Saturday, 1 November 2014

David Trendell, RIP

I was shocked to learn of the recent death of David Trendell, one of DepList's long-standing members. Here is a notice from St Mary's Bourne Street. There are also obituaries in the Telegraph and the Guardian. He was known as an academic and a choral director, but when I first knew him in the early 1990s, it was his wonderful voice that impressed me most. He sang intuitively with, as far as I knew, little voice training and certainly no practice. He had no wish to make a career as singer, yet possessed the kind of voice that many budding opera singers would give anything to have. Looking back through my emails, I found this one from me to him in 2010, which summed up those impressions:

Dear David,

While casting around the Internet for some pleasant music to relieve the tedium of a particularly long spell-checking job on the computer, I stumbled across your contribution to a programme about Rachmaninov's Vespers on "Listen Again". It reminded me of the days when you would stagger into Our Lady of Victories, late, the morning after a very good night out. Your voice would always sound at its best on such occasions: really gravelly and sonorous. I used to comment that if you put your mind to it, you could have been the best Russian bass since Boris Christoff. A pleasure to hear your speaking voice on the radio. Let me know when you're next on the air.