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Wonderful walls


Concert halls, theatres, churches and cathedrals, town halls and universities, these and many other buildings are the canvas upon which turns the kaleidoscope of a musician's career. Many are impersonal, some are beautiful, but occasionally the architecture can be as inspiring as the music itself.

Inevitably, there are many that are distinctly uncomfortable, old and draughty. Others in comparison cosset one with artists' bars and underground parking. Of course, it's better to perform a remarkable concert in a mediocre auditorium, than the other way around! Every now and then, a building takes on its own importance and becomes more than just four walls and a roof.

I had been invited to sing in a church choir by my friend, the organist's daughter. What a wonderful music lesson that turned out to be! I didn't realise it at the time, but singing alto in a choir was giving me invaluable experience in harmony and sight singing, tools and preparation for the future. We were going to listen to Handel's Messiah. The pinnacle of all things musical in Liverpool, was of course, the Philharmonic Hall. My uncle had been a member of the Philharmonic Choir for many years, so I knew about the wonderful concerts that took place there. This was to be my very first visit to the mysterious, dark building with the narrow windows: I was eleven.

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Copyright © 8 February 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland





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