Along with a couple of billion others I watched the recent royal wedding and while I found it quite bemusing I tuned in solely for the music. For me the truly moving moment was Paul Mealor’s Ubi Caritas. Simply sublime and even more so when you consider that a good chunk of the planet was listening (apparently it was the bride and grooms particular choice). See above for the youtube video
I am not religious in a traditional sense but I love choir. Many years ago Stuart Wilde was producing the Cecilia album Violet 19* and we traveled to Winchester to the college chapel to record the boys choir. I sat in the pews listening and in contemplative heaven. It was incredibly moving and a moment I will never forget. When we were done the music master gave the boys the nod and they dispersed like many mice clambering over themselves to get out to the real world to play. All except for one – apparently the most gifted chorister. He sang a few lines on his own and it was like being transported to another dimension in musical reverence.
Our most perfect instrument is our voice. I still recall when I first heard my favorite choir piece – I thought it was sublime. As I hardly knew anyone at the time that was into such music it became my own sacred piece. But in the past decade I began to hear it more and more and several years ago I heard a snippet in an advertisement and I immediately knew that it would lose much of its sacredness in my heart. The piece is Miserere composed by Gregorio Allegri in the 1630’s for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins. At some point it became forbidden to transcribe the music and was allowed to be performed only in the Chapel, adding to the mystery surrounding this extraordinary reverential piece. I have on CD a version that is my favorite – Kings College Choir, Cambridge conducted by Sir David Willcocks and recorded in 1960.
Whilst churches and weddings I am not aligned
The music, the voices, distinctly sublime
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I love this blog post. Having done Stuart’s 8-day Warriors in the Mist training and hearing him talk about Cecilia’s voice, reading it brought back so many memories. And I love your perspective on choir.
Thankyou for your insightful blogs. Its terrific to have regular reminders and suggestions on spirtual activities. A good distraction from lifes daily routine.