Didn’t sleep well last night. Woke up and put on a full length radio drama rendering of Shakespeare’s Richard the III on BBC (link… five days left to stream it). I don’t know if you know the play, but at the end of the play is the battle that ended the War of the Roses and Richard’s own life.
Apparently, the battle in the play takes place on All Soul’s day (that would be today on the calendar). This seems to be a dramatic device employed by Shakespeare (or someone he took his story from) to enable the dead ghosts of Richard’s nefarious climb to kinghood to visit both him and his rival Richmond. Richmond is the guy who will kill him. The ghosts predict a dire outcome in Richard’s ear and then immediately whisper encouragement into Richmond’s.
Unfortunately the actual historic battle seems to have taken place on Aug 22. This is really okay because the Richard the III of Shakespeare is very different from his real life counterpart, although they both apparently killed their nephews in the tower and were killed themselves in the Battle of Bosworth Field.
I keep thinking about the All Saints celebration I played yesterday. It’s so easy to focus on the things I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in this service: a disguised false start on William Mathias’s Processional (the organ prelude) and the way I didn’t quite pull together my singers on the Stanford anthem conducted from the organ console (while playing). Interestingly these are the only two I can think of this morning.
I was feeling the usual Sunday afternoon mortification when Eileen pointed out that even when I screw up I do it in a way that is not obvious. That’s a good thing I guess.
During the post game rehearsal one of my new choristers asked me how I thought the anthem went. I tried to answer her honestly and said something like I hadn’t led as well as I wanted to, that there were places where we weren’t as together as I would like us to be.
I’m pretty sure this is a result of people skipping or arriving late to my already shortened and newly convenient Sunday rehearsals. Oy.
But on the other hand, I do realize there were some pretty good musical moments in the service: the opening hymn (For All the Saints) dressed up with three choral stanzas and two descants, the baptism hymn, “Wade in the Water,” during which I pretended I was Ray Charles playing the piano, the Youth choir valiantly leading the congregation through an anthem version of the gospel reading for the day (The Beatitudes), the closing hymn, “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones,” during which I repeated dropped the organ out and listened to the congregation sing the Alleluias in parts and the postlude which was an piano improv on “When the Saints.” So I guess all in all, my afternoon feelings of hackdom and inadequacy were not totally justified.
I did drag myself over for a practice on the organ and harpsichord in the afternoon.
Came home and chatted with daughter Elizabeth on the phone. That always brightens my day. (Hi Elizabeth… I figure you’re probably one of three or maybe four people who read this blog from time to time… heh).
Today I have to play a noon gig in Grand Haven. Lead roles from the musical are doing a benefit appearance with the local civic organization that donates money to the school. Last year they paid me an extra fifty bucks. This year they didn’t mention any money. Hopefully they will pay me.
Planning to quit blogging shortly and go over to the church and practice organ and harpsichord before taking off for the drive to Grand Haven.
Have to return in the evening for a rehearsal for Oklahoma. I have rehearsals and performances every night this week.