Saturday 30th March
Today will long remain in my memory, for it was the last time I shall conduct the 'St Matthew Passion' with Nottingham Bach Choir. Everything came together so well on the day—Orchestra da Camera (since my youth my favourite chamber orchestra for choral society accompaniment) on top form, along with all soloists, Rogers Covey-Crump delivering a memorable interpretation of the Evangelist's core role. NBC sang as well as or better than they ever have—they really worked hard since January on this. The long silence at the end proclaimed the effect Bach's stupendous masterwork had on everybody in Southwell Minster. And now on with preparing for my final concert with NBC, after 29 years conducting them, on June 22—Bach, Vaughan Williams, Haydn and Parry: yummy!
Monday 4th March
Had a lovely birthday today, following a superb week's holiday for Anne and me in Madrid and Toledo. Such wonderful art to be found, and the balmy weather allowed us to walk for miles around each city in comfort. The three monumental organs of Toledo's utterly magnificent cathedral are glorious to behold—not so lovely to hear. Here are two photos—the back case of the organ on the south of the Quire and the renowned Emperor's organ in the south transept.