Thursday, November 20, 2014

Le bœuf REDUX

Since I heard back from some of you that you didn't understand yesterday's post about the Milhaud piece, I should mention that the blog's automatic email updates don't always include entire posts. Please click here to see the full content of yesterday's post.

When you receive a blog update email, you'll see that the heading is highlighted in blue. That's a link to the actual blog itself where you can see full content. (Generally speaking, anything highlighted in blue in any electronic communication is a link. Think of all the good things you might have been missing!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Le Bœuf Sur Le Toit

A number of you were wondering what piece Eric and I were jamming to during Sunday's break. We were playing the two piano version (faked on one piano) of Darius Milhaud's Le bœuf sur le toit (the cow (ox?) on the roof), a surrealist ballet score that includes a lot of Brazilian popular music influence.

Frankly, I think it sounds a lot like this:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Concert week call times: Revised!

We've managed to shorten the Saturday dinner break to two hours. Therefore, Saturday's rehearsal will resume at 6pm instead of 6:30. Please see below for the corrected schedule with notes:

Saturday, Nov. 29 (Friends Academy)
  • 2:30-4pm rehearsal
  • 4-6pm dinner break (catered, food provided)
  • 6-8:30pm rehearsal
Sunday, Nov. 30 (Zeiterion Theatre)
  • 1:30-2:30 choir warmup on stage
  • 3pm concert

  • On 11/29, do not enter the rehearsal space before 2:30. Once the orchestra clears out from their 1:30 rehearsal, I will seat you and do a warmup. The main door to the school will be open, so please enter there as opposed to through our regular rehearsal entrance.
  • On 11/30, enter the Z through the side stage door off of Spring Street and find your seat on stage. There is no need to arrive before 1:30 since there is ample warmup time. In fact, please arrive on time but not before 1:30.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Agenda for Nov. 23, 6-8:30pm:

What a nice rehearsal last night! It was good to hear Messiah sounding so solid and even better to hear Bach coming together. 

Here's the plan for Sunday

6-6:10 warmup
10-25 Amen
25-40 And He Shall, working melismas under tempo
40-50 Hallelujah, working towards elegance, not singing like beasts
50-7:05 Bach III

  • C & E melismas under tempo for note accuracy
5-20 Bach III
  • opening, A, B, D, F: focusing on vocal quality & blend
20-30 BREAK

30-40 Run Bach III
40-55 Bach I
  • E & G & H melismas under tempo for note accuracy
55-8:05 Bach I
  • D & F for vocal quality
5-15 Bach I
  • A & B & C for blend
15-25 Run Bach I

25-30 For Unto Us

As you can see, we'll be skipping most of the Messiah movements this Sunday. No worries! You sounded great on them last night--but don't leave them out of your practice agenda for the next two weeks.

Discovering the Cosmology of Bach

During yesterday's rehearsal, I mentioned Sunday's episode of NPR's On Being, in which host Krista Tippett talked to scientist Bernard Chazelle about the genius of Bach. It's worth a listen, especially before our November 30 performance.

Click here to access the archived program

Sunday, November 16, 2014

More practice video!

Soprano Cyndi Mikkelson writes the following:

I found this video online and found it very helpful in learning the Bach music.  It doesn’t have Dr. MacKenzie’s dynamics but it does help with the notes and pacing. 

The videos aren't well organized, but you can find them on this YouTube page:

Please note that "M Soprano" means S2 (mezzo-soprano).

Thanks, Cyndi!

Error in MIDI bass part

Lloyd Mendes of the bass section writes:

I believe there's an error in the practice MIDI file downloaded from your website, the bass part for Bach's cantata, 3_sicut, minute 1:55.  The sheet music shows in measure 58 ("et nunc et") A D A, but the MIDI file plays A D B.  I once saw Batman and Robin deduce that the Joker had kidnapped the Symphony's Maestro using just this kind of analysis, and while I don't want to spread unfounded terror in Gotham City, well, I'm just sayin'

Well, Lloyd, I haven't done the listening to confirm the error, but I have no reason to doubt you. As for the Dynamic Duo, I really can't help you there. Basses: listen up for this error!