• Julie Bale

Tales from the Conductor's Studio



Harmony.


Harmony. I miss it. I crave it. I don't know what harmony means to you but to me it's the Amen of the Lacrymosa of Mozart's glorious Requiem, or the last page of the Durufle Requiem. It's Tallis, Byrd and Parry... oh to work with voices in 8 parts again!! To carry that gorgeous weight of noise in my two arms and bring it finally to silence again. I miss it.


My days are currently spent in joyful exploration of what music I can now make and facilitate during this "down" time - I am so enjoying teaching individual students again, I'm enjoying creating vocal technique workshops and writing my book (aimed at choral singers everywhere). I'm hugely converted to working with students in groups online. I'm even starting to get my own voice back into gear for next season's projects.


Nevertheless, my mind wanders to a time when I can stand in front of a full choir and coax sweet, perfect harmony. Something that only a matter of weeks ago we took for granted. I can take all the fears that come creeping in the night but to be denied the bliss of harmony in its completeness, the homophonic perfection of a Bach Chorale, the lush and glorious texture of Rachmaninov and Durufle again and the visceral (to me) pull of Beethoven's An die Freude.


Listening to recordings is a poor second to the FEEL of harmony enveloping you, basking and bathing in its texture.


I realise that in all the difficult times of my life thus far I have always had harmony. Harmony is bliss. When I hear my son play a particularly beautiful chord in his studies with Debussy or Chopin I find my face wet with tears. Harmony - such a symbolic word.


One day soon we will have harmony again, and I will be overjoyed to share it with you and I will never take it for granted again.


Let's end upbeat with a song..... I'd like to teach the world to sing ....






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