Monday 21 May 2012

A Tale Of Three Concerts.

Friday. Concert #1.

I was playing in an "ensemble" supporting a small group of singers. It's a concert I play in every year so it wasn't unusual enough for me to consider taking my camera. From the program blurb we gave "the first European performance of American composer René Clausen's cantata 'A New Creation' plus Gwyneth Walker's fun arrangements of American folk songs and popular music of the past and present." So there you go. The "highlight" of the evening was being recognised by the harpist from a youth orchestra tour in 1987 (that's 25 years ago, eek!). I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or not. I suppose it does mean that I can't have aged too much(!) on the other hand, I like to think I'm more, umm, stylish than I was way back then (haha!)

Saturday. Concert #2.

This concert was held in the lovely setting of Glasgow Cathedral.

Again, it was a small group of musicians supporting a choir and also an organist. The music we were involved in was all by Handel, I don't often get a chance to play baroque music so I quite enjoyed it.

Just one bass, on my own again!

The rehearsal was also in the cathedral which is open to visitors and it was nice seeing tourists coming along and sitting listening for a while. Not living in a well visited part of the Scotland I don't generally come across tourists often, when I do I always think they lend a nice holiday atmosphere to the place. The weather on Saturday was lovely too which always helps!

As you can see I had my camera so I attempted to take some decent shots of the cathedral...

The pews are decorated with plaques displaying the emblems of Glasgow - The Bird that never flew, The Tree that never grew, The Bell that never rang, The Fish that never swam. An interesting article on the legends behind the symbols can be found here.

Outside the cathedral the ornate street lamps also show the bird, tree, bell and fish.

I've deliberately lopped off the top of the spire as there was some rather unphotogenic scaffolding up there, and on various other parts of the building too.

"The only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to survive the reformation virtually complete".

You get a good view of the Necropolis from the cathedral grounds. I've not been in this part of Glasgow for years. It used to be fairly familiar as when I first moved to Glasgow I stayed in Halls of Residence just across the road from the cathedral. After this visit I'll definitely be back again to see more. Aside from the Cathedral and the Necropolis there is also Provands Lordship (the oldest house in Glasgow) and the St Mungo Museum of Religous Art and Life within this small area and all are free to visit.

By the time I'd finished wandering about outside the cathedral was closed to the public and not yet open for the concert, this was the secret door left open for access for those in the know.

The evening sun shining through the main window.

Beautiful floor tiles in the sacristy (used as the green room)

"Wha daur meddle wi' me" (also in the sacristy).

Sunday. Concert #3.

Now we're off across the water to Dunoon.

This is the view from the ferry terminal before boarding. Foolishly I stay on the bus during the crossing instead of getting out and capturing those lovely views. It was another beautiful day.  

We're going to be performing The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins.

I have company this time - four basses tonight. It's a much bigger even than the other two concerts in terms of the music and the number of people and instruments involved. The performance is also accompanied by a film. I'd heard excerpts of the Armed Man on the radio before but had never bothered to learn or understand the meaning behind the work. It "charts the growing menace of a descent into war, interspersed with moments of reflection; shows the horrors that war brings; and ends with the hope for peace in a new millennium, when "sorrow, pain and death can be overcome" From where I was sitting I was able to watch the screen at times and the images combined with the music were very powerful. At one point I had to stop watching as the tears were welling up, I know others felt the same. Here's a link to a YouTube film of the Benedictus to give you a flavour.

Between the rehearsal and the performance we had plenty of time to explore Dunoon.

The old ferry terminal.

The water was surprisingly clear.

Just like the Italian Lakes, hehe. In the distance are the two car ferries looking almost as though they're about to collide. They go to and fro all day long.

I hadn't realised there was a beach at Dunoon.

I passed a pleasant half hour adding to my pebble collection and starting a sea glass collection.

Before the concert the organisers had laid on a buffet for the orchestra. I should have photographed this, it was excellent and all made by members and friends of the choral society. Included were many varieties of salads and sandwiches, sausage rolls, etc, and to top it all, home baking. Yum!

Now it's all over and we're on the ferry home, I make sure I get off the bus for the crossing this time. It's not as good a shot as it would have been in the afternoon, but not bad considering it's nearly 10pm!

Back on dry land and a last look at the ferry and the view before returning home.


Annie Cholewa said...

Wow, that was a busy weekend, and so much wonderful music. You must be exhausted though. I hope you have a quiet week ahead.

Mrs. Micawber said...

Wow, Anne, I don't know where to start. I love Handel's Coronation Anthems - I have a recording of them (by The English Concert with Trevor Pinnock and the Westminster Abbey Choir). Would love to have heard that concert.

So many beautiful pictures - the "secret door", the amazing tile (some of it looking like a quilt pattern), the Necropolis, the view from the ferry terminal. Thanks so much for taking us along. And Annie's right - you should take it slow this week!

* said...

Glad you didn't get carried away and miss your ferry home!

I played in an orchestra (only at school level) and miss that soaring feeling at being part of a big thing, as school orchestras go, I think we weren't bad, it was only marred by the fact that my sight-reading was pretty dire, so I lived in fear I would be picked on to show my part! I find music very emotive and still get tearful when I hear something beautiful (maybe not my playing mind!)

I started a beach glass collection at the beginning of the year when walking the puppy, I have a steady pile, but no plans, I was wondering about some sort of mosaic, that still let the sun through, not sure how though!

rockinloubylou said...

What adventures you have with your double bass! Dunoon looks amazing. I'm inspired to get my lazy btm over there!

Julie said...

What fantastic places to get to play in. My cousin's two wee ones were christened in the cathedral. It must have been pretty special to play there. And I don't know Dunoon nearly well enough - especially when the sun is shining!
Enjoy some down-time now! Juliex

Simone said...

Such a full post with many interesting facts! What a busy 3 days you have had. I bet you are glad to have a bit of a rest now that it is over! x

Anonymous said...

Not only is the water lovely and clear but it also looks bluer than the sky! I find that piece of music by Karl Jenkins moving without seeing images.

Mereknits said...

Oh my you have been so busy and you have been surrounded by beautiful sights and music. What more could you ask for? It sounds like a lovely way to spend the weekend,

Rattling On said...

Beautiful island pictures...and I adore baroque music!

Anonymous said...

There is such beauty in your post, not only the images shown but also those created in my mind.

I was on the Gourock to Dunoon ferry at the beginning of April, and back again a few days later, I did get out of the car and saw Eider Ducks!

sue said...

What wonderful places to perform in, I'm sure it sounded divine.

Lesley said...

What a fabulous weekend you must have had! Glasgow looks wonderful - and a ferry ride home? Perfect ending.


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