Saturday, January 03, 2009

Dull as ditchwater

They're playing some motets by Philippe de Monte on Concert FM at the moment, and once again it makes me wonder: would this kind of music really have been sung in such a precious fashion originally?
What we hear is the style of singing that's become prevalent in the Anglican high church, which is where most of this sort of music is now sung (if it's sung at all). There they've got into a long tradition of singing in a kind of unemotional, almost bodiless way - gutless might be a good word. Even with the introduction of women into these choirs, the 'tone' hasn't changed. It's still deathly serious, perfectly beautiful in a museum-like way, as though these composers never had flesh and blood.
I'd love to hear these things sung with some energy, some verve, some life. After all, I know singers who've been in these choirs, and that's not how they sing other kinds of music
We watched a programme on Christmas from an Anglican perspective after midnight on Christmas Day, and even the modern music that the choir sang was treated with this super-delux reverential style. Boring.
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