Yesterday's Washington Post contained an article about the London rehearsal for Sir Paul's Ecce Cor Meum that premiered last week at the Royal Albert Hall (see November 3). The Post reports that during the rehearsal of the hour-long work Sir Paul sat in a small chair tapping his toes and singing along with the choir and orchestra. Most of the time he leaned back in his chair and stared straight up to the 30-foot ceiling of the converted church. The reporters believe that Sir Paul was "having a moment" with his lovely Linda for whom the piece was written.
After several hours of rehearsal, Sir Paul met with the Post reporters in the basement of the church. Dressed in a navy blue pinstriped suit lined in red silk, he sipped on hot tea, cream cheese and bagels. The reporters noted that he seemed upbeat, relaxed, and far younger and thinner than he appears in his photos. They were delighted that he kept breaking into song as as he talked to them about writing Eleanor Rigby, Let It Be, She's Leaving Home, Fool on the Hill, and Yesterday. In fact, he treated them to the original version of Yesterday singing, "Scrambled eggs, oh my baby I love your legs." He laughed and told them:"It was good, but I had to change it."
Turning to the subject of Ecce Cor Meum, Sir Paul told the reporters that Linda was with him in 1996 when traveled to Oxford and agreed to take on the project of composing a choral piece to inaugurate a concert hall at Oxford University's Magdalen College. He saw it as an opportunity to try something new:
"Linda very much pervades the whole piece. When I was in the middle of it, she passed away, and we went through all the anguish, which stopped me. And then when I was able to pick it up, I picked it up by writing some of the very sad things in it. I remember sitting at a keyboard and just weeping as I wrote this piece."
Early in the piece, the sopranos sing,"Take love away and we are ruined/ In a world without each other/ How could we go on living our lives?" Sir Paul said that Linda inspired not only the dark passages, but the upbeat ones as well:
"Life has to go on. I am basically an optimist, and she was very much an optimist."
Then why didn't he officially dedicate the work to Linda?
"It actually would have been very awkward with a new wife to say, 'This is for Linda,' just pragmatically, but it was started with Linda and, had she lived, I'm sure it would have been dedicated to her."It's Behold My Heart so far. I'm not very good at hate songs. It doesn't come naturally to me. No matter how angry I might be, I seem to still write a love song. And that's the joy of what I do. It's just something I've done naturally all my life, almost not meaning to. It's just the way it comes out with me. Peace is important. Love is important. These are themes that are important to me. So I wrote my thoughts from my heart."
The title Ecce Cor Meum was inspired by some Latin words Sir Paul saw on a crucifix in Manhattan's St. Ignatius Loyola Church. In spite of this, Sir Paul claims this work is more spiritual than religious:
"I wouldn't like to do something that was only available to Christians, or to Jewish people, or to Muslims. I like the idea that it's a sort of global work."
McCartney excused himself from the interview to attend the last hour of the rehearsal. At the end of the session, he bounced up to the orchestra, clapping and laughing and thanking everyone. Ht then wrapped himself in a warm overcoat and scarf and hopped into an SUV driven by John Hammel, a friend since the early 1970s. As they drive off, Sir Paul opened the window, leaned out, beamed a smile, and sang a loud joyful chorus of Ecce Cor Meum to the dark and empty streets.
The Post reports that Sir Paul is currently working on a new studio album, thinking about touring next year and composing a classical guitar concerto.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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