Today’s music — both morning and afternoon — was spiritual in so many ways. The morning was full of wrenching emotions beginning with Georgine Stark‘s unforgettable rendition of He’s got the whole world in his hands, and three spirituals marvelously sung by the choir: I’ve just come from the fountain, There is a balm in Gilead and Let us break bread together on our knees. Georgine’s expressive sensitivity in There is a balm in Gilead was especially memorable. I wished I had recorded it! Carl remarked after church that these spirituals really came to life today, owing to the versatility and excellence of the choir. I also have to credit Carl for conducting these pieces in a way that evoked so much nuance and color.
Then this afternoon at Joint Evensong with St. Andrew’s Cathedral Choir, there were so many highlights, beginning with a sensitive and beautiful performance of Carl’s setting of The Queen’s Prayer. Just hearing the combined choirs sing this so expressively in the magnificent Cathedral environs was especially poignant. The Howells Magnificat and Nunc dimittis absolutely soared and it was like the heavens opening up. And I didn’t know that the Bach piece we performed, Ich lasse dich nicht, was considered a funeral motet, and was at once so simple yet so profound. And playing Bach’s Aus tiefer Not on the Cathedral organ was grand and brilliant. How did you like those monstrous pedal reeds!
John Renke, Cathedral Musician, presented a lei to Carl, on this his last Joint Evensong. Carl reminded him, that it was not only his last Joint Evensong, but also his last Christmas, his last Holy Week and Easter, etc.!
Every time we have performed with the two choirs together gives everyone a thrilling ‘high’ that lasts all week.