What we did on 19.09.18

Everyone worked very hard this week – lots of new notes and much concentration. Well done.

We tackled the following:

Elgar: Pages 45-59. Sang through then did some ‘analysis’ of the music to demonstrate that there are 4 main chunks of material which repeat. Each repeat is either exact or a bit varied and closely related. Recognising this makes for quicker progress. They are:

  • 1) Page 46 – The Thrilling motif’ which consists of a repeated falling semitone pattern (4 notes) shared between T/B then A/T/B. The other appearances of this pattern (varied a bit) are at: p47 bottom, p50 (fig 59), p54 bottom, p58 (fig67)
  • Chromatic lines (semitones) – Longer melodic lines which move mostly in semitones: p48 A/B, p49 T/B climbing passage, p52 last bar to 54 T/B
  • Perfect 4ths – Starts in sopranos on p48 (fig 57) and is developed bottom of page, again p52 bottom (same but higher). The interval of a 4th is a feature in many places.
  • Music makers theme – The opening passage of the whole work returns on p50 (fig 60), same rhythm (in augmentation!!) but varied melody. Again p55 (diff words)

As if this isn’t interesting enough (!) the sopranos are notable for being the only voice which has the 4ths idea, rarely joins the thrilling motif and never has the chromatic line! Instead they go ‘off piste’ with exotic and rather angular and atonal melodies such as on p46/47.

No mention has been made of pages 56/57, which we didn’t tackle, as the music here does not refer to any of the above. It is a new idea which all voices share and for the first time the music is contrapuntal (moving independently of each other) to symbolise ‘multitudes’. Clever eh?!

We also sang through opening pages 5-17 to keep them on the boil, and started to pick apart the chords on pages 12/13. This needs revisiting.

RVW – Pages 48-52. This section is basically two rounds going on at the same time. S & T sing the same tune (with a few notes altered at key changes)one bar apart; A & B do the same with an almost inverted version of the same tune. Simple and effective – gives the impression of calmness and reassurance but with an underlying unsettled feeling reflecting the ‘search’ for peace. Tension is created by the key changes (fig 32 and 33) and introduction of some chromatics (D flat bottom p 49, developed with F flat p51). ‘Stability’ and groundedness of the is maintained by the simple melodies expressed in the rounds. Clever too eh?

What we will do on 26.09.18

Elgar pages 32-40. RVW pages 22-28 + singing through some sections already rehearsed.

Looking ahead……..

03.10.18 & 10.10.18: Auditions – sections from both works. Candidates will be introducing you to new sections you have not seen!

17.10.18: Elgar pages 18-31 and 68-73. RVW Pages 6-20

24.10.18 (Half term): Elgar pages 42-45. RVW pages 40-45 + other sections revisited

31.10.18: Elgar pages 45-59 and start 78-end. RVW pages 54-61

07.11.18: AGM + short rehearsal

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What we did on 12.09.18

Thank you for an excellent rehearsal – the sight-reading this week was truly impressive!

Notices:

  • I corrected the information about online practice resources – Dona nobis pacem is available on cyberbass.org. Apologies.
  • Auditions for the new accompanist will take place on October 3 & 10
  • There will be an extra rehearsal on the 24th (in half term) in the Methodist Church. This is to help us catch up after devoting rehearsal time to the auditions. Please come if you can, but understood if you other commitments this week which would normally be a break
  • Assuming we appoint a successor, Bernard’s last rehearsal will be October 31

Music:

We confidently put together pages 5-17 of the Elgar (see below for a section needing more work next week); likewise pages 1-5 of the RVW. Basses beware at fig 2 on p4 – your G is really important to create the harmonic tension – don’t stray onto an Ab to match the tenors and sops!!  It is not provided in the chord before you sing, you have to find it independently, probably from the soloist – we will practise this!

We revisited Elgar pages 60-67 and RVW pages 62-end from the previous rehearsal.

What we will do on 19.09.18 and up to half term:

19.09.18: Elgar pages 12-17 and 45-59 (red!!).  RVW pages 30-39 (repeat) and 48-53

26.09.18: Elgar pages 32-40. RVW pages 22-28 + singing through some sections already rehearsed

03.10.18 & 10.10.18: Auditions – sections from both works. Candidates will be introducing you to new sections you have not seen!

17.10.18: Elgar pages 18-31 and 68-73. RVW Pages 6-20

24.10.18 (Half term): Elgar pages 42-45. RVW pages 40-45 + other sections revisited

31.10.18: Elgar pages 45-59 and start 78-end. RVW pages 54-61

07.11.18: AGM + short rehearsal

 

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What we did on 05.09.18

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Welcome to the new season 2018/19

I am looking forward to meeting you all again on SEPTEMBER 5th for the first rehearsal of another busy year and eagerly anticipating welcoming some new members. I hope everyone had a great summer and missed singing so much they are thirsty to get going again!

The programme this term is:

The Music Makers by Elgar

Dona nobis pacem by Vaughan Williams

The concert is in St Mary’s Church, Banbury on Saturday 15 December, with the Cheltenham Chamber Orchestra.

These are exciting pieces, with yet more and different challenges from last year. The Vaughan Williams is our contribution to the period of remembrance and reflection on the end of World War I.

This is what we will do at the first rehearsal on 05.09.18

Music issue – from 7.00 in the music room, Chipping Norton School.

Elgar: Pages 60 – 67

RVW: Pages 30-39 and Page 62 to the end

Thank you, Peter Hunt

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