Tuesday, 14 October 2008

New Music

Several years ago I heard, on Radio 3, Choral Evensong from Southwark Cathedral and was completely blown away by the Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis. It was by Stephen Tanner and at the time it was called the Spiritual Service, which was appropriate as it sounds very negro spiritual in style.

After much to-ing and fro-ing I eventually heard from the publisher that it was due to be published "any day now." Hah! Three years later, it has finally been published! It's now called the Southward Centenary Service, as he won a competition with it.

I showed a copy to our musical director, who liked it, so I bought a set for the choir, and last night we had our first run through.

As far as I'm concerned, the two big hits are that the MD is willing to include it in our repertoire (normally if he doesn't have the idea himself you can forget it!) and that most of the rest of the choir think it's as wonderful as I do. There are one or two for whom the main requirement is that the composer be dead, but I think even they will come around eventually.


The Dotterel said...

Sounds great! How difficult is it (on a scale of one to ten, with one the equivilent of a hymn in four-parts and ten, something by Giles Swayne)?

Rob Clack said...

Ah, now you're asking. Not familiar with Giles Swayne, but lemme think.

Some bits I found tricky, but there's quite a bit of repetition, which always helps, and the spiritual style adds familiarity.

I'd say Leighton is the most difficult stuff we do, so if that's 10, then this is around 5 or 6.

Encore Publications in case you're interested.

Can Bass 1 said...

How fortunate you are, Mr Click, to be unfamiliar with Giles Swayne. We do his 'Magnificat' here from time to time and in twenty years, I've never got it right. (Fortunately, nobody can ever tell - it's that kind of piece!)

Rob Clack said...

Your comment, CB1, prompted me to google Giles Swayne and what I read was intriguing, to the point that I followed links and listened to some exerpts, including from Magnificat I.

I don't like to disagree with you too blatantly, but I thought it was pretty good. So then I listened to the exerpt from Twiglet which I also loved.

I've ordered the CD called Convocation to give to my nearest and dearest for her imminent birthday. That'll make two presents for us that I'm giving her. I really must try to find something that's just for her!

I don't plan to buy any scores, however!

Jane.Dudman said...

I think the Tanner is quite hard, but that may be largely unfamiliarity. It's always difficult to tell from a first runthrough how pieces are going to settle down.