I will miss hearing the psalms sung every night by Cambridge college choirs. The objects in the photo are not wash pots. Those are metallophones – gongs in the gamelan orchestra that has just performed in King’s College Chapel. This is a pretty rare sight so I had to snap the photo. This group was not as accomplished as my niece’s after school gamelan club ( yes, Ursula.) The piece was a premiere of Missa Gongso for choir and gamelan. The real problem is that you should really enjoy gamelan under the stars on a humid sweet-smelling night in Ubud, not in a chilly stone chapel shivering under your scarf, coat, hat and gloves.
My last day in Cambridge was spent on this wise: madly visiting the colleges I’ve missed, including Emmanuel; (still haven’t been inside Robinson and it’s just down the road!) a quick visit to the Wren library to see Boethius, Newton, Byron and the like, and a very nice portrait of Stanford; then to the Fitz to see the long sought-after Elgar autograph of Falstaff. There are some questions about archival procedure (yes, Julia) and about the missing “page 39” which was offered up at auction at Sotheby’s in 1992. Who has that page?
I had one last look in the shops and then a surprise at Evensong at King’s – Eton College was the guest choir, and those boys can really sing. That was one of the most thrilling performances I’ve heard here, perhaps because there were so many boys and young men singing their wee hearts out.