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
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
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.