Thursday, January 4, 2007

Bach Therapy

Had our first Bury Bach Choir rehearsal of the term last night - we basically sang ALL the way through all the choral parts of the St Matthew Passion, which we'll be performing on March 31st. It was a completely exhausting rehearsal, not least because the score is a somewhat epic 248 pages and is rather heavy to hold on to for 2 hours. But this was just a warm up - we're not making any cuts in the performance which should being it to a resounding 3 hours and 15 minutes. Phew.

Having not sung much Bach since Colby, I'd forgotten how completely relaxing I find it. Not necessarily the chorales (4 part hymn-things, for the non music geeks)...they're nice but not anything special. It's the fugues that I love (nmg's: a Bach fugue is kind of like a REALLY complicated round). The fact that each part is not only complex, with lots of notes, but it has to trundle along on its own without any help from the other parts, means that the only way to sing one is to have your mind completely empty of other things. This is not the kind of music you can sing (and especially not sight read) while you're worrying about the house/the job/the hubby/the car or anything else.

We sang Bach's Magnificat in Collegium when I was at Colby - I think it was one of my all-time favourite concerts. In any event, last night's rehearsal was very tiring but really rewarding and generally brain-clearing.

I got home to find the boys gaming by candlelight - there was a power outage in our corner of Stowmarket and so the two flashlights I picked up at Tesco's on the way home were MUCH appreciated. John and I very industriously turned everything off so that when the power came back on, it wouldn't all kick in to high gear, but apparently we were the only ones. I'd left my bedside light on so I'd be able to wake up and check on things, and so at 2:35 this morning I was peering out of the kitchen window (as the washing machine was finishing its interrupted cycle) to see our little neighborhood all aglow. Since the power had gone off at 7:15, most of the people had ALL of their lights on and hadn't thought to turn them off. When I drove John to the 6:40 train (still dark out), most of the lights had been switched off, but a surprising number were still on.

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