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This is St Mark's Basilica in Venice. I have sung there. It doesn't get much better than that. What a privilege!
We were a scratch choir of about 21 singers invited by David Boarder (Head of East Herts
Schools Music). We've been doing this kind of thing for quite a while now, but have never
sung as far afield as Venice, nor in such fabulous churches. In the past we've done Rouen,
Arras, Honfleur, Caen, Reims and Bruges.
In St Mark's Basilica, the rather snooty high priest baldly told us we could sing one piece before the service, two during it and one afterwards. When the time came, after singing our first, there was no sign of the service starting, so we sang another, and another. Afterwards, we just kept singing and no-one stopped us so we ended up doing a total of 8 pieces. And were complimented by another visiting conductor on being better than the preceding choir!
The church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari had the most amazing accoustics, which we took
maximum advantage of, of course. Several of the works we sang had crescendoes up to a break, so
when the singing stopped, you could hear it echoing around the church. Wonderful!
The bell tower, like much of Venice, started to sink, so, after several attempts to fix it, in the 19th century, they tied the brickwork into the corner of the church. Sadly, all that did was to drag the corner of the church down along with the bell tower, so now there's a project to inject concrete underneath the tower and prop it all up. I seem to recall that a similar effort beneath the leaning tower of Pisa didn't work too well. Hope the same doesn't apply here!
Jubilate - Gabrielli
Cantate Domini - Monteverdi
If ye love me - Tallis
Mass in 4 parts - Byrd
Crucifixus - Lotti
Maganificat - Pärt
Tantum Ergo - de Severac
3 Motets - Stanford
Bororoditsye Dyevo - Rachmaninov
Ubi Caritas - Duruflé
Alleluia - Thompson
Ave Virgo Gloriosa - Dering
Totus Tuus - Gorecki
Ave Verum - Saint-Saëns
Hear my prayer, O Lord - Purcell
Faire is the Heaven - Harris
Cherubic Hymn - Gretchaninov
Last updated 19th October, 2008 by Rob Clack