An English Garden Party

May 24, 2020 — 68 Comments

Concert number Nine! Wow – How the time has flown and yet it seems that this new normal will continue into double digits.

We enjoyed performing our Italian themed program last week, so we decided to select songs that had a common connection. We drew inspiration from the abundance of Birdsong that we are now hearing from our windows at home. Have you noticed any changes to the sounds around you during lock down where you live?

We settled on the following pieces and invited our neighbours to join us for a musical garden party which we hope that you enjoy too.

Our Programme:

Sweet Chance That Led My Steps Abroad – Michael Head
The Sound of Music – Rogers and Hammerstein
When Daisies Pied – Thomas Arne Traditional English song
The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze – Gilbert & Sullivan
Down by the Sally Gardens – John Ireland Traditional English Song
Three Ravens – Traditional English Song
Green Finch and Linnet Bird – Sondheim from Sweeney Todd
Finally, my Nana’s favourite that I should have put in my Italian concert last week but that I have included just for her.
Time to Say Goodbye – Sartori/Quarantotto

On the day of the performance, we had a couple of hiccups with the live stream. But luckily George was quick to turn on our back-up camera and so we managed to record most of recital, (excluding the first piece).

One of our future plans is to record an album using the repertoire from our Balcony Concerts. What pieces have been memorable to you? We want the CD to become a positive memory of this situation so that we can look back at how we created strong bonds with our friends and neighbours here in our complex and online.

68 responses to An English Garden Party

  1. 

    Again, Charlotte, great concert. That CD sounds like a good idea,

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:03 pm

      Thank you, Don, it’s a shame we don’t have a better piano for the recording. I asked the neighbours for some songs they’d like to hear, I got lots of requests for musical theatre songs they know so I’ll try to put together a trip to the theatre for them.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. 

    Yes, I have noticed more bird songs outside my window, although they have always been vocal in my garden.. Love your concerts. Thank you so much. Be safe.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:03 pm

      Thank you for watching Patricia, did you hear the birds joining in after Greenfinch and Linnet Bird it was lovely. Stay safe and well.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. 

    As much as I love opera and your voice, I think what is memorable to me is Baby Shark. Doing a different type of song altogether, especially for one little fan – well, that’s just plain Special!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      I loved singing Baby Shark, the video of my little friend Eustine upstairs joining in melts my heart every time, I especially loved that she had to put the picture she’d drawn for us between her knees to join in hehe. It was the week when the streaming fell over and didn’t record so I was happy one of our neighbours had recorded it.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. 

    I of course loved “Till we will meet again.” The sound of music was wonderful. Thank you, both for the lovely concert.

  5. 

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful talent! Kudos – Felicitaciones y Felicidades! This brings so many fond memories to the forefront. <3

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you I love that it triggered fond memories for you.

      All our best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. 

    Wonderful concert – really enjoyed listening to it.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      Thank you, Thomas, I’m so happy to hear from you and your lovely message.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. 
    Timothy Price May 24, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    A garden party indeed. That was another wonderful balcony concert. A lockdown balcony album is a super idea. I like the Italian theme.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      I enjoyed the Italian theme, I thought a French concert would be nice too and a German beer garden hehe we’ve been asked for a bit of musical theatre this week so watch this space 😊.

      All our best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. 

    Loved the Balcony Concert! You and George look terrific!!!!!
    All my best wishes!!!!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you Darlene 😊 we hope you get to tune in this week.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. 

    Love that you included Gilbert & Sullivan! Wonderful selections here. Carry on!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm

      I’ve had the joy of performing in two Gilbert and Sullivan operas both fabulous experiences. The Sun Whose Rays I haven’t sung for about ten years but I enjoyed refreshing it.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  10. 

    I love that your concerts are becoming a looked-forward-to highlight of my weekends. Tonight, I will turn off the Sonos from Phantogram, Meg Myers, BassNectar, 7th House Moon, and James Horner Epics Radio, and turn on the whole video, and just experience. You guys are certainly building value with these. Thank you. Wholehearted thanks to you.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      Lovely message Jordan thank you so much. One of the neighbours went into the courtyard this time and told us how lovely it was to see people smiling and enjoying live performance it’s so sad that theatres and opera houses are going to be closed for such a long time.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        You’re most welcome, Charlotte. The theatres and opera houses will be closed For quite some time. My perspective is: in the interim I feel that you two are adapting to create a whole new forum. It seems to me more and more to NOT be out of necessity, though to adapt and develop this new venue. Concerts/Muzak/Music/Opera From the Rooftops/Balconies., the street and surrounding environs the spectators.

        I understand it doesn’t seem to hold the same black-tie affair herald as when, for example I go to the symphony or opera, though I say… So? The quality you’re providing is building value, and giving people wondrously emphatically enjoyable experiences they can resonate with and be inspired by.

