Of songs and poems

I would like to thank the Wokingham Choral Society for a great evening on Saturday. They performed a number of sacred and profane pieces around the theme of love, interspersed by readings.

It was a pleasure to be able to read Shakepeare’s Sonnet, “True Love”. It made a welcome break from credit crunch and the trench warfare over the EU. Well done to all the singers.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


  1. Tony Makara
    June 17, 2008

    It sounds like a very uplifting experience. What a pity we don't see higher culture like this on our TV screens. Perhaps a Conservative government might make the case for higher culture in broadcasting or even use some of the BBC money to set up a TV channel dedicated to the classics, both literary and musical. How rare it is to see an opera or a ballet on television these days. Yet I remember that as a boy the finer arts were often on TV. The BBC makes great play of the fact that it is a public service broadcaster and falls over itself trying to cater for minority interests, yet higher culture is always overlooked. A free-to-access higher arts TV channel is long overdue. Then we could all enjoy the Wokingham choral society and others like them who add quality and culture to life.

  2. Rose
    June 17, 2008

    Tony, this Saturday we shall be singing Bach's B Minor Mass in Bristol Cathedral at 7.30pm, with Mark Padmore as our tenor. You can't go much higher than this great work, and should you be in Bristol, and able to attend, you would be much uplifted. Possibly the high point of our European civilization.

    Failing that, look at this blog to see there is life after oil!

  3. Tony Makara
    June 17, 2008

    Rose, thanks for the tip. Unfortunately I am at the wrong end of the country to be able to attend. I certainly agree that you are touching the cultural ionosphere in tackling Bach. One has to wonder why such artistic majesty isn't given a higher profile in mainstream media? Apart from the iconic choral evensong on radio 3 there is nothing that celebrates choral emsembles. Have you ever thought of putting your material on YouTube? which surprisingly has a healthy cultural content if one searches. I leave you with my favourite song, as portrayed by my favourite singer, set to a magnificent backdrop. Just a pity the performance is spoilt by the camera moving onto the audience. Still, a magnifient performance nontheless.

  4. Susan
    June 17, 2008

    Thank you for the vicarious respite this post has afforded.

    Sometimes it seems that we rush from 'pillar to post' and thereby forget what is important to our lives. Perhaps if this government would stop giving us so much cause for concern we could all go back to reading Shakespeare rather than Haldane and Bagehot.

    Tony has a point, it would be rather nice to see this type of occasion televised but that only makes me think of BBC3 and the waste of money, the EU funding, etc etc. Sorry.

  5. mikestallard
    June 17, 2008

    I am so glad (as I type this I am listening to Mozart's Mass) that you take time to be human. Well done!

  6. Adrian Peirson
    June 17, 2008

    This is not Broadcast as much now because they are destroying British culture, Our identity, we are being turned into a new race of People called EUropeans.

    ''The anchor has been lifted and we are drifting'

    After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had thrown away the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

  7. Rose
    June 20, 2008

    Thank you, Tony. I have often thought of putting us on Youtube as the Thomaschor do (singing this very work), but have not been able to persuade the others. Also, although we choristers are amateurs, we pay professional soloists and orchestras, and they don't like to be recorded. But emboldened by your suggestion, I shall have another go. Do you remember when the BBC played Bach on Radio 4 for 12 days before Christmas? I try to think of it whenever they enrage me on other matters.

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