I shall resume my adventures with Lewis and Charlie in the next post. Let me first jump forward to the present. I am in Melbourne for a few days of rehearsals and a Christmas gig on Sunday. Last year was its first at this particular time and place. We had an audience of about 7000. We hope this year it will not be so disappointingly small.
The music teacher to whom I owe the greatest debt was the wonderful Nancy Ovenden. She abandoned her studies at the Melbourne Conservatorium to turn pro and earned her living as a musician and a teacher until she died at 80. She had played everything from Ballet to jazz and she’d taught everything from wonderful musicians to me. And she had to pick me up and put me back together any number of times.
Nancy was never guilty of assuming that everyone shared her opinions. One day she very delicately skipped around the subject of religious music. I think it came as a great relief to her that we shared the same opinion, there is no god but he, or perhaps she, commissioned some amazing music. Before she died she gave me her copy of the score of Bach’s Mass in B minor.
The music for this particular concert was given out last night. This is one of my parts …
There ain’t nothin more silent than that. I shall play it faultlessly.
I hasten to assure everyone that I get to play quite a lot more in the rest of the show. And here is a Christmas gift to show how beautiful religious music can be.