        I think there’s more than just a little something there that can be developed rather than simply being an interim gi?. Maybe it’s just sprouting right now in the creative garden as a venue, though I don’t feel it’s as temporary as maybe it was when it started?

        I’m curious what you guys feel. The strong don’t survive. The adaptable one’s thrive. And, you certainly won’t have llost your chops either way. 🙂

      • 
        Charlotte Hoather May 31, 2020 at 5:32 pm

        What a lot to think about Jordan, outdoor concerts do happen in the U.K. but the weather can be so unpredictable a lot of outdoor opera venues now have covered temporary structures like the beautiful Gawsworth Hall on the smaller scale and Opera Holland Park on the big scale. Selling enough tickets for limited seating will be a problem especially if you have a full orchestra or large chorus.

        When I was in Italy it was fabulous being in a tour of musicians who set up in a different piazza of an evening and people just contributed what money they could and sat outside with their own chairs on balmy evenings enjoying the show and sipping wine.

        We’ve found some part-time work to keep the wolves from the door and it’s good to have the concert to focus some practice time on, although with some of this old repertoire I sing I think I remember all the words and concentrate learning a couple of new songs each week, then on the run through earlier on a Friday I have some serious re-memorising to do which is all good experience.

        All my best wishes
        Charlotte

      • 

        Thanks for the breadth and expanse of your response opening up the considerations. Much appreciated. The Italian piazza scene paints a great picture, and understood about the weather. Nature plays its games.

        Keep up the great work, and glad to hear your door is vaccinated against the wolves. 🙂

        Have a wonderful week!,
        Jordan

  11. 

    Just fantastic 🙂 The CD idea is very good, though I’m not sure what would be the best. Perhaps one from each concert? It sounds like the neighborhood really appreciated this concert – they didn’t want to let you go! Great that the birds answered on occasion.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      I’m very grateful for our lovely neighbours that they allow me to sing out loud and have been so encouraging, I would have done an encore and gone on until hoarse but George is a real perfectionist and likes to practice first 😊. Leave ‘em wanting more hehe. Glad you noticed the birds we thought at first someone had a gadget that made bird sound.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I only half heard the birds until George pointed them out. I saw the video on Youtube before I read the description on the blog, so I was only gradually becoming aware that all of the songs had birds in them until he said something. Of course, I also liked the little “echo” of coo-coo, though I only heard her do it a couple of times 🙂

  12. 

    Another wonderful concert! I look forward to these each week, and a CD sounds like a brilliant idea!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you I’m glad you are enjoying them, if we can get over some technical issues we’ll do it at home if not we’ll have to try to find a studio with a piano that opens after lockdown.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    What a wonderful group of songs. We only managed to hear the last two – which we enjoyed enormously – due to the technical hiccups but we can now go back and listen properly. We look forward to our Friday nights!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      So happy we had a backup recording, the sound was a bit better on that than my phone that streams because the microphone points in our direction whereas on the phone the mike points the other way. So happy you can both listen each week.

      All our best wishes
      Charlotte and George

  14. 

    I used to have a favourite song but now I have several so it’s hard to choose! Sounds outside have changed because we are on the flight path for Manchester Airport, and don’t notice the planes going over but now, because they’ve practically stopped, we notice the odd one going over and like Tattoo on Fantasy Island, we shout , a plane! a plane! And go to see which one it is. 🤣 Just a little stir crazy I think😳 which is why we look forward so much to your concerts, keep them coming and love to you both🥰😘

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      It’s quieter here with less planes going in and out of City Airport, tough on those people working in that industry for sure it sounds like they’ll get back up and running before the performing arts though! Mum said it was so frustrating on Friday when the stream fell over it must be our internet, she text George twice to tell him to look at the camera lol that’s how it got back up and running for the last two songs.

      All our best to you and Terry,
      Charlotte and George 🥰😘

  15. 

    Another wonderful concert Charlotte.
    The CD is a super idea and I will look forward to it.
    From the latest concert I would choose the three traditional English songs. Of all the concerts, I would have to choose the Italian-themed one just because it took me perfectly to Italy with no struggling through airports nor polluting the atmosphere with jet engine exhaust.
    Birdsong? Yes, there has been a noticeable increase but even more noticeable is that the ‘dawn chorus’ (I wake early) is unspoiled by traffic noise and the sound of aircraft from our nearby airport though this is becoming less so since the lock-down began to be eased. We even have a friendly wood pigeon who comes to say hello at least once a day (from our windowsill). That’s never happened before.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      Traditional English songs are just lovely to sing, I haven’t sung those for over ten years so it was good to give them a run-out. The Italian theme was super I have lots of Italian repertoires as it is such a staple in the classical singer’s rep. The weather has been lovely for Spring though hasn’t it almost as if mother nature knows we need it at the moment.

      All our best wishes
      Charlotte and George

  16. 

    Wonderful

  17. 

