Conductor’s Notes – Wednesday 21st September

What a lovely week last week was, and I’m so sorry for the delay in getting these notes out – it’s been a very busy week!
I’m so pleased with how the Brahms is coming on, and once again a huge thanks to Rowena for all of the hard work on learning the notes, allowing me to do some really detailed work on the music with you all. Some important information below so do please give it a read.

What we did on Wednesday 21.09.22

We did some great work on Movement 4 – it was so much fun being to explore the full range of expression with the text and musical ideas.

Then, we sang through Movement 7, doing lots of work on the melodies, the text, and also sight-reading through the hardest bits – always a great challenge to embrace!

We finished with a brief sing through of Movement 6, including an exciting read of the turbulent “Denn es wird die Posaune” on page 65.

What we will do on Wednesday 28.09.22

I’d like to look at a few things:
– We’ll warm up with re-looking at Movement 1.
– Movement 3, from the fugue on page 38.
– Movement 5.
– And we’ll end this term’s early look at the Brahms Requiem with a sing through of the 2nd Movement.

Marked Scores

We have marked scores for what we’ll be looking at at the start of October! Below are the marked scores for Corp’s A Christmas Mass and Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols. Both of these pieces we’ll be looking at on the 5th October, and Susannah will be handing out music for these pieces then.

Marked scores for all of the pieces in ‘100 Carols for Choirs’ will follow, and Susannah will be handing out those copies soon. On this, we’re hoping some of you will own your own copies of ‘100 Carols for Choirs’ already – could you let us know via email if you have your own copy – I think Susannah has asked this already, but a reminder to let us know if you will be using your own.

Do give these a look as a ‘heads-up’ before next week, and a listen down below.

Playlist for Christmas

Here’s the Spotify playlist for the Christmas programme. It’s designed to help you become more familiar with the programme, and to help you learn the music over the term; I often listen to these playlists in the car as I drive to and from Oxford!

If you’re new to Spotify, you can sign up really easily for a FREE(!) account, and listen to the playlist.

newChoir workshop, and Friends’ concerts

It was great to see some friendly CNCS faces at my Open Workshop with newChoir on Saturday, entitled ‘and Breathe...’ – I hope those attending found it interesting and useful.

I’m always keen to support our friends in other choirs, and so I’d like to promote the concert by international touring choir ‘Sine Nomine’. Please see details on the poster below.

If you ever have a concert you’d like to promote, I’d be delighted to share it in rehearsals and here on Conductor’s Notes.

This Week’s listening

On Sunday at the Birmingham Oratory I sang one of my favourite settings of the Mass text; Rheinberger’s beautiful Mass in E flat. I suggest listening to all of it if you have time, or just the Sanctus HERE – it opens with a heavenly chord progression, featuring a delicious suspension (which we spoke a lot about last week in rehearsal) in bar 6. I thoroughly recommend a listen!

See you on Wednesday.
– Ben