How cool was it to hear “Gaudeamus omnes” sung by the nuns at mass on All Soul’s? That was the excerpt on the Norton anthology recording that I listened to as a teenager and first got me interested in chant. The Sisters do sing very well and the Abbey chapel has a very good acoustic.
I had a bit of time to explore the Island again. I took in Carisbrooke Castle which provides lovely views over the green fields from the top of the stone walls. I also visited Quarr Abbey, the modern building and the old ruins where there are some interesting ancient oak trees. Everything is still very green here and it’s warm. There are even palm trees, and fuchsias in bloom. It’s a weird but very
pleasant micro climate here on the Isle of Wight. Most of my time here has been spent at this tiny desk in my room where I’ve been composing like mad. I’ve finished the Nunc Dimittis for Selwyn choir, and have done two movements of a string quartet. While working away on the music, I welcome the interruption of the Convent bell calling the community to Vespers, and then Compline. That provides a necessary break form sitting at this cramped desk, and some very inspiring Gregorian chant.
Off to Brussels on Monday.