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I forgot to talk about choir!

We have two (2) pieces this season!

They're two full masses, that's why there's only two: one by Haydn, one by Beethoven. (At this point, why not just go for a mass by Mozart, sez I, to round out the collection? But I don't make these choices and I suppose that'd make our one-hour concert too long.)

At any rate, the alto section has become the Fake Soprano section. Palestrina was quite low last term - we sang G below middle C frequently - but here the altos are frequently singing around the C above middle C, up to E, and so on. Personally, this is my "sounds escape with little (volume) control" range, which is uncomfortable and also why I'm an alto in the first place. The sopranos, meanwhile, are practically stuck on the high F and G these days. (We were singing and the music made a dip to B-flat below middle C and I thought: "oh man that's low grk" since we'd been stuck in the higher registers for so long - normally B-flat is dead easy.) Also, whomever arranged this score did not do a very good job, because occasionally I'll turn the page and there is this massive jump that was totally unexpected next.

But it's great! There's so much variety contained in the masses, and I am deeply amused that there are parts in 6/8 - part of the Benedictus, even, I think. (The often-repetitive nature - by design - of Classical pieces means that the same motifs show up in multiple movements, so I can never...quite keep track.) I mean, you don't expect swingy 6/8 in masses! But there it is, in full "hosanna in excelsis deo".

ANYWAY.

We are doing both masses in Germanic Latin. The Germanic bit is because of our conductor, and I don't know why. In the second week of this, he said: "I've had attempted mutinies from choirs before [over the pronounciation]" which is kind of amusing, but I get why. So far, we are just replacing things like "coeli" with /tsø.li/, /ts/ with everything I thought was supposed to be /tʃ/ (dona nobis pacem became /pɑ.tsem/ which was confusing because everyone tried to sing it the conventional, Italian-style way), and also vowel replacements. Like "kyrie" with /ø/ instead of /i/ which makes me grumpy because it's harder to sing (farther back in the mouth plus lip rounding!) and also kyrie is not Latin anyway. And "qui" became /kv/ instead of /kw/ or just /k/. Also, all the esses are being turned into z (/s/ -> /z/) which makes us all sound like we're putting on awful German accents.

*appeals to schwa* Does German voice /s/ word intially? Or intervocalically, at least? Also, do you actually use /kv/? That's always pinged me as "terribad accent", but IDEK anymore. Technically there is a German bass, but he is tall and physics-y instead of linguistic-y and I can't ask.

Mostly I'm pleased, though. I had to learn about masses-set-to-music in music history when I was studying piano, and had to memorize things like the order of movements (Kyrie-Gloria-Credo-Sanctus-Benedictus-Agnus Dei) and it's fun to actually get to sing through them all. Plus one is a missa brevis, so we are often singing different texts over top of each other, and it's fun to puzzle out the Latin. When the conductor is working with another section I try to figure out what the words mean and whether I've seen any of the daughter words that have budded off from them.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/123186.html.

Comments

gothrockrulz
Feb. 5th, 2013 04:15 am (UTC)
At this point, why not just go for a mass by Mozart, sez I, to round out the collection?

LOL! That popped into my mind while I was reading. Haydn and Beethoven--good stuff!
silverflight8
Feb. 5th, 2013 03:24 pm (UTC)
We should totally go for the Trinities when the appear (last season we had Handel & Bach both, but no other major Baroque players, alas.)

Yeah, I'm enjoying the masses! :D

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