Sunday, 11 April 2010

Auf Wiedersehen

So farewell, Die Musikfreunde, Laufen. We've had a great week - good company, good singing, good sightseeing and a fab farewell party yesterday evening. (In case you're wondering, or if you haven't seen my tweets, we've been playing host to a German choir from Laufen, in Bavaria, this week. There have been joint concerts, trips to Cambridge and to London, a sung mass, a picnic and a party.)

You know, people who don't sing might think that those of us who do, do so for the music. Which is true, but only part of the story. As William Byrd once said, 'since it is so goode a thyng, I wish all men would learn to sing'.

For a start, singing makes you feel better. You have to breathe deeply (which is always healthy) and there's something about the release of energy when you open your mouth and make a (joyful?) noise that is wonderfully invigorating. Then there's the fact that you're part of a team; the training, the discipline, the music-making all depend on working well with other people. And then, of course, there's the social side. Believe me, there's an awful lot more to being in a choir than singing!

The Musikfreunde fly back to Salzburg this morning. 'Ah - across the border,' I said to Alex (tenor and policeman). 'Is that far from Laufen?'

'No, no... it is not far,' he told me. 'It is in Germany.'


'Ah no... I mean it is not yet in Germany.'

I think he meant not quite.

At least, I hope he did....

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