Thursday, 24 September 2009

My Soul there is a country....

Driving home on Wednesday evening (23rd September) with Radio 3 on the car radio I thought "I know that" - it was Parry My soul there is a country, being sung as the introit to choral evensong from Chelmsford Cathedral. So if you want to practice or sing-a-long it will be available on the BBC iplayer for the next 7 days at It's also repeated on Sunday at 4pm on Radio 3. I have since learnt that two members of the Writtle Singers were singing in the service.

The concluding organ voluntary was also a piece by Parry - the March from The Birds of Aristophanes, Parry wrote this bridal march in 1883 as part of his incidental music to Aristophanes' play The Birds for a performance in Cambridge. It was scored for saxophone octet. This organ version was arranged by Sir Walter Alcock (1861 - 1947) who was organist at Chichester Cathedral from 1916 until his death, and had the unique distinction of playing the organ at Westminster Abbery for three coronations - Edward VII, George V and George VI.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

This is how you can get involved with this Blog

Check the Blog
Firstly check the blog from time to time. I am afraid that you will not always be informed of new entries. and select View Blog

Make a comment
You can make a comment about an existing entry. You will have to sign up to Blogger for this. If you try to make an entry this will automatically help you through the simple sign-up process.

If you wish to contribute to the Blog by uploading an article, pictures etc. you need to become an author. Please let me know if you would like to do this and I will grant you permission (that sounds very powerful doesn’t it!) Once you have permission it is straightforward to contribute articles.

Someone has to be the arbiter of good taste and practice and at the moment that is me too (even more powerful…I like this game!) So if you don’t like what you read please let me know.

Take control
Finally I have set up the Blog for everyone to use. If anyone would like to take it on as their particular project PLEASE let me know!

Monday, 21 September 2009

The Thomas John Barnardo thanksgiving service

Valentine Singers were very please to provide the vocal music for the Barnardo’s thanksgiving service that was held on 15 September 2009 in the church at the traditional home of Barnardo’s in Barkingside.
Despite heavy rain!! there was a fine representation from the choir to sing Pitoni: Cantate Domino and Schubert: Sanctus from the Deutsche Messe, and support the singing of the hymns.

A little of the history of the site and the church
Barnardo and his wife, Syrie, were given a home in Barkingside, Essex, as a wedding gift, where he created a 60-acre village with the vision of creating a way of life for destitute children that resembled village life. In 1876 on the 9th July, The Girls Village Home was officially opened with 12 cottages by the then Lord Cairns. In the same year a modern steam laundry was opened. Over the years the number of cottages grew to a total of 66 in 1906 housing some 1,300 girls which was spread over the three Village greens covering some 60 acres which was next to Mossford Lodge at Barkingside, Ilford, Essex that had been opened in 1873; by 1894 a multi-denominational Children's Church was opened with a dedication service.

Inditing indeed!

The effort to understand the psalmist who uttered "My heart is inditing" has begun to excite a number of choir members. I thought you might like to see these splendid and rather erudite offerings...

From Barbara F "I was sure I knew the word 'indite' from when I studied the Canterbury Tales for A level. There's a character in the prologue who could not only compose tunes ' and eke indite' (and also write the words.)
Sure enough it's in the OED. To indite means 'to put into words' or 'to compose' (e.g. a speech, a poem etc.)"

And from Laura P "According to the OED online, the verb to indite comes from Middle English endyte which means to tell (a story) or compose (a story or a song) - Chaucer uses it for this purpose in the Canterbury Tales.

Bibles in English use endyte or indite up to the King James version from which Handel got his text. However, the Latin text uses eructare - to vomit (!) - and the Hebrew translates as 'bubble up' - hence modern translations say things like 'my heart overflows'.

I'm not sure why they are so different, presumably Biblical scholarship develops over time and the newer translations will be more accurate. But anyway Handel's version means 'my heart is telling a tale about a good subject'. The word would have been fairly archaic by 1702 but maybe that would have added to the solemnity of the occasion.

Barbara has kindly clarified some other mysteries, too:

"Thornbacks are edible fish from the ray family ( a bit like skate but more spiny).

Peascods are pea-pods - i.e. peas in their shells.

Nard is an aromatic balsam of the ancients - also known as spikenard. It comes in the story of Jesus being anointed for his burial in Bethany John's Gospel chapter 12 verse 3. (also Mark 14.3 & Matthew26.7)"

I hope you're all feeling much better informed now. :-) Many thanks to Barbara and Laura