There have been signs of rift and division between our regularly placid and harmonious basses played out on this blog under the suggestion of ‘banter’. Does one detect the stirring hand of a certain alto in fomenting such unaccustomed discord for the sake of driving content?
Surely this cannot be borne without eliciting some response.
De Profundis (from the back row)
Your Soprano is a wondrous thing,
Inhabiting where the air is thin,
Spiralling above where mortals play
A foot-off-the-ground girl (*) one might say
They trill and thrill in equal measure
And rarely to a stave are tethered –
And never should be coaxed below
A slightly diminished fortissimo!
Too flighty for me! With ne’er an adieu
Soaring skywards they will go
And thus released from worldly ties
Serenade the gods who there abide!
No, give me an Alto any day –
Theirs is not the will to stray
Into such strange imagined realms
As aevum(**) where the angels dwell..
An Alto is dependable,
(No madam – I did NOT say dull!)
The beating heart of a loyal crew.
O’erlooked by some composers, who
Clearly fail to understand
The subtlety at their command –
If twenty-four bars of a single note
is food for a bass, why not for those?
And yet – such creatures confound reason:
These are such things as dreams are made on –
Sopranos sparkle and weave their spell
But that Alto sound is hot as Hell.
(*) Stevie Smith
(**) an imagined realm between eternity and temporality. You probably knew that.