Now we finally get to work on the Messiah by Handel – for our concert with the ESO at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music on December 5 and 6 2015.
Started the rehearsal with the warmup by Sara, Len is off to France this week to work on one of his sabbatical projects. She gave an effusive thank you to the choir and then told us that the committee passed her on the project Dr Sara on the way! She also had many complimentary words to say from others about how well it all came together on Sunday.
Onto Messiah – this is the first time that Liam, my son, will be singing it and it’s a pleasure for me to watch and discuss this experience with him.
After the warmup we started off with movement 11 “For unto us a Child is born”, to get the kinks out. I keep remembering the admonishment not to sing “untowus”. Sara asked us to think of it as a new piece and not to just sing on auto pilot – that requires some flexibility on the part of most of us. Last years experience with Mark Bailey still sits favourably in our minds – it was absolutely fabulous.
Anyway from 11 we went to movement 8 “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion” ran it back and forth for good measure before moving on to number 4 “And the glory, the glory of the Lord” where we didn’t do too bad. Then we did movement 18 “His yoke is easy, His burthen is light” started fast and then went over pieces in slow time – hey it has been a while!!!
Moving to 19 “Behold the Lamb of God” to double dot or not? We shall find out from our guest conductor in due course. Finally # 37 prior to break “Let us break their bonds asunder”. Walk the bouncing beat! Lighter is better! We don’t need to do more than sing it!
Coming back we went over a few of the ones we have not done in a while and survived the cuts for this year. Movements 21 – 23 “Surely, He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” “And with His stripes we are healed” “All we like sheep, have gone astray” A few rusty bits on some of these pieces and for some these or the ones next were a brand new sing.
Movement 34 – “How beautiful are the feet of Him” pass the baton and listen to what the other sections are singing. Movement 33, one of my favourites, “The Lord gave the word” and finally movement 47 – “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain” which ends in one of the longest choral Amen’s ever!
Then we worked through a different piece Angel Band by Shawn Kirchner. A good time was had by all. Good night.