Barry Banks reflects on the monumental recording of Berlioz: Grande Messe des morts in St Paul's Cathedral in June 2012, under the late Sir Colin Davis.
The first time that I encountered the Grande Messe des Morts was as a 21 year old student at the Royal Northern College of Music. Had I realised then, what I do now, I would have run far far away from it. However, the innocence and stupidity of youth led me to actually accept it! The stupidity part helped me to come out of it relatively unscathed, but vowing I wouldn't try it again for a while! I sang it again, some 14 years later. Even at the age of 35 I felt that I didn't have the ammunition to do justice.