Sunday, 28 January 2007

St Peter's Choir Irish Tour - August 2006

On Sunday 13th August 2006 we sang for the 11.15 am service of communion at St Finn Barre's Cathedral, Cork. The setting was Sumsion in F and the choir sang two motets: Sicut Cervus - Palestrina and My Spirit Longs For Thee – Dowland.

After a marvellous service we were supplied with refreshments and left to take in our wonderful surroundings . Among the many fascinating items we discovered the organ pit which is 14 feet deep and dates from 1889 , the pit accommodates the 3012 organ pipes.

In August, the choir of St Peter’s went to Ireland. We began by visiting Cork where we sang the Sunday services at St Fin Barre’s cathedral. Some of us were observant enough to notice that Cork had a butter museum and, obviously, were enormously excited about this and went along to see if it could live up to our expectations. It wasn’t very good.

We tried to put the disappointment behind us and stoically proceeded to Dublin. Our first musical engagement there was a mass for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Bartholomew’s Church. We were given a wonderfully warm welcome there by the congregation and by Reverend Michael Thompson who some of you may have known from his time in Sneinton. It was a marvellous occasion: a gloomy church, clouds of incense, bells and suchlike and the shortest mass ever.

On the Thursday we sang a concert at Armagh cathedral. As we crossed the border into Northern Ireland we were given a harrowing but quite fascinating commentary about The Troubles by Kevin our erudite and amazingly well-connected coach driver. Kevin claimed to know Bono, Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair, The Prince of Wales and Terry Wogan. To mark the fact that we were in the place where Charles Wood grew up, we sang a selection of Wood’s anthems including the sublime Hail! Gladdening Light and the ridiculous (but lovely) Expectans Expectavi.

Finally, we sang the weekend services at Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin. Despite being very tired at the end of a long week, we managed to muster the energy to sing, among other things, Morley’s indescribably beautiful First Service and the almost too loud Blair in B Minor.

Many thank to the Rector for organising the gigs and to Keith Charter for arranging transport and accommodation and everything.

Philip Collin

1 comment:

Peter Siepmann said...

Some personal highlights and recommendations...

- Cork: 32' rumbling in the Psalms
- Free day in the Wicklow mountains (absolutely extraordinary scenery - like a cross between Switzerland and Cumbria)
- Kevin's fascinating and chilling commentary as we drove into Northern Ireland.
- Ryan's, Parkgate Street, Dublin. Best pub ever.
- The organ of Christ Church, Dublin. Arguably my favourite of any instrument I have ever played.
- O'Donoghues, Merrion Row, Dublin: live, traditional Irish music.

Peter Siepmann
Music Associate