Tallis: If ye love me arrangement

Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2010

The day before my last trip to NYC Andrew Cyr from Metropolis Ensemble told me he was putting together a benefit concert for Haiti and would I like to contribute something new. Andrew's plan was to have smaller groups of players performing, but then bring them together for one piece (mine) at the end. I basically had less than 24 hours to put something together, but I didn't want to let Andrew down - but what on earth to do. The fact that it was a Valentine's Day event was a pretty important signpost, and after rapidly rejecting a few ideas I remembered a beautiful choral peice by Thomas Tallis that I had come across a few weeks before, called 'If Ye Love Me' - the title was appropriate! The text and the music spoke not just of love but of comfort, and these seemed entirely the right role given the event.

So with a little super-fast editing, arrangement was made, score and parts were created and I hopped on the plane to New York. Unfortunately because my flights were already booked I couldn't adjust them to stay a few more days to see the concert, but Metropolis do such an amazing job of filming and archiving all their events that the lovely video that has just come through captures the event tremendously well.

Oh and in case you were wondering what's going on in the opening violin solo, I instruct the violinist (the incredible Kristin Lee) to serenade the audience moving around between phrases.

The concert raised over $6,000 for the cause.



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