Thefullscore 19 BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE friend of mine since our student days. ★e used to sing and play the cello in things that I conducted as a student. Another soloist was Iestyn Davies, who had been a chorister here at the time when I was organ scholar, so we started at St John’s on the same day – me aged 19 and him aged about seven! It was also one of the first things we did having created a period instrument orchestra at St John’s, with Margaret Faultless as leader and using some of the best players from the OAE and Academy of Ancient Music. It was fantastic to have all the stringed instruments, but also the theorbo – and the colours that creates – alongside a college choir like ours; it was so di erent to what we normally have in services. That was exciting, too. Sitting it out: Andrew Nethsingha and the choir take a break at St John’s, Cambridge and the place becoming more and more ablaze with light. It wasn’t until 2015 that I made the recording and I tried to get this e ect in sound; everyone took their shoes o and just tip-toed around. The recording engineers were amazing and entered into the spirit of it; it was very exciting. I’D LIKE ANOTHER GO AT… Copland In The Beginning Frances Bourne (mezzo-soprano), James Gilchrist (tenor); Gloucester Cathedral Choir/andrew Nethsingha Avie AV2072 (2005) This is one of my favourite pieces and I think it’s one of the greatest choral works of the 20th century. I was very pleased with how it all went then, but I’m happy I feel I can keep learning and getting better at what I do. So it’s a piece I would love to return to and record again. I think, 15 years on, I would be able to do it better than I did then and I hope my interpretation would have matured. I think I’ve learned to utilise a much greater range of colours while conducting a choir, and my ability to build a distinctive choral sound and my understanding of balance and vowel sounds have all deepened. So there would be lots that would be more sophisticated now in that respect. People o en say conductors are only good until they’re 60; I’m still only 50 but I’m better than I was when I was 25! Andrew Nethsingha directs the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, in a new recording – Locus Iste – available from Signum Classics on 26 April MY FONDEST MEMORY Purcell My Beloved Spake Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor), James Gilchrist (tenor), David Stout (baritone) & Neal Davies (bass); Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge & St John’s Sinfonia/ Andrew Nethsingha Chaconne CHAN0790 There had been a tradition of Purcell at St John’s, so it was nice to carry that on. This was the first recording that my son did while being a chorister in the choir, which was nice as I had been a chorister in my dad’s choir at Exeter Cathedral. We also had some wonderful soloists, one of whom was James Gilchrist, a
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