Today was tough! By the end of a stifling four-hour session, which seemed to literally melt into a pool of sweat, we'd only managed to record two movements from the work, which is terrifying. The upshot of the disaster is that Julian, the recording engineer, and I have to go up to Cambridge on Monday night, at great expense, to finish things off. That is, of course, assuming that we manage to get any further with any of the other choirs.
It's a very difficult situation. You can only move along at the natural pace of the group, which is dictated by how collectively prepared they are. Today's singers have wonderful voices but if just one person hasn't done their homework, or didn't look at one particular bar, then you lose ten minutes from the session, which is a disaster if you're pushed for time. And of course we all know there's a massive gap between what's acceptable in a live performance in terms of tuning and the level of precision needed in a recording.
So then I find myself contemplating Sophie's choice. If there isn't time to record all the movements, which ones will bite the dust? Could it be that part if this glorious work of mine will only ever be performed in a live arena? A miserable thought for a man who stopped working in theatre partly because he didn't like its transience.
October 28th 1660 was a Sunday and pills and plasters arrived for Elizabeth to help with her problems down below. Pepys, like the caring husband he was, thought better of staying in the house and instead went to Westminster Abbey to view the spectacle of a set of bishops being ordained. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get into Henry Vii's chapel, so instead tool himself off to Sandwich's London residence, to hang out with the lady of the house and two of her children, who were also in town. By the time he finally arrived home Elizabeth was feeling a great deal better. The pills seemed to be working.