    That was wonderful! I imagine that your neighbours are looking forward to your concerts.
    I live in Finland for almost two years now, and we live in a pretty quiet area of the pretty town Porvoo. It’s a little bit more quiet than normal, but the birds are as cheerful as ever!
    Take care, love from Finland 🤗

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Lovely my friend Davidona studied in Finland for an Erasmus year and I made Kajia Saariaho from Finland my star when I studied a module called Women in Music. I would love to visit I will look up Porvoo so I know whereabouts you are in relation to Helsinki.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I had to look up Kaija Saariaho (shame on me!).
        Let’s hope we will soon be able to travel again and visit old favorites as well as new ones 😊
        Take care,
        Elisabeth

  18. 

    Finally got to watch your backup tape.(hooray)
    Your choice of songs were fabulous, I love how the neighbours are so enthusiastic…
    Everyone are so excited for Friday’s..
    Well done for the wonderful music, both of you..😘😘👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 28, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      Yay. So happy you enjoyed the English program, it’s nearly Tom and your birthday that’s exciting sad we won’t get to celebrate in person.

      All our best wishes
      Charlotte and George 🥰😘

  19. 

    Super !!!! Très belle idée l’album ! Pour information….. je vais avoir un micro professionnel pour mon boitier photo qui est aussi une caméra professionnelle 🙂 .
    Très belle semaine mon amie !!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 5, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      We need a better piano to record my old keyboard is noisy, it would have been our wedding day tomorrow and for our wedding gift we suggested guests sponsored a piano key so that we could put a deposit on a piano for our home so we may have to delay our cd recording. Good luck with your new kit.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  20. 

    Another beautiful performance. I especially enjoyed your performance of Down by the Salley Gardens, a particular favorite of mine. As before, thanks to you and George for sharing your talents with us.😁👍

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 5, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      I’m glad we performed one of your favourites John 😊. You are most welcome. Thanks for watching.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  21. 

    Your music has created a wonderful community. Look at what you’ve accomplished! I am so happy for all of you! Do you have any idea when you will be set free?

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 5, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you Noelle, people can meet up outside now but should be 2m or 6 foot 5” apart and groups of no more than six, they are expecting more people to be returning to work mid-June as long as public transport doesn’t get too full!
      Most of our performance work has been cancelled for months ahead I’m just waiting to hear about a couple of projects. We may have a radio 4 interview tomorrow unless any events overtake the news slot so that’s something to look forward to on what would have been our wedding day ☹.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  22. 

    Many thanks for an outstanding concert. I envy your neighbors!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 5, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      Aww thank you, we were both in happy tears this morning when our neighbours sent us a lovely recorded message that had been edited together to thank us for our concerts.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  23. 

    So beautiful! Thank you!

  24. 

    Down by the Sally Gardens is a regular on my daily playlist. You always have wonderful choices!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 5, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you Karen, we’ve put together a collection of songs inspired by love, dedication and shoulda-coulda weddings to celebrate what should have been our wedding day tomorrow ☹.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  25. 

    You both are fantastic, Charlotte. So many wonderful songs, but the one that is close to heart is The Sound of Music. You both are providing so much joy to those around you and to us during this unprecedented time. Looking forward to the next performance and the cd is a wonderful idea.
    Stay well, Lauren 🎵❤

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 5, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you Lauren, we were both in happy tears this morning when our neighbours sent us a lovely recorded message that had been edited together to thank us for our concerts it meant so much to us both.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  26. 

    A beautiful performance, Charlotte and George! I loved everything, but am always struck by peoples’ interpretation of the old ballads. Three Ravens was my favorite of this set. Time to Say Goodbye was a wonderful finale!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 5, 2020 at 7:35 pm

      I love The Three Ravens too. I am always amazed at festival competitions when I hear all of the different interpretations of folk songs, that storytelling personal telling is something I particularly enjoy about them. My Nana loves ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ I really should have remembered it for our Italian concert the week before hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  27. 

    That second piece had you both in amazing fluidity I thought

    Beethoven’s 9th was a great one as well

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 5, 2020 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you very much I enjoyed rehearsing and performing this weeks songs too.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  28. 

    You guys are awesome!
    These balcony performances should be a collection album, when this is all over.
    I know many are doing balcony concerts, but the 2 of you have something very special going on here. You bring a fresh and unique sound and experience!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 5, 2020 at 7:35 pm

      We will record an album when we can get into a recording studio 😊, we were going to do it at home but the keyboard is too clunky. My Mum has a piano and we have friends with a grand piano where we can record when you can go into other people’s houses if studios don’t reopen.

      Thank you for your lovely message Resa, we were both in happy tears this morning when our neighbours sent us a video of many of them leaving us a little personal recorded message all edited together to say they appreciated our concerts and how much they’d looked forward to them whilst under lockdown and to commiserate over our cancelled wedding date tomorrow, it was so uplifting as we’d started to both feel a bit low this week.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  29. 

    Amazing post

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