Walking, listening

At last: a sunny, crisp day, after weeks of dismal rain. The sun was glinting on the water and the sky was blue. I walked round Worsbrough Res this morning, listening to today’s Building a Library, on Radio 3, which – by coincidence – was about Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, ‘From the New World’. I listened to it again. I would have listened a third time but my phone ran out of battery.

Worsbrough Reservoir
Worsbrough Reservoir
Sky above the crack willow

I recommend it for anyone coming to this work for the first time, or anyone who wants a fresh perspective on an old favourite. Bernstein’s version – slow, for once. Marin Alsop with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra – lush but incisive. The favourite recording: Sir Charles Mackerras with the Prague Symphony Orchestra – maintaining a lightness of touch but with punch where required.

Lest we forget.

We had our first choir rehearsal last night for the Lauridsen Lux Aeterna. I’m listening to that as I write. We need to get used to words that are less familiar than those we know well from the Requiem mass, and we have our work cut out with the typical Lauridsen clusters and the high alto parts. But this is going to be glorious to perform.

There are dark places in the world. Worsbrough Res this morning was a place of light and peace, and I am thankful.

Our preparations for the concert are, as ever, a celebration of friendship, joy, and love. Join us.