Dr. Crotchet’s Choral Remedies, No.2

Well, it’s that time of year again, when everywhere is hustle and bustle, the young folks are back to school/college, and there are a thousand new projects and activities to start all at at once, each one demanding your attention….and lurking in the back of your mind is the thought that you still haven’t cleared out the cupboard under the stairs/painted the shed/washed the windows * (delete as appropriate).

DIAGNOSIS:  New Term Information Overload

PRESCRIPTION:  Thomas Tallis “A New Commandment”

Like the breath of Angels gently blowing away your worries, this short 500 year old anthem will gently nudge you towards a better perspective, as the different voice parts slip  and weave effortlessly in and out of each-other’s paths, to the closing harmony.

Was  Tallis distracted by a few cobwebs?  I don’t think so.  …and let’s be realistic – the day when you actually have to grovel around in the back of the shoe cupboard for you wellies is still a long way off.  While the days are still bright and long, let Tallis filter out all that you don’t need, and enjoy some simplicity.

DOCTOR’S NOTES:  The recommended version is by The Tallis Scholars directed by Peter Phillips, but other versions are effective  (see below).  Also, while listening to beautiful music is a tonic for all life’s troubles,  actually singing it is a much more potent intervention.  If you have to prioritise your activities this year, put joining a choir at the top of your list.  Research states that singing is even better than yoga!   GCCS new season starts 15th September.


Dr. Crotchet’s Choral Remedies

Yes, it’s that time of year again…when your kitchen is full of wasps and you have more courgettes than you can cope with, and the melancholy feeling that Summer  is beginning to slip away before it has really had a chance to get started drifts periodically through your mind.  Classic symptoms of a very common malady, that requires prompt treatment.

DIAGNOSIS:  Late Summer Blues

PRESCRIPTION: Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen, from Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem

Although it is a common condition, the Late Summer Blues must nonetheless be treated with a very carefully concocted balance of warmth and pace.  The particular movement recommended has just that – harmonic warmth enough to evoke the happy memories of that sunny day in June, but with enough pace to stop it becoming a sentimental cul-de-sac, thus easing the mind’s transition from the light of Summer, to the different kind of warmth that awaits on the horizon.

Let the wasps deal with the courgettes, let Brahms soothe your soul.

DOCTOR’S NOTES:  The Klemperer/Schwarzkopf 1962 (EMI) recording is recommended, but see below for a suitable alternative.