Last night’s extraordinary Hallock Tribute concert was absolutely over the top and both Peter Hallock and Carl Crosier would have been over the moon! I would have to consult the thesaurus to describe all the highlights of this concert: exceptional, fantastic, outstanding, and phenomenal barely scratch the surface. I had the immediate sense that this concert took a huge amount of work, particularly on the part of Jason Anderson, and just the choreography alone of moving people and instruments on and off was mind-boggling!
Carl and Peter, perhaps from their listening perches in heaven, heard this most glorious all-Hallock concert which included Opus 7 (the outstanding resident ensemble of St. James Cathedral), the Compline Choir, St. Mark’s Cathedral Boys & Girls Choir, members of St. Mark’s Cathedral Choir, Joseph Adam (organist), and the Tribute Concert Orchestra: 6 violins, 2 violas, 5 cellos, double bass, harp, oboe, horn, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, timpani, and percussion. About half of the works on the program I had never heard before, and some of it was performed from manuscript.
The program included:
A Brevity for Baritone
From lands that see the sun arise
Prayer at Christmas
Turn us again, o Lord of Hosts
Vox in Rama
To the Supreme Being
Introduction and Andante (for harp and cello)
Three Children’s Songs (Peter’s first published works)
Come, let us sing joyfully
Two Antiphons for Lauds
Is it nothing to you?
Dream of the Rood
Processional Psalm for a Festive Occasion
Victimae Paschali laudes (Setting III)
To hear Peter’s music in the large and reverberant space for which it was conceived was truly magical. Of the pieces that I knew well and had performed at LCH, it was another thing entirely to hear this same music performed with such sensitivity and excellence in this enormous cavern. The “Fanfare” was the same one which we heard the brass perform many years on Easter Day which preceded the singing of “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” — but to hear it in this great space was phenomenal. The handbell playing alone was remarkable and Peter and Carl would have truly been pleased! I understand a recording of the concert will be made available soon.
The magnificence of the concert was only diminished slightly when I learned of the death this morning of our good friend, McNeil Robinson, who played the inaugural recitals on the Beckerath at LCH, and who later played the organ at our wedding. I understand he passed peacefully, and it was particularly bittersweet on the day that we remembered Peter and Carl.