Revisiting old friends

Another post from Bronwyn this week? So soon? Yes! Mainly because I recently found a journal entry from exactly six years ago today which highlights some of the music I was obsessed with at the time. So it seemed like a good time to share it with you. You’ll notice it’s a little… link-intensive, shall we say. Well, instead of embedding a dozen videos in the post, I’ve just included links to the best recordings of things that I can find on YouTube. I don’t expect you’ll want to click on them all (at least, not all in one sitting!) but these are some fabulous pieces which still stand out as favourites among all the things I’ve performed over the years. Although I’m yet to sing all of the Lux Aeterna with a choir (just the ‘O Nata Lux’ so far). Maybe one day.

I have to add that I’ve loved compiling this post as well, because it’s given me an excuse to listen to some things I haven’t heard for a while. It’s like catching up with old friends! There’s probably an hour of music listening to be had here – more, if you seek out the rest of the Rheinberger Mass and the Howells Requiem – but space it out over the week and it will keep you going until I post again. Enjoy!

(And yes, that would be the violin solo from Mozart’s Laudate Dominum that worked its way onto the page…)

7 February 2006

Every now and then I have a day or two where I like to completely immerse myself in some new piece of music I’ve discovered, listen to it until I know it backwards – every nuance, every spine-tingling moment, every delicious chord or yummy dissonance. I haven’t quite had a chance to do that yet with Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, but I will in time. Yesterday was our first Concordis rehearsal for the year and by happy coincidence I also received the two CDs in the mail that I won on eBay last week, one a compilation of things by the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, and the other is a CD of work by Morten Lauridsen recorded by the Nordic Chamber Choir and it’s simply stunning. Plus at rehearsal last night we looked at a couple of new Eric Whitacre pieces, so I’m rediscovering my love of that CD too. I love having these days where I just can’t get enough music – I listen at every opportunity and remind myself of a whole lot of music that has the power to take me to another world entirely. There are lots of things that can do it, depending on what mood I’m in, but I love discovering new things as well as reliving old favourites. I think I’ve become a lot more open-minded since joining NYCA – where would I be without having discovered Rheinberger’s Cantus Missae, or the Howells Requiem, or how much fun it is to sing Bach, or what it feels like to sing Stanford’s Beati Quorum Via just the way it’s meant to be sung, including capturing the lilting feel of it the way Noel wants it. Sometimes I am just struck spellbound by a piece of music and its warmth, or luminescence. It truly is one of the most important things in my life, and I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience of singing and listening to some of the world’s most powerful music. Nothing is quite as life-changing.

(OK, so it may have been a little over the top, but you get the general idea how much I adore some of this music. By the way, apologies that the Concordis link only goes to their website – they haven’t got any recordings up online that I can find. I may have to suggest they fix that!)

About Bronwyn

Brisbane-based editor and choral musician
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