I’m making a programme for BBC Radio 4, Soul Music about Albinoni’s Adagio. This series looks at those pieces of music that never fail to move us.
I would love to know more about your choir mom.
Please would you be kind enough to email me with your number so we might have a chat.
With many thanks
Hello Roger, Great article. I’m trying to get in touch with you for a radio programme I making- could you drop me a line please and I’ll explain more.
I wrote to both of them, letting them know that they had both contacted me, and where the posts had first appeared. Milly wrote back: “Yes I work with Lucy- sorry to trouble you twice! Thanks for getting back to me.” I replied, “I’m not ‘bothered’, just surprised!”
Then I received a telephone call from Lucy on April 6. International code 44 and all that on my message machine. Unfortunately, I was not home. I wrote her back the next day, but never heard back, I gather for time/logistical reasons.
I was only slightly disappointed, but then I thought: “I was considered by the BBC. Twice!”
Moreover, both the granddaughter and the daughter-in-law of Arlene Mahigian, my late choir mom, were touched by the piece.
Arlene Mahigian was like my choir mom, taking my robe home to wash it every summer, though I never asked her to,
I remember quite well the first time I heard Adagio in G Minor, presumably by “the 18th century Venetian master Tomaso Albinoni, but in fact composed almost entirely by the 20th century musicologist and Albinoni biographer Remo Giazotto.”
I was a member of the choir of my former church, and we were preparing to sing the Mozart Requiem in March of 1985. A beloved member of our choir, our soprano soloist, Arlene Mahigian, had been struggling with cancer. She was like my choir mom, taking my robe home to wash it every summer, though I never asked her to, and the like. She was clearly not going to be able to sing the Mozart. But she did make the performance, in a wheelchair.
The opening number was the Adagio, performed by her husband Leo, who was, for a time, concertmaster of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, on violin, and their son, Peter, on organ. Arlene died about three weeks later, and I saw her in the hospital a day or two before she passed, when she squeezed my hand to let me know she knew I was there.
Here’s Adagio in G Minor, which made me cry then and it still does, especially at about the seven-minute mark.