a little something extra

Monday, January 07, 2008

back in the musical saddle

Pacific Chorale resumed its usual rehearsal schedule tonight, after a scant two Monday nights off (Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve).

We started with the two pieces that will make up our May concert -- after a few weeks of this, we'll back up and work on the music for our March concert. The rehearsal season is uneven, so our artistic director decided to restore the balance by working this way.

Tonight we read two movements of Horatio Parker's Hora Novissima, which was extremely popular in the 19th century but lost favor after World War I. It sounded too German -- and it really does sound like Brahms sometimes, even though Parker was born in New England.

We also read a chunk of David Del Tredici's setting of "Paul Revere's Ride" -- shout out to Ben and Wanda, since the mighty ASO Chorus premiered this piece. (You can't actually name the ASO Chorus without saying "mighty" first. It's true.)

And in a strange moment of coincidence, I recently saw Hila Pittman, the soprano who premiered "Paul Revere's Ride" with the mighty ASO Chorus, originating another role at a small theatre here on the West Coast. Her husband, the composer Eric Whitacre, has written an opera called Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, which I saw in its world premiere at the theatre run by my aforementioned friend J*. Pittman played the lead, and the moment she opened her mouth for her first aria, it became abundantly clear why.

Back to tonight's rehearsal. I am not the world's strongest sight-reader, though I am always working on improving that element of my musicianship. So rehearsals that are mostly reading leave me tired. I am tired. Good night!


At 3:00 PM , Blogger Wanda said...

OMG, I love playing Paul Revere's Ride on July 4 because it is so obnoxious. Ben has a wonderful text change for you.

At 3:01 PM , Blogger Benjamin said...

I highly recommend substituting the word "basketball" anywhere you are supposed to sing "musketball". It really does make the time pass more quickly.

What an utterly, comprehensively ghastly piece. If you're really lucky, Del Tragedy will show up for your concerts dressed up in a red white & blue seersucker suit, like he did for ours.

Ugh, and Ugh!

At 4:27 AM , Blogger Tripp Hudgins said...

Well, sightreading is good for the soul...or something like that. Heh. I start back up with the CCA next Tuesday after many years of regular singing. I am very excited. I'll post our rep soo, but it is Britten that I am most excited about.


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