Happy Eostre, Ostara, Easter

As the fog lifts from the land
And the warmth of Spring touches bud and leaf;
Let loose light joy
And the new world begin.

The halls of Valhalla shine.

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Ambulance on its way … :wink:

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And a painted egg to you kind sir.

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Happy “Chocolate for Breakfast” day!

…I’ve already had a Lindt Bunny - my lovely wife is just about the start preparing the Easter Roast - I haven’t the heart to tell her. Oh well.

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Currently recovering from an excellent leg of lamb following an aperitif of two bottles of champagne (between four of us, I hasten to add). Currently on the sofa, trying to ignore how much Oxford are being out-rowed by some other place.

My achievement of the day was to stay in tune for all four minutes of my solo unaccompanied rendition of the Easter Exultet plainsong. Not the easiest sing I’ve done, especially after such a long fallow period.

Happy Easter to the world.

Mark

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Joyeux Paques a toux.

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That is a major achievement. I had to accompany the reduced choir to keep them on tune. It is quite high. We tried to sing it a bit lower, but is looses its brilliance then.

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Thanks, @Ardbeg10y. I agreed to do it a bit too quickly via email, based on a loose recollection of hearing it done years ago. Then I checked the score and was reminded how long it was. Then I slightly panicked. Then I gritted my teeth and dug in.

What were you singing?

Mark

Hi Mark,

I’ve been playing organ & piano during the Triduum, and on this Easter morning. The interesting part was to limit the number of participants, and position those on sufficient distance while being able to do proper liturgy.

From musical perspective the interesting bits for the choir were on Friday O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid in a 4 part choir setting by Bach for the 4 singers we had and on Saturday a very effective piece of true British choir music of Richard Shephard, The Easter Song of Praise.

I would not be surprised if you have known Shephard since he if from ‘your’ York?

Oh, and my own organ improvisation on Psalm 118 :slight_smile:

We had a similarly ’fun’ time with the restrictions - trying to give a decent amount of choral support for the most important day of the year with only 8 out of a choir of 30 wasn’t easy.

Yes, I stood next to Richard Shephard at many an Evensong in the Minster - he had a great Cantor’s voice. Was the choice of his music prompted by the sad news of his death in February?

Singing one voice to a part is such a pure way to go, but it’s absolutely terrifying. My daughters and I have been musically moonlighting at a local church which was - unlike our usual haunt - carrying on services during lockdown. Singing Tudor church music with just SAB has been quite an adrenaline rush.

Mark

No it wasn’t. We studied it last year but the church then decided to cancel the services in the church and did a full online program. This year we just took what was prepared last year and used that.

I only noticed that Richard Shephard died because there was a date behind his name in the printed program.

I found this Easter song of Praise very effective English church music, but it was almost too popular for me. Can you suggest me another work of him which is worth using?

We recently performed some John Rutter works too, I’m trying to get agreement to do his Look at the World in the first service without restrictions after COVID - for its text which you probably understand.

I haven’t sung much Shephard, as it happens, but here are some anthems that might be worth a look:

  • Jesu, dulcis memoria
  • Let him who seeks (very short and, I think, only unison trebles, but sounds lovely in a nice acoustic)
  • I give you a new commandment

No idea how available each of them is, either. Best of luck!

Mark

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