Sunday, 19 September 2010

It's nice to be properly busy again. Tonight is the third of three performances of a programme of music of the Swiss composer Ludwig Senfl, with the Renaissance branch of I Fedeli. It's a lovely programme mostly of long, high, quiet lines - something I've become slightly specialized at but which I still find very, very tiring. The past two concerts have gone well though, and I have high hopes for today's too despite the fact that I already woke up at 7:30 and went to church to play a Haydn Mass. Ah, the glamourous life!

Josué, Nora and a poster

Switzerland is beautiful this time of year - the season slightly more advanced than in England - I was sorry to see all the blackberries gone the other day coming back from my singing lesson. The singing lesson, by the way, was a brilliant thing to have in the middle of all these rehearsals: excellent once in a while to go back to thinking about breathing technique and what makes music sound good without the pressure of a concert that night. Returning to a familiar question once again: does it feel like home? Not really. It feels really nice, beautiful, cozy, yet also a supportive place and quite important to me - maybe it's a bit like visiting grandparents.

View from the church window, Sissach

The slightly hazy continental air here, while not as invigorating as the British sea air, does however provide fantastic sunsets:

One thing I like about working with amateur choirs is that they warm up together. We the band have been taking part too in stretching, massaging our faces, and even singing along. Yesterday in Basel we were all quite stiff though so when they got to the singing, as we're not able to play along, we wandered off and do our own thing:

Ann stretching in the Leonhardskirche, Basel

Senfl isn't the only composer in the spotlight this week, Johann Rosenmüller is also, with two CDs being released. This one by the Baroque branch of I Fedeli (featuring yours truly on trombone and many talented musicians besides) and this one (second on the list) by Alex Potter and Chelycus. And now I have to cut this post short because I've got to go rehearse with them for the release concert, which I hope some of you will be able to attend.

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