes. Their annual concert last night was very fine: very good amateur choir, first-rate professional director, excellent orchestra (for the Rutter Magnificat). It bodes well. St John's is a city centre landmark and a designated Festival venue. It's good to see all the churches (and, indeed, the other faiths) playing their part.

Alan
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Re: Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

Post by Alan »

No-one could accuse the musicians at St John's of laziness: after Saturday's lengthy concert, they sang matins, Eucharist and evensong on Sunday, with new and challenging music at all of them. I was thrilled to hear my Te Deum sung and played so well and it was also great to meet and talk with the choir afterwards.

if the level of musicianship was significantly higher than a composer might hope to expect in a Catholic parish, I was struck by some other contrasting features. The service was from the Scottish Book of Common Prayer, with hymns in all the usual places. The opening hymn - a 19C text and melody - was obviously chosen because it was used again by the composer of the versicles and responses (rather beautifully, underneath the precentor's singing), but, equally obviously, hardly anyone knew it, with the result that the congregation stood mute. I did wonder if this was usual, but no, the final hymn - Lo, he comes with clouds descending - encouraged them to raise the very lofty roof. The congregation seemed to be perfectly accepting of some quite radical textures and harmonies too: the anthem at Matins by Jonathan Dove was well received, but would have raised some eyebrows in my home parish (where Paul Inwood's Remember, remember your mercy, Lord once prompted the comment 'I hope we won't be using that Shostakovoch again!)

Anyway, it was a long way to go to hear a six-minute piece, but it was nonetheless well worth it. Thanks for your interest.

(BTW, you can see my piece at http://www.scoreexchange.com/scores/99420.html but you will need the free Scorch plugin. I have also provided an mp3 file, which will give you a fair idea of how the piece sounds.)

Eastern Promise
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Re: Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

Post by Eastern Promise »

"the level of musicianship was significantly higher than a composer might hope to expect in a Catholic parish"

Oooh, that's a bit harsh and sweeping, A? It's just that we have got used to different criteria in the RCC. We have a far less elitist attitude than the Anglicans, mainly due to the excellent work undertaken by many here, n'est ce pas? We wouldn't want to go back to all that musical competence nonsense, would we?

NorthernTenor
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Re: Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

Post by NorthernTenor »

Eastern Promise wrote:"the level of musicianship was significantly higher than a composer might hope to expect in a Catholic parish"

Oooh, that's a bit harsh and sweeping, A? It's just that we have got used to different criteria in the RCC. We have a far less elitist attitude than the Anglicans, mainly due to the excellent work undertaken by many here, n'est ce pas? We wouldn't want to go back to all that musical competence nonsense, would we?


Absolutely. It wouldn't do to exclude the three-fingered guitarists and the tone-deaf. Besides, I don't see Alan's tune catching on with the ++Assembly.
Ian Williams
Alium Music

nazard
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Re: Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

Post by nazard »

Please, Eastern, do not describe musical competence as elitist. Just look on it as simple good manners, the contribution the musicians make to their parish. We had a highly non elitist (or just plain incompetent) praise group for a decade. For all that time we had about a 5% a year decline in our congregation. Since they gave up we have had two years of 25% a year increase in our congregation. We are now just about where we started.

Remember the mission: to teach all nations. People with just a little faith or even just a little curiosity do come through the doors. If they hear a music group who quite obviously cannot be bothered to take lessons or to practice, what does it tell them about our dedication to the faith?

All musicians need to do two things:

(1) Work on their competence to keep standards up.

(2) Be realistic about what you can actually play. I can make as appalling a mess of Widor 5/5 as anyone.

NorthernTenor
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Re: Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

Post by NorthernTenor »

nazard wrote:All musicians need to do two things:

(1) Work on their competence to keep standards up.

(2) Be realistic about what you can actually play. I can make as appalling a mess of Widor 5/5 as anyone.


Words of wisdom for us all. To which we might add: always strive to improve.
Ian Williams
Alium Music

NorthernTenor
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Re: Congratulations to Alan re Edinburgh

Post by NorthernTenor »

ps congratulations, Alan.
Ian Williams
Alium Music

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