Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Catching up

Today I spent some time first thing working on rostering correspondence - so far all seems to be running fairly smoothly. Then I headed out for a coffee at Mavis the Grocer's.

Then it was back to take my tablets before setting off for town. First up I checked out some of the shops in Emporium, then made my way to Myer where I eventually bought two shirts for under $90. I did see a rather nice black and white shirt but decided against it when I discovered it was $450!

I met Mariese S in the Block Arcade and we had a tasty lunch and a good night before she had to go back to work. Then it was round the corner to Royal Arcade to meet Andrew B, who I hadn't seen for a few years. We repaired to a food hall for iced chocolates and a very long catch-up.

A very satisfying, social day.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Bach to Star Wars

Well, despite the church being quite hot, this morning's cantata went off very well. Though I didn't find the guest preacher's sermon engaging. Nick T gave me a lift home and I got myself a paper from the supermarket and had a coffee at Quint.

This afternoon I took myself off to the Westgarth cinema to see Rogue One, the new Star Wars film. It actually fits in nicely just before the first film (or the fourth, depending how you number them) and explains how come the Death Star has the flaw the rebels were able to utilise in that film. I think it recaptures the feeling of the first couple of films. It was fun.

When I got home I dug out the first of the Star Wars DVDs and watched it - it had been a while but it was worth it.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Bach to singing

Yesterday I did the shopping with P&B, followed by lunch at Bedford Street. Then in the evening I went into St John's for a rehearsal for tomorrow's cantata (BWV 7). Unusually, the tenors sing the chorale tune in the first chorus. We've also got some new faces in the choir.

This morning we had another rehearsal, this time with the orchestra, and all is coming together nicely. After lunch at Dr Morse I went home to collapse in the heat - 38°, and still about 30° at 11:30. Tonight I watched Alien on SBS - it stands up pretty well.

Now to try for some sleep.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Quiet day

This morning I went to the radio station as I was expecting to spend some time with JH. However, when she didn't turn up half an hour after she was expected I texted her. It turned out she's not well, but I think she forgot as well.

Did a bit of roster stuff and then had lunch with Sacha K - was good to catch up after the break.

Tonight I watched the Komische Oper Orfeo, which was really quite amazing. A Kosky production with musical re-arrangement by Elena Kats-Chernin.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The weekend


ON FRIDAY
evening, KP came around and we had a fun time playing through some more piano duets; we seem to work well together and have a certain rapport. Perhaps we'll have a soirée some time over the next few months.

On Saturday it was shopping as usual with B&P then later in the afternoon P and I went for a walk along the Boulevard; P left me at Nicholson Street and I came home and cooked dinner for them. Another Thai-style curry. This time I had lemongrass as well as the other ingredients; it tasted nice, but I think could have done with a bit more chilli.

Today to Mum's for lunch as normal. Then, on the way home, I realised I'd left my keys at her place and so had to track nearly all the way back to get them (I got to Burnley before I realised). No big deal, just annoying. I'd used the keys to get to her back porch and when I closed the door I forget to take the keys. It turned out that Mum didn't realise that my mobile number is coded into her phone; even Ian said he didn't know my number. So much for getting it listed in the White Pages.

[Original: April 2005]

Too much food

It's been a busy weekend. It started on Saturday morning with lunch at the Retreat after shopping. After an afternoon doing not much Tat and I went for pizzas at the e-lounge (tasty as usual) before heading off to Xavier Chapel for the Gombert concert.

The program was of twentieth century works including the Poulenc Mass, Take him, earth, for cherishing by Howells and Totentanz by Distler. This last work was a complete surprise; a series of beautifully composed choral miniatures linked with spoken dialogues between Death and a range of characters. Wonderful.

The concert finished with Edmund Rubbra's Te Deum, an amazingly complex, and at times dense, work which was mostly successfully realised, though not without a couple of slightly rough patches.

A very satisfying concert.

Another high point of the concert was seeing B Mac, now back in Melbourne after his and K's sojourns in London and South Africa. He looks very well and relaxed, and is pleased to have been asked to do some emergency teaching at MHS.

