A College so rich

in musical talent

Timothy Brown, conductor, former Director of Music (1979-2010)

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Malta Tour Blog - Day 4

Date: Thursday 10 July 2014

Reviews

Malta Tour July 2014
Day 4

“Let’s use the harmonium – how bad can it sound?”

 

Today the choir was in King’s Landing – sorry, Mdina – for a masterclass and concert at the beautiful Carmelite priory. Following a typically punctual departure from Chez Sliema, we took in some of Mdina’s tastefully Catholic churches before settling down to rehearse. Most of us even managed to resist the tempting wares on offer from some of Mdina’s most reputable sunglass and handbag salesmen!

 

Our masterclass with singers from Malta University and the Jubilate Deo choir featured the unusual treat of Bach’s Jesu, Joy with harmonium accompaniment. It was exciting to sing John Galea’s Tota pulchra es Maria with the composer present. The masterclass mainly took the form of an open rehearsal of Durufle’s Ubi Caritas. After this, Maltese publicans breathed a collective sigh of relief upon the Dean’s departure back to England to conduct a wedding of two Clare Fellows.

 

Some of the choir decamped to a local café betwixt dinner and the concert. Laurie C. was spotted ordering both a thick Italian hot chocolate and huge slice of chocolate cake, which proved to be a questionable decision as blood sugar levels soared and an undesirable round of “Burp or Vom” was initiated.

 

The concert itself was a tad warm, as we’ve come to expect, which had an unfortunate effect on Can Basses 3 and 4s’ slick hairstyles. Ruddy complexions all round! Despite an uncomfortable moment involving the handover of wine and flowers to soloists, the concert was a great success. The packed audience even managed to keep perfect silence for the closing Josquin (bar a couple of awkward shutter clicks).

 

On the coach home certain members of the choir back row serenaded the bus driver with understated renditions of such classics as Ross Ascendo ad Patrem meum, Handel’s Birthday Ode, Bach’s B Minor Mass … and the entirety of the Compline service. In so doing we worked up quite a thirst – luckily Mark had many bottles of Maltese desert wine awaiting us. We all got progressively merrier, and Day 5 loomed large on the horizon…

Robin Culshaw (Can Bass 4)