Today has been my first day off in ages and I spent it doing admin and housework. I then began the process of creating a master score for Oranges and Lemons with all the cuts and changes that went in when it was last performed. Tonight I'm off to see the band Midlake at the Roundhouse, which is an exciting prospect.
We had our final recording session for the motet last night in Cambridge and it was okay. We were working with the singers from Magdalene College who have wonderful voices; individually some of the strongest voices in the whole piece. I feel very privileged to have them as part of the project. Unfortunately they felt a little, either nervous or unprepared. Half way through the session I got slightly offended when I heard them discussing which of the movements they'd rather not record due to our running out of time and their having homes to go to. Obviously my initial response was to feel a great deal of guilt but it must be said that if a little more homework had been done, they wouldn't have taken precisely twice as long to record their music as any other choir!
In absolute fairness to them, I reckon they are within the top three choirs when it comes to sheer amount of musical material but I also got the impression that a fair amount of sight-reading was going on, frustrating because they're such damned fine singers who could have delivered a spotless performance. I still maintain they're going to end up being one of the star choirs in the live performance but they're going to need to do the legwork.
I suppose it was just that when home was mentioned, London suddenly felt like a very long drive away - particularly for Julian whose work-load has been ridiculous on this project.
On this date 350 years ago, the Queen arrived in town. Pepys found himself in Whitehall and was excited to report a river filled with little boats peopled by those who wanted to capture a glimpse of Charles I's widow. The banks of the Thames were also rammed, so it becomes surprising that Pepys opted to sum up his diary thus;
"So to bed. I observed this night very few bonfires in the City, not above three in all London, for the Queen’s coming; whereby I guess that (as I believed before) her coming do please but very few."