As she was going out to choir practice one evening in February, Mrs T said, ‘While I’m out you can play any music you like.’ Temptation: I can’t usually get away with Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, for example. Mrs T says that’s fine for the Cathedral, but not for the kitchen or living room. But I was baking and did not want to be changing discs with floury hands, so opted for Through the Night on BBC Sounds.
Brahms was giving me music while I worked when I stopped and listened and paused the music. ‘Our’ blackbird – the one we had last year, with the white chevron on his head – was singing in a neighbour’s fir tree. I left the door open and enjoyed his repertoire until another blackbird’s alarm call silenced him.
I was reminded of my distracted thought at Mass. The image of starlings murmurating, flying in ever changing formation, merged into ‘O filii et filiae’ of Eastertime. Here are the words. As for musical fireworks, I found the recordings below – no need to choose between the blackbird and the choir, enjoy them both! And Happy Easter: Christ is risen, Alleluia!
1. O filii et filiae,
Rex caelestis, Rex gloriae, morte surrexit hodie, alleluia.
2. Et mane prima sabbati,
3. Et Maria Magdalene,
4. In albis sedens Angelus,
5. Et Joannes Apostolus
6. Discipu lis adstantibus,
7. Ut intellexit Didymus,
8. Vide, Thoma, vide latus,
9. Quando Thomas Christi latus,
10. Beati qui non viderunt,
11. In hoc festo sanctissimo
12. De quibus nos humillimas
|1. O sons and daughters of the King, Whom heavenly hosts in glory sing, Today the grave has lost its sting! Alleluia!
2. That Easter morn, at break of day,
The faithful women went their way
To seek the tomb where Jesus lay. Alleluia!
3. And Mary Magdalene,
4. An angel clad in white they see,
5. And the Apostle John
6. That night the apostles met in fear;
7. When Thomas first the tidings heard
8. “My pierced side, O Thomas, see,
9. No longer Thomas then denied;
10. How blest are they who have not seen
11. On this most holy day of days
12. For which we humbly
RSPB recording of blackbird’s song
Choir of Notre Dame de Paris O filii et filiae
Picture from SJC