Conductor’s Notes – Wednesday 14th September

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all well! Lots of useful things in this one, so let’s crack straight on.

What we did on Wednesday 14.09.22

Firstly, a HUGE thank you to Rowena for covering for me at such short notice! It’s such a terrifying thing to do, and it sound like it was a brilliant rehearsal. I knew we’d be in safe hands with Rowena on the team. I was absolutely gutted to miss the rehearsal, and I missed you all a lot!
Secondly, thank you for all of the well wishes – migraines aren’t pleasant, so thank you for you kind words.

I gather that, from the feedback I’ve had from some members and from Rowena, the ‘note-bashing’ was really helpful and well received. You covered:

Movement 1 “Selig sind” from the start until the bottom of page 7, including the fiddly chromatic section at the bottom of page 6 with it’s interesting harmonies.

Movement 4 “Wie Lieblich sind” all the way through, firming up the start from last week and learning the rest of the movement. I look forward to hearing this next week!

What we will do on Wednesday 21.09.22

We’ll be looking at:
– A sing through of Movement 4.
– Movement 7.
– Movement 3, from the fugue on page 38.
– And if there’s time, the start of Movement 6.

Marked Scores

Due to my migraine I was unable to pick up the Christmas music, so the Marked scores for the Christmas Programme will be provided next week, so you can have a heads up for the start of October.

Learning Resources

A few people have already been in touch for help with the learning of this Brahms, which is great to hear people are putting in the hard work now in preparation for the Spring. Below are some resources that should help, as recommended by your fellow singers, or by myself and Rowena. I hope they help in the process of learning your parts.

A great, free, online resource to help learn the music. You can isolate your part, with or without accompaniment, slow it down, and have a supporting metronome. It’s very ‘robot-y’ so take it all with a pinch of salt.

One recommended by our lovely Chair, Eric – Cyberbass is a lot nicer to listen to, and is more like a ‘standard rehearsal’ as the piano plays your part for you. Same great functionality as Choralia to help you learn your part.

Another great resource that many people recommend, even though I’ve not personally used it. Presto Music are also giving a 25% discount until 30th September, so do check it out!
25% off via Presto Music

John Fletcher:
Rowena has recommended this, and it’s a great resource brilliantly broken down to help with each movement. He also includes some pronunciation guides, both audio and PDF, giving lovely examples of similar sounds in English.

Pronunciation guide:
And finally, one found by Keith, our Venues Manager – a brilliant recording on YouTube of the authentic pronunciation for all the text. It’s said in context, then slowly, to help everyone get their head around the German.

Just a small point about the pronunciation, which is fundamental to the German language, as I gather people are a bit confused:

‘i’ before ‘e’ is always pronounced as “eeeeee” – as in “Sie” (Z-eeee)
‘e’ before ‘i’ is always pronounced as “eye” – as in “Leid” (L-eye-dt)

With this ‘ie’ rule, always go by the second vowel.
I hope this helps a bit!

Chippy News

We were asked to provide a small piece for the Chippy News, to pay tribute to The Queen:

“In June this year the Chipping Norton Choral Society celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a concert of music from her Coronation, opening with the magnificent Zadok the Priest. The audience joined the choir with joyful renditions of Parry’s Jerusalem, Vaughan Williams’s All People That on Earth Do Dwell, and Britten’s stunning arrangement of the National Anthem. Earlier, we all picnicked together in the beautiful evening sunshine in St Mary’s Churchyard.

The evening will remain in our memories as a timely and warm tribute to a much-loved Monarch”

This Week’s listening

I’m running an open workshop with NewChoir next Saturday, and I wanted to share with you one of the pieces we’re doing in that session – it’s Harris’s Holy is the True Light. A short and simple four-part motet, the work is so delicate and beautiful, and features an incredible build up to its climax, before ending with a gentle “Alleluia”.
Listen HERE.

– Ben