First, a reminder!!! Monday's rehearsal is at All Saints' Episcopal Church, downtown. Please remind your fellow singers.
You're to be commended for the excellent work you did at Monday's rehearsal! The 'nitty-gritty' aspects of conquering the music are so important if we're to represent these pieces [and ourselves] at the level we should. As a reminder, here are the two critical skills we worked hard on, and which must remain central to our work:
1. Rhythmic pulse and vitality. "Underlying pulse." "Prolation." However we choose to think of it, this concern must never be absent during any moment of performance. It affects and informs the progression of the music, the precision of the ensemble, the placement of consonants, and much more. It's not an end in itself, but a necessary tool.
2. Pitch awareness and control. Your ability to be in tune, to have clarity, to create harmonic beauty....this comes from your awareness of your vocal production and how it affects the sounds that are heard. On Monday, as we tinkered with "eighth-steps" and quarter-tones, I think we discovered that releasing the gravity of heavy production enabled the beauty and clarity of sound. And we were in tune!
Robert Shaw: "The dove of inspiration does not alight until the cage is clean."
Because some of you received last week's Notes late, that "assignment" is listed here again. And one new one is added. Please try to accomplish all for Monday. We're sounding great because of your committed work.
This week's "assignments," with only one addition:
1. NEW: Orff, O Fortuna [Carmina Burana] All the notes. Yes, you might think you already have all of these, but don't assume. Here's a link to Andre Rieu's performance, complete with laser lights, fireworks, and a cast of 1000's. This is not exactly how we will do it, but it's great fun to watch - and gets the juices going. Enjoy. [Yes, the words are a challenge, but we'll attack those too. At least get the notes now.]
Carl Orff, O Fortuna
2. REPEATED: Bass, Gloria: The notes, all the way. These passages are all pretty comfortable, taken singly - but transitions are challenging. Don't neglect the unusual rhythms and meters. It's possible to learn the "feel" of these by rote, but it's far better to understand them in terms of underlying pulse. You will probably find it helpful to hear performances by other groups, so here are two excellent ones:
Randol Bass, Gloria
3. REPEATED: Handel, Solomon, Praise the Lord With One Accord: All the notes. Even with Monday's reassignment of choirs [I and II], we've basically learned all the notes. Try to become at ease with finding your place in the score and especially the melismatic runs in the final pages. We need them to be clean and accurate, as you well know. Here are three somewhat different performances, which you may find interesting. [I've commented about each.]:
Handel, Praise the Lord With One Accord
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPFUERISOvk [Very dramatic, but bordering on the bombastic. Not totally what we want.]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGaEQ2GdiXU [Sung with piano only - and videoed with the two choruses divided on the risers, so you can see the dialogue.]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNHLXUEXW3I [Video recording from a distance, but nicely done. Pretty fast tempo!]