I was going to give you Josquin Des Prez today (O Virgo Prudentissima), and I actually got as far as finding the recording and putting it in here, but then found that I had absolutely nothing to say about it except that it is pretty (which it is), and that you should certainly listen to it (which you should).
So instead we are having more funereal music today, but since I have it on excellent authority that Advent is also a time for contemplating our ends, I’m not going to feel guilty about this. We can have Rorate Coeli tomorrow. This fits my mood today.
We sang this for the first time right before the start of Advent this year, possibly because our choir director shares the views of Tree on this subject. We rehearse most of our music twice before performing it, and at the second rehearsal we learned that a member of the congregation had died quite suddenly that day – one of those women who volunteers all over the place and organises readings and is on the tea roster and the flower roster and the church council and the English conversation group, and so forth. Suddenly, the piece was very appropriate.
I’ve spent the evening figuring out sheet music and organising a time to tape an accompaniment for the songs I will be singing at Nonno’s funeral. I won’t be singing this, but it’s what’s in my head right now. And it is, I think, a beautiful piece of music.