The Catholic Mass in
This workshop directed by the
charismatic Philip Allinmore began with what proved to be a somewhat
over-enthusiastic warm up involving grasping the midriff of the person in front
whilst they breathed in and out. Fortunately all the charges of indecent assault
have now been dropped.
The music was based around some
interesting manuscripts recently discovered in the archives of St Dominic·s, the
17th-century cathedral church in Macao. As well as works by Portuguese composers
such as Melgas and Rebelo, we were able to enjoy some of the output of musicians
such as Go Hang, a local convert to catholicism. His work was particularly
unusual, with its mixture of Portuguese and Chinese influences sometimes
producing curious effects to the Western ear.
The pronunciation of the Latin proved
to be very contentious and no consensus was reached even after protracted
arguments involving more than a little Anglo-Saxon. Certainly the opening of the
Gloria in Chinese Latin lost some of its impact and the word miserere proved
particularly problematic. Sadly the late Harold Copeman's Singing in Latin seems
to give little guidance on the matter.
Philip Allinmore did not seem entirely
at ease with the music and appeared somewhat dissatisfied with our achievements
though I believe I did hear him say something at the end about having bettered
Go Hang himself.
It was gratifying to see so many
willing helpers serving the coffee, though perhaps another time, given the size
of the kitchen, we shall limit the volunteers to 15 or so. Apologies to those
who did not get a drink but the treatment for the scalding did make things a