Performing: Bad Music by Good Composers


It’s the height of the Lieder Festival here in Oxford. A host of stellar performers have graced various venues with nuanced and insightful performances of songs by the principal architect of German artsong, Franz Schubert. The goal is to perform all 600-odd songs set by him, as well as a sampling of his other, less well-known music.

It’s in this latter category that I’ve found myself this week. Christ Church Cathedral Choir’s contribution to this Oxford-wide celebration of Schubert is a liturgical performance of his Mass in C. Presumably some other choir had already nabbed the Mass in G, the only one regularly performed by English choirs, or perhaps we decided to boldly venture into the unknown for the sake of unearthing an under-performed treasure. It’s safe to say we’ve not done that – it’s an awful piece. Read the rest of this entry »