I came across a very simple version of the Largo in one of my music books which was nice but not interesting. So I searched the internet and came across some other versions, one of which was the spiritual derived from the Largo. I decided, too quickly perhaps, that I would arrange both for my website. The original was fairly easy as arranging it followed the pattern I set up – arrangement, chords, proofreading, making the .pdf, .jpeg and audio files. All went relatively smoothly, although as usual I had trouble with my chords. The spiritual version was, however, a completely different matter.
I love the singing of the late American bass-baritone Paul Robeson and his version of Going Home sends shivers up my spine every time I hear it. So I had to persist. First decision – should I try replicate the lovely piano accompaniment in my left hand? Answer – no! It was beautiful but far too complicated for me to play, even without my small hands and arthritis. Second decision – would I include the whole song or try to abridge it? Answer – the whole song. Any shortening would leave out vital parts of the sentiments expressed. So I spent nearly three weeks working on this. What did I learn? Many things. How to listen carefully to a piece of music for the expressions used such as tempo and dynamics. (I had to listen to Paul Robeson sing Going Home more than a dozen times, no hardship.) How to replicate them in my music software, Finale. (Given my frequent struggles with computer technology, I thought this would be harder than it was.) Final thing – working on a beautiful and inspiring song is worth every minute of the effort.
I hope you enjoy it.