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'Avin' it large, in B Minor

I've just got back from a very enjoyable performance of Bach's B Minor Mass at Leeds University's Great Hall, which I attended in the company of big_daz. Damn, but it's powerful stuff. We were sitting no more than 15 metres from a choir some 60 strong, and they certainly packed a punch.

The singers were mainly students of the School of Music, backed up by the Leeds Baroque Choir (whose numbers include my head of department!) and Orchestra. As such, some aspects of the performance were a little ropey, but then again it was a great opportunity to hear rising young stars. I especially liked the alto soloist, Beth Mackay, who did great credit to my favourite movement from the B Minor Mass - the 'Agnus Dei'.

And there were some interesting aspects to the performance, too. Firstly, two of the choruses ('Cum Sancto Spiritu' and the 'Sanctus') were taken at almost double their usual speed - apparently, according to the pre-concert talk, to bring out their use of forms usually associated with dance music; especially triplets. I wasn't convinced, because it made it difficult for the choir to articulate all the individual notes properly, and consequently it sounded as though some of them were falling over one another. But an interesting experiment, nonetheless. Secondly, although most choruses were taken by the full choir, some parts of some of them were stripped down to only one voice per line - this time apparently to bring out the fine details of their more complicated contrapuntal texture. Again, it didn't quite work, this time because the students chosen for these sections weren't quite up to the job, especially when standing on the other side of the orchestra from the audience. But it was an interesting compromise between the 'large' sound of the full choir and the precision of one-voice-to-a-part, which I think could work very effectively with better singers.

Anyway, a bit of Bach of a weekend is always a bonus, especially since I don't think I've seen the B Minor Mass in performance for about 6 or 7 years now. Definitely an afternoon well spent.

And before I go:

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

That all sounds slightly worrying, actually...! Oh well, it's only a meme - right?


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 19th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC)
I think the Woodmansterne Collection are doing the Bach B Minor Mass in March. :-)
Nov. 19th, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
Hum. That's not what I'd say about the Moon as a card; in my understanding of the tarot it's basically a card which means "might be worth thinking about what's going on in your subconscious mind right now". It's about the divide between the conscious and unconscious stuff - sort of an "oi, your subconscious mind is over here, cloth-ears". It can be interpreted as a rude reminder about lying to oneself, as simply a pointer that you're not seeing what's right under your nose, or, because it's the Moon (yadda symbol of feminine creativity yadda), as suggesting tapping into your unconscious and letting the cool stuff flow.
Nov. 20th, 2006 09:20 am (UTC)
Well, that sounds more interesting!

Funnily enough, one question in the quiz asked which was your favourite heavenly body, and although I dithered over the moon, I in fact picked the sun. When I got the result at the end, I found myself wondering if what the quiz was actually saying to me was 'Well, you might want to be a sun-person, but face the facts - fundamentally, you are moon.'
Nov. 20th, 2006 10:45 am (UTC)
Mmm; I got the Magician, who does his magic and is also a rather charming but not necessarily 100% trustworthy character. You can take that as much the same kind of backhanded compliment: I'm innately very creative, but also concomitantly rather highly-strung and not always to be relied on, which is something I prefer not to be forced to acknowledge more often than I have to too :)
Nov. 20th, 2006 10:50 am (UTC)
Interestingly, if I switch my heavenly body choice to the Moon instead (the one I like most, rather than Saturn, which looks coolest), I get Strength; again it's very much a card about connecting your inner world to the real world, which is what surprised me about the results I get in this quiz. I always see mysef as more of an introvert :)
Nov. 20th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
well, I got the Moon -- and then when I changed the couple of answers about which I was ambivalent, I got Judgement.
Nov. 21st, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
I was the moon too!

Maybe everyone is the moon...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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