January 9th, 2005


Choral Silence

Russian Fortnight is a very intermittent festival so far. Events elsewhere have prevented me from fully addressing myself to the task and I apologise for the quality of service. I was just starting on the next post this morning, when I was called by Caspar and told that his mother had died at 3:27am.

Gay was a Quaker and therefore silence is the best the best way to honour her, but she was very fond of the works of Thomas Tallis. I have no Tallis to offer, but in a broader choral sense, I'm offering this piece:

Track 13 of Liturgical Recordings from Sionis Cathedral, Tbilisi

I suspect she may have preferred this one:

Track 7

(I couldn't read the Georgian alphabet at the time and I gave original CD away before noting the actual titles)

I could call it Tiflis to make it more Russian. No, Georgia isn't Russia, but it's a piece of music I intended to post at some later point when comparing choral traditions in the broader cultural sphere. It's from a CD the cathedral shop were almost unwilling to sell to me. It's not traditionally Georgian and that's what makes it interesting to me. You can hear the influence of the Russian tradition upon it as you can hear its modernity also. I've no idea who wrote Track 13 or when.

I was saying to Caspar a couple of days ago that there seems to be a higher echelon of society about whom it is very hard to find information about on the internet. I'm not saying this of his mother precisely, but about the only mention you can find of her is on this message board correcting the misquotation of The Ballad of William Bloat by Raymond Calvert.

That's more or less how I'll remember her. Thank you, Gay.