12 October, 2013
Eleanor sends the following dispatch from the back of her getaway vehicle…
“Like the previous day, today involved a lot of driving, and, apart from the small matter of a concert, not an awful lot more. As we headed from Cleveland to Pittsburgh with a few post-concert beers and snacks in hand, I quizzed my fellow passengers to see if we could recall any noteworthy moments. The concert was, of course, the focus of the day, and, luckily for us, we got to enjoy the outstanding acoustic of St. John’s Cathedral in Cleveland. We first sang in their Helen D. Schubert concert series in April last year, and it was a delight to be back in a building so well suited to Renaissance polyphony. It was also a pleasure to give The Phoenix Rising its first outing in the US.
“Tom’s most memorable moment of the concert was when we were about to sing the Credo from Byrd’s Five-part mass, but a rogue piece of music had found its way into Ben’s folder, and he was all set to embark on Palestrina’s Exsultate Deo instead. Apparently there was an audible exclamation to this effect, but luckily it must have been a discreet one, since I was oblivious to all that was going on. I was, however, amused when a phone rang in perfect harmony with a chord of Tallis’s In Ieunio et Fletu, though unfortunately the harmony changed a bit too fast for the ringtone!
“The rest of my fellow passengers were unanimous in voting our final piece, Taverner’s O Splendor Gloriae, their most notable moment of the concert. Will had previously sung bass in this piece, and particularly enjoyed singing second tenor for the first time, while Becky enjoyed listening to Helen, Emma and Will sing gloriously in the opening verse section.
“When I asked for choice moments outside of the concert, food was a popular theme. On our last trip to Cleveland we had an amazing meal at Chinato’s, so we were keen to fit in a return visit, even if it had to be limited to one course with a soft drink this time! Becky enjoyed a very wholesome-looking ‘Deconstructed Ribollita’, a dish based on the traditional Italian soup, but with the parts served in layers rather than all mixed up. Earlier in the day, Tom enjoyed soaking up some sun as we had a relaxed lunch on the shore of Lake Erie.
“Will’s favourite moment was discovering an error on our schedule which none of us had previously noticed. The cathedral is situated at 1007 Superior Avenue, but some cars had a little trouble finding it, since the ‘1’ had been left off, leaving us to wonder whether we were to spend the evening as international men and women of mystery rather than the simple ensemble singers that we are. No such luck, but Katie instead enjoyed an unplanned comedy show as Becky and I attempted to change from our concert to everyday clothes in the back of the car after making a speedy getaway from the cathedral. We’ve never been so glad to have tinted windows!”