24th Rehearsal 2013/2014 RES Season

Leipzig-20130713-00103Only 6 more rehearsals go until the performance of Bach’s last piece the Mass in B Minor on March 9, 2014 in the Francis Winspear Centre for Music in Edmonton, Alberta – if you didn’t know.

Len has added another Saturday morning rehearsal as I don’t think we are where he thought we would be earlier on in the process.  If I remember he added this just after Christmas so it is not a big surprise.  Anyway let’s see what we have on the agenda for this evening.

Without a grad choir to rehearse with it is getting a little less sing in the week – I guess I should rehearse on my own a little more – eh!

This week we saw the return of one of our former Assistant Conductor’s Dr John Brough – who is the Artistic Director for Da Camera Singers.  He will bring some additional Tenor voice to the choir for this performance.

I also had forgotten my tablet at work which meant that I had to resort back to the original score to follow – some of the markings had not made it to the score since I had started using Forescore . . .

Anyway we started with the second Kyrie as a warm up – Len reminded us that we should be thinking of using vertical vowels.  I just found out that I had to work on counting, especially at the top of page 31 which I had completely forgotten about – a simple rhythm, but not really when you get caught off guard.  Regardless we followed that up with working through the Et interra pax, which is right after the Gloria.  The first time we ran through it Len said it was “pretty cool, but it needs to be cooler yet!”  He then had us go over the whole Gloria saying of some parts, in particular some of the runs around pages 42 and 43; he just said  “these are wonderful . . . if the are in time and heard”.

Last piece before the break was the Sanctus (P199).  His comments were “it makes it easier if you can sing in tempo!” Just before break he did allay our fears by also saying that while it is three weeks before the concert he is happy with where the choir is performing it right now.

We had our limited announcements, break and came back to the Osanna, followed by the Cum Sancto and ending rehearsal with the opening Kyrie – which he said should be precision like – think an old singer sewing machine.

So, when we get a new piece of music that is a choral classic or a masterpiece I tend to approach the music with a little trepidation.  Firstly I find that I either immediately like the whole thing – like Messiah, or it takes a while for me to learn to like the music or get into it.  I find this with Beethoven almost immediately and with some of Bach’s work.  For this piece I have found that I am going through different stages – the first where I figure out if I immediately like it or no – in this case – not really.  Secondly, trying to figure out my place in it – in some of the movements that is easy – and in others just when you think you have it Bach throws a different set of notes or rhythm at you.  Thirdly, sort of having it figured my  part out and now I try to listen to the other parts and get cues for both my notes and rhythm.  Fourthly, hear the other sections singing but really try to follow Len’s beat. Fifthly, acceptance of the majesty of the piece, my part in it and how great it sounds when all the sections are making the right harmonies in time with our Conductor.

Coincidentally, this graphic was going round on facebook again yesterday.  I thought it was a propos.

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