My Zunivers

28 April 2007

You're Too Familiar With Your Repertoire

...when you listen to a recording you have on hand and say "Did you hear those two alto notes? They aren't using the Rutter edition."


I'm very sad that tomorrow is probably going to be my last concert with this choir. This choir isn't the sort you find everywhere. As our director said tonight "How many of you is this your first time with the Faure? [many hands go up] Well, you should know that Faure's Requiem is the bread and butter of choral music. You'll hear it everywhere. Everyone does it. But hardly any of them will do it like you do it. I once had a student who sang this piece with me come back a few years later and say 'You turned me into a musical snob.'" What else would you expect when learning from a musical snob?

I've made friends with a bunch of crazy old guys and a couple of students. They're all the sort of people who won't ever have your back in a fight because they'll be too busy enjoying the extra elbow room at the buffet table once you're gone; I will miss them, these men after my own heart. And I'll also miss the challenges. I can't think of where to go after being able to sing the Missa Solemnis in my sleep (Rachmanionoff's Vespers, maybe?), although I'm sure there is somewhere to head. My lower ribs hate me. But above that I'll miss the director we have. This guy doesn't look at the choir and ask "What can they do?" He looks at what he wants to do and asks, as if anything is possible, "How do we get there?" I like that attitude because it matches well with something else in life I enjoy. Average people are more intelligent than you can imagine, if you just tease it out of them. So too are average singers better than you would ever think, if you just herd them in the proper direction. I think there are a lot of decent choirs in this country, but there are few chances to sing with one like this. I'm going to miss it a lot, and I wish that I coudl stay, and that all the singers I know could come, and that we could all make beautiful music together.

The turnout for tonight's concert, by the way, was absurdly low. I thought the Missa Solemnis concerts were empty! Hah! Oh, well. A few hundred more people would pump us up better, but that's life. In a society where a six pack of Yoplait is more culture than one family can handle in a night without crapping themselves, we probably can't ask for much more tomorrow.

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