Today I went to Mum's for lunch as; unfortunately her pork crackling didn't, but the rest was delicious. Then this evening DG and I went for dinner in Victoria Street as a farewell for B&P who head off next Saturday.

The weather has been glorious.

[Original: 2008?]

My singing history

I first started singing in choirs at school - first in primary school, despite the vicious music teacher (whom I might write about some other time), then at high school. At high school I was also school pianist and one year conducted my house, and a smaller house choir, in the annual choral competition (I think we won ...?).

I think it was in my final year that one of my teachers, BM, suggested I should join the Melbourne Chorale, one of the major large choirs in town. I did so the next year (I think) and sang with the choir from 1969 to 1975. Over this period we performed a great variety of works and I find that nowadays when I revisit one of these works it's like revisiting an old friend. More than any works I've learnt more recently these early pieces have stuck like glue in my brain and with many of them I could sing them with only the slightest glance at the music.

Some of the works we performed back then:

Mozart: Mass in C minor - with the MSO under Gary Bertini
Haydn: 'Harmoniemesse' - MSO under Peter Eros(?)
Franck: Psyche - MSO under van Otterloo That was an interesting experience.
Mozart: Requiem - MSO and ?
Ramirez: Misa criolla
Schütz: Musikalische Exequien - what a fabulous piece; would love to do it again.
Bruckner: Motets: Ave Maria, Christus factus est, Virga Jesse, Locus iste
Dvořák: Czech folk songs for male voices (the women did the blissful Brahms songs for women's voices, two horns and harp).
Sculthorpe: Choruses from Rites of passage - recording.
Poulenc: Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël 

[Original: 2011] 

2016 trip

All being well, I'll fill in further details of my trip soon.

But don't hold your breath (I need to get back into the routine of blogging).

Hoddlewood sign

Seen this morning on my way to the Health Centre.


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Saturday, October 01, 2016

2016 trip

After a false start earlier in the year when I was diagnosed at the last minute as having atrial fibrillation, I finally flew out of Melbourne on September 19. The flight, business all the way, was uneventful and I arrived in London feeling OK, having had a fair amount of sleep en route.

I found the apartment pretty easily and realised that twenty-five years ago I had stayed in a hotel somewhere in Cartwright Gardens.

A quick summary of the past ten days: Wellcome Collection; How the Other Half Loves, by Alan Ayckbourn; The Play That Goes Wrong; Philharmonia concert of Stravinsky ballets, including Perséphone which was very beautiful; visit to Sir John Soane's Museum with Michael Hurley; trip to Brighton to see Andrew, Dan and young Leland; Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (great fun); The Threepenny Opera; a last-minute ticket to the dress rehearsal of Richard Jones's new Don Giovanni at ENO, with Paul K. I've also caught up with, and interviewed, Daniel Thomson and Alex Roose.

Yesterday I managed to see Andrew Watts who is in very fine form.

Today I go to Bristol for three days, staying in an Airbnb - we'll see how that goes.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Bruce and concerts

Last Wednesday Bruce went into hospital for surgery to remove a cancer under his tongue. I understand the op went well and he's now recuperating in an ENT ward. I think he's still in a great deal of discomfort but news from Peter is that he's keeping entertained by the lives of others in the ward. The nurses are also very good.

Because of this I went to see the Kransky Sisters on Thursday night: musically fun (all based on TV themes) but the linking narrative was awkward and under-rehearsed. Then on Saturday I went (with Brent and Dennis) to Chapel Off Chapel to see Thrill Me, a musical based on the Leopold and Loeb story. It was a two-hander (with piano accompaniment) and had quite good lyrics, although the music want quite as good. A good production and excellent performances made for an entertaining night.

Then tonight I went to the 5th Homophonic concert - part of Midsumma. Ben O, and a few others I know were again involved and it proceed to be a most eclectic and entertaining evening. Probably the best work was A stopwatch and an ordnance map, a seeing of a poem by Stephen Spender by Samuel Barber for men's voices and timpani. Great stuff.

I've also been busy recording Reflections programs, though today's was a bit of hard work.