Well done everyone at the rehearsal on Wednesday. I know it is always a shock singing in a new acoustic, and hopefully we will have the seating arrangements sorted now so you can all hear each other, and so the balance is good. The organ will be on your left of the choir, and there will be speakers near you so the accompaniment will be a lot clearer.
Below are some notes from Wednesday’s rehearsal. Click here for a printable copy.
The Rutter is in general sounding very good. Just a few moments which need your extra attention/revision before Saturday by movement number.
- At fig C make a strong and confident entry gentlemen.
Bar 64 Gentleman’s ‘echo’ phrase make sure you don’t drag. It was much better when it came back later in the movement.
Tenors at J – I couldn’t hear you at all. Make sure you give a confident entry. I will help you as much as I can with the timing!
- Gentlemen look at your entry at D – it was very ragged last night.
- When we did the beginning of this movement the second time it was great gentlemen – strong and confident please!
- Please check your entries in this movement – especially when it changes key (Alto entry at B for instance).
- Everyone – look at your entries at G onwards please! You need to be strong and incisive at this moment.
- Tenors watch your entry at bar 28 – the Altos and Basses very kindly give you your starting note! Gents please check your entry at F onwards too.
- Watch me at H everyone. It is essentially a bar of 3 at ½ speed followed by 3 at ‘normal’ tempo twice, as I demonstrated briefly in the rehearsal.
In general, the Altos need to sing with more ‘twang’ especially when at the bottom of the stave. Don’t be afraid of singing too loud in this acoustic Altos! Also, everyone remember a lot of the Rutter is in 3 time, so don’t fall into the usual trap of delaying the 3rd beat so everything drags.
A Silly Sylvan is actually sounding good with a large choir in this acoustic. Please make sure that no-one apart from the basses sing on the first two beats – everyone else comes in on beat 3 of the first bar! Watch the key change from C Major to C minor at the double bar – going into the second section. Make sure the rhythm in the second bar of this section is clearly articulated – that will help us get off to a good start.
Purcell: Make sure the block chords at the start are strong – good attack and no hint of a diphthong please! (no ‘Hayyyyl’!). PLEASE look at the section from bar 26 – this was a bit of a disaster last night, which was a real shame, as the rest sounded splendid. It will sound even grander when we have our trumpeter playing along with us.
Handel: I will try to set a steadier pace, but that really will require the choir to keep a sense of forward motion especially in the sections with the repeated notes – they really do slow down. Phrase towards the word ‘all’.
The Lamb was not bad at all. We started a bit slow, once again sing the phrase not the individual notes. Keep the tone bright and unforced at the start Sops – the pitch drifted downwards in the first phrase and then stayed there!
Enjoy the concert folks!