Over ten days, Your Loyal Correspondent has been exploring the Variations for Judith with a performance each lunchtime of the aria (‘Bist du bei mir,’ sung by fourth-year soprano, Kathryn Cox) followed by one of the modern reflections from the set.
It’s been a fascinating odyssey, during which the aria has changed, developed, altered, as we’ve explored the resonances between it and the ensuing variation; a daily visit to the same piece of music, performed ten times in front of different people, has seen the aria sung differently on each occasion; more intimately, more expansively, at different tempi, exploring a wider dynamic range.
I’m hugely grateful to Kathryn for undertaking the project, and for turning up each day on the foyer-stage at 1.15pm to sing the same piece each time! Tomorrow, we perform the set as a whole, including the aria, in the concert-hall at 1.10pm, and I’ll also be performing pieces by Amy Beach, Satie and Alison Wrenn.
One last stop on the voyage…