My Favourite Bars – Bach #1

This week I’ve been taking a look at Bach’s Magnificat in D, and bar 28 of the Fecit potentiam.


Here we have the unmistakeable and arresting diminished 7th chord at “superbos” – the tenor line stands out in taking a slightly different route to join the sopranos on the G#, but it is essentially tight, sturdy and alert…the culmination of an intricate and complex interweaving of all the lines and colours of the previous 27 bars.  It might look something like this:


Tibetan sand mandala

Making a new pattern can be a challenge, but if your theme is consistent and true, it will always work, no matter where or how you start, or where you choose to go with it.  Put your pencil to the paper…

GCCS 1973 – 2016 …and beyond

I was recently given a bundle of scores that were looking for a good home, and as I was leafing through my new treasures, I came across this from a concert of 43 years ago!


It appears to be copied from a hand-written (in beautifully neat calligraphy) and typed document which must have taken a considerable amount of time and effort to create, long before the days of desktop publishing!  The interior layout is ….interesting…


…and it appears even to pre-date tippex…  but the little bit of blurb about the choir is still quite  relevant…


We are currently looking at new ways you can help support our future – it would be great if we can get our membership up to 60 again – so if you think you may be interested in joining us, or perhaps sponsoring a soloist…or a trumpet!.. look out for further notices either here, on the website, or on our Facebook page.

My Favourite Bars – Haydn “Insanae et Vanae Curae”

I’ve taken a break from the Nelson Mass this week to look at Haydn’s Insanae et Vanae Curae, and bars 185 and 186.


It’s quite a dark and intense piece altogether, and after being thrown in and out of the relentless clashes of the main theme, it eventually comes to rest on a serene major chord of only two notes.  It might look something like this…


The Gospel According to Saint Matthew 1992 – Pepe Espaliu

If you find yourself lost in the forest, you will find your way to the open sky.  Sit for a while… take a good look around… the path is always there! We are stronger than we think.

My Favourite Bars – Haydn #4

This week my favourite bars are bars 235/236 in the Credo.


Why do these bars (and similarly in bars 226/7) stand out? Tiny as they are, they appear to be the only real bits of syncopation in the whole piece, and that’s 990 bars!  So what’s happening?  It’s a game of two halves here…while the ladies are dancing, sighing and swooning all around, the men are determinedly stepping their way through the established pattern, as the grand “Amen” starts to appear on the horizon.  It might look something like this:

pyramid_2332203kSix-foot Leaping Hare on Steel Pyramid 1990 –  Barry Flanagan

Leaps of freedom are all the better for knowing there will be solid ground beneath.