A late start this morning after a late night - going to concerts in Glasgow tends to mean the midnight ferry and subsequent reviving with cups of tea before bed is possible. We were at Cappella Nova's 20th Carols by Candlelight, in the Barony Hall, an occasion which the choir marked by singing a selection of requests from past concerts and commissioning a new carol.
This year the new piece was an arrangement by John McIntosh (Mr B) of Dave Whyte's Clydeside Christmas Eve, with words by poet Donny O'Rourke - a gentle, questioning piece for an age in which "Faith's candle's going out". The choir sang it beautifully, making the hair stand on end with the sonorous "We still have faith in beauty" and the alto solo's (Alexander L'Estrange) quiet "When all that's certain is our doubt" and the audience reaction left us in no doubt that this was a hit.
It was good to meet Dave and Donny - we were all sitting in a row, rather splendidly - though rather strange to be so aware of the intense listening to the performance on either side of me. I need a replay - it'd be good to have a new CD, Cappella Nova! The hall was packed, and by some miracle of the loaves and fishes order it seemed as if almost everyone present managed to acquire a mince pie and mulled wine in the hectic interval.
Other memories? The lovely St Petersburg Baroque Brass Quintet, complete with antlers and rabbit ears (don't ask), John Tavener's "The Lamb", the chance to sing with the choir in the Carols for All moments. There was also a child - but I'll leave that for another post.
A great evening of great singing and considerable bonhomie. Just what should happen at this time of year, in fact!