Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Musical Workout

Last night's S&P rehearsal was a real mental workout. We started with Poulenc's Petites Voix, which has some extremely challenging sections. Fortunately, I have conducted the pieces before, so I do know them pretty well--I just have to work at wrapping my tongue around the French in a couple of sections. (I know what the French is supposed to sound like, but my tongue doesn't always cooperate!). Next came four Bartók songs: it appears that the group went over the Hungarian text for the third one during the one rehearsal I missed, so I didn't know either the notes or the words last night. (Naturally, it was the one really fast one of the set--I could probably have made a decent attempt at sightreading Hungarian on a slower piece). I spent the break copying over diction notes from another singer.

Last on the list was a run-through of the first half of Karin Rehnqvist's "Triumf att finnas till." Wow. Those of you who know me from choirs know that I rarely practice--I can sight-read almost anything, although I sometimes have to practice foreign language texts. In S&P, the two altos that sit to my right are equally good musicians: if the three of us are not with the conductor, we generally assume the conductor screwed up! This piece is one of the most rhythmically challenging pieces I've come across. During much of the run-through, not only were the three of us not in agreement, but we had no idea which (if any) of us was right! And this was at least the second time we'd rehearsed the piece! I guess that means I need to do some practicing before our Saturday retreat.

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