Busy week, which explains the lack of blogging.
The weekend was in Pembs where we had a very sociable weekend with dinner out with some friends on the Saturday night. Sunday I was back home and choir started again. We are singing at a wedding in a couple of weeks so we were practising some madrigals which were pretty good despite the fact that we were very unbalanced with only one bass and five sopranos. Hopefully we will sound good at the wedding too.
This week has been the Vale of Glamorgan Festival and we went to see the Latvian Radio Choir on Tuesday. They are a stunningly good choir. I have heard lots of choirs over the years and they are in the top few with everything absolutely perfect. The tone, the voices, the timing, the emotion, everything was wonderful. The Vale Festival concentrated on contemporary music and the Latvian choir concentrate on Latvian and Eastern European music. All the pieces were interesting, though a couple were not perhaps as interesting as they might have been - the Arvo Part wasn't up to much really. Though even that sounded good with that choir singing it.
Thursday we went to see the BBC Nat. Orch of Wales in a very mixed programme. The featured composer of the orchestra at the moment is a chap called Mark Bowden and he had written what was basically a cello concerto, but sadly it was a bit of a mess so rather disappointing. You couldn't hear the cello half the time because the orchestration was so dense - you could see that he was playing something really complicated but you couldn't hear any of it. Sadly it had no real focus and although he had written that there were three strands which were put together, they didn't sound like three strands, they sounded like noise. The rest of the first half I enjoyed although nothing was spectacular. The second half was 24 minutes of Steve Reich who I don't like, so we went for a drink instead.
The thing about going to contemporary music concerts is that you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes - like with the choir - it is really enjoyable. Other times good in parts, and occasionally you get a complete turkey. A couple of years ago we went to a new music theatre piece in Cardiff and hated it so much we left that half way through. The next one the same company did was really good though.
It is a voyage of discovery.