Linton Singers: Bach B Minor Mass (excerpts) St Mungo's Penicuik 16 July
Last Sunday I was down in Penicuik leading the second violins (all two of us) for a performance of the first half of Bach's Mass in B minor (plus the Agnus Dei and Qui Tollis from the end). It was great: amateur music-making at its best. The chorus were the Linton Singers, based around Penicuik. The soloists were all taken from the chorus, so had no pretensions to greatness: but some of them were really very good for complete amateurs. The orchestra was a scratch job assembled for the most part from various Edinburgh orchestras. I especially enjoyed it as I'd never played the piece before: wonderful stuff, and the performance went very well. I think the perform,ers may have outnumbered the audience, but that's amatuer music for you.
The performance was directed by Murray Campbell, who also provided hospitality the previous Sunday for those of us down for the rehearsal in Carlops. I know Murray as a trombonist, but knew that he was an acoustic physicist. His house was hung with a collection of strange instruments: serpents, cornetts, sackbuts, viols, rebecs..... He had recently hosted a gathering of serpent players from around the world. A delightful chap, and great fun to play for.