Musical Reflections - Suzanne Knowles

  • Posted on: 2 October 2020
  • By: huw

RCS Soprano Suzanne Knowles writes.....

As probably the longest-serving member of the Royston Choral Society, apart from Dick Prince, since joining in 1979, I thought I could let you know some of my choice of music for that desert island as well as recount other musical memories.

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio I think the opening overture and first chorus is the happiest piece of music ever.

Beethoven's 7th Symphony. Everything great in all the movements. The slow movement is divine.

Karg-Elert's Nun Danket Alle Gott played by the late great Carlo Curley for lovely memories of this dear friend, and a piece played at my wedding.

I can think of quite a number of musical funnies....

After one of the RCS concerts, and perhaps the first one my 6 year old son was part of the audience, I asked him which was piece we’d sung was his favourite. He was obviously most taken by 'Radox the Police'!

At a performance of the Max Bruch 2nd violin concerto by a Czech soloist at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, he got his cufflink caught in the strings of his instrument, and it took at least five minutes before the conductor realised he was not playing! The audience thought it was funny and so did the orchestra.

One day I was watching my grandpa teaching a lad to play the organ, when he got so excited because the lad was doing so well, he fell off the organ stool.

Too many things to tell about singing in Cathedrals and Abbeys with the Priory Singers. You would never think, looking at the choir singing Evensong so serenely what hilarious things had gone on during rehearsals. I suggest you look at the psalms in the Book of Common Prayer to understand why it is important to get the giggles out of the way before the 'performance'.

My earliest memories of music were in my home. There was always music, my mother singing, the radio and record player was often in use during the evenings. My father's family were all tremendously musical, except for my father! He used to joke that he played a very good gramophone. I was taken to concerts from a fairly early age, and when visiting my grandparents in Suffolk, we used to have all sorts of musical fun.