Sunday, July 08, 2012

Health and music

The last few times I've seen the doctor they've been a bit concerned about my blood pressure - last week Dr J gave me a blood-pressure machine to take home for a week. I took readings every morning and night and returned to see her last Friday.

As it turned out, my BP sits just above the recommended normal range, so I am now on medication (an ACE inhibitor, I think it's called). This brings my daily medication to two per day, as I'm already taking a statin for my high cholesterol levels.

On Friday night I met ST at Melba Hall for a concert of works by Tom Henry. The first half was piano works played by Jennifer Enchelmaier; after interval was Ken's Spree for clarinet and piano, based on Scottish themes. This was followed by settings of seven poems by South American poets, including Borges and Neruda, though these were set for piano, clarinet and cello rather than voice. The poems express the idea of life as a river. These seven pieces were exquisite, with some very beautiful interplay between all three instruments.

Then last night P&B and I went to the Town Hall to hear a rare performance of Berlioz' Grande Messe des Morts, commonly known as his Requiem. It was being performed by the Intervarsity Choral Festival accompanied by the Melbourne Youth Orchestra conducted by Brett Kelly; Daniel Todd was the tenor soloist. The performance was a great experience, particularly the entry of the four brass ensembles in the Tuba mirum section, which was breathtaking. The choir sounded great and Todd made a good fist of what is not an easy sing. 

I think the last time I heard this work in performance was at a Prom concert in Melbourne in the early 70's, when the soloist was Ronald Dowd.


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