Sunday, 4 March 2007

Messiah from Scratch

Over 100 people came to the Cathedral yesterday to rehearse and sing Handel's great Oratorio 'The Messiah'. Rehearsals took place in the morning, directed by the Master of Music, Martin Baker. It was wonderful to see so many people enthusiastic to sing in the Cathedral, and the skill with which Martin and his assistant Matthew prepared them.

The Messiah was then performed in the Cathedral in the afternoon - and a splendid sound they made. Thanks to Simon, our organ scholar, for these behind-the-scenes photographs.

This is the first of a new initiative by the Cathedral Music Department, and similar music workshops will be held at regular intervals.


Anonymous said...

In the second picture, we see the conductor who is standing behind a large--for lack of a better descriptive word--stone tablet.

Is there a name for this structure?
Is there an inscription or sculpture on it? Was it in the cathedral before Vatican II?

I notice that there is (what looks like) a metal arm extending over the head of the conductor. (A light fixture?)

I also noticed the screen monitor on the organ console. Very necessary I should think.

Anonymous said...

It was lovely to visit your blog and see the photos of 'The Messiah from Scratch" workshop. Although a little apprehensive at first we quickly gained confidence, thanks to our entertaining and enthusiastic teachers. Well done and thank you to all who organised such an enjoyable event, can't wait for the next one!

Mark Langham said...

The 'tablet' has been in the Cathedral almost from the very beginning, and is carved (on the side facing the people) with an image by Christian Symons of Christ holding a chalice containing his precious blood - the dedication of the Cathedral. I'll show it in a post soon.

The purpose of tablet (locally known as the 'tombstone') is to screen the conductor from the members of the congregation, so that they are not distracted by flailing arms!

Above the Master of muisc is indeed a light fitting.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to call it a tombstone, but I did not want to seem to be facetious.

As an organist and conductor, I am appalled at having to look at "flailing arms" when the choir is in the sanctuary. (I love being in the back up in a choir loft. It is like being invisible.)

Looking more closely at another of the photographs, I can see the light fixture.

John the organist said...

It's good to see some younger singers taking part!