Conductor’s Notes

Welcome back everyone!

There was a good turn out – about 50 – and everyone was on time for the new 6.30 start, thank you.

I thanked everyone again for the Magnificent Rossini concert, welcomed back members who have not sung since lockdown and also new members. I thanked Eric and the committee for their patient and careful work over the summer to navigate the challenges of returning to singing and securing a rehearsal venue following changes at the school. There was a round of applause for this!

I set out our challenges for the term ahead – St Nicolas, Messiah extracts and other music, plus appointing a new conductor, not least. This is a significant but manageable challenge involving everyone and I will help focus your thinking so that you can exercise your responsibilities at the auditions with informed confidence!

We welcomed Bernard to accompany and had an excellent rehearsal of St Nicolas only, covering movements 1, 8 & 9. There are some important instructions for the short section starting at figure 58 on page 72 (‘Let the legends….’). At figure 58 the semi-chorus 3 part will not be sung – you can cross it out. The first voices to sing here will be semi-chorus 1 and there are 6 entries, 3 by S & A then 3 by T & B. We are singing this in sections defined by birthdays, not where you are standing so it is all mixed and more exciting! It’s easy and I will re-issue instructions next time we sing it.

How to learn St Nicolas: Listening to a good recording is probably the most helpful with this piece. The choral parts are very clear so identifying your line is quite easy, and more importantly you will get used to Britten’s harmonic world which will help ears and brain to adapt in rehearsal as familiarity grows.

In my blog of March 23rd 2021 I posted a link to an illustrated lecturette by David Temple, conductor of the Crouch End Festival Chorus (not Bromley as I said at rehearsal) who guides you through the piece. The recording I posted is an oldish one by King’s College Cambridge with David Willcocks which is a good performance but not brilliant recording quality. Amazon has a few on offer and I have just bought The Corydon Singers conducted by Matthew Best; I have not heard it, but the reviews are good.

What we will do on 15.09.21

S & A – Number 2 – The birth of Nicolas

T & B – Number 4 – He journeys to Palestine

Page 46 – All people that on earth…

Page 66 – His piety and marvellous works

Page 39 – Serve the faith (read through)

Thank you all