Now the real fun begins at last. Next Tuesday we have the luxury of really working in depth on the first three movements, and possibly the fourth if there's time. Now that we're quite familiar with all of the music and are getting a good handle on (most of) the German, these next two rehearsals will reveal all the amazing harmonic colors, changing moods, and depth of expression that Brahms incorporated into the Requiem. And then we'll discover much more on November 6th's full rehearsal with the orchestra and soloists.
Remember that this Tuesday we'll rehearse until 9:15, then will enjoy seeing the overview of our 2020 tour to Northern Italy, presented by James Smith of Encore Tours. Much of the success of our highly successful recent tours has been due to the meticulous advance planning by the company, especially in securing the wonderful venues that helped us sound so good. So, though it seems impossible to even SAY 2020, our tour really starts now!
Back to this past Tuesday: the choir seemed to heave a collective sigh of relief at resuming our accustomed configuration. The sound was immeasurably better, but of course, there's always room for improvement. Here are your section's assignments:
Basses: Continue to listen to each other and to build on the tonal unity I was beginning to sense last week. Your sectional really paid off. So much of Brahms' writing relies on the powerful and rich foundation laid by the basses. You're going to find company in the low brass!
Tenors: Great work from you all. There was a particularly sweet tone happening last Tuesday, so keep that up, please, especially in the very high register that he often puts you in. Please notice and mark your low entrances: they'll need to be more prominent, just to be heard.
Altos: OK, there's no going back now. I know you can sound full and rich, so there's no reason to go back to half-baked, apologetic singing! Your tone was incredible in the sectional, and you only lost a bit of that confidence when the rest joined us. You know that he gives you some very important leading entrances, so write yourselves notes ahead of every one so you'll gear up with lots of breath and beauty.
Sopranos: Your attention to phrasing is stellar, and there are more of your eyes out of the score than in any other section. Bravo! Now let's strive for unity. There are lots of you, so no one singer needs to save the world, right? Those of you with big voices, your pitch and tone actually improve when you dial it back a bit. Let's strive for unity rather than individual prominence. After all, if sopranos sing at full tilt the wobbles really come into play, and that's where pitch suffers. Sorry, but you're just going to stop having so much fun! The best rule is to listen more than you sing. I know you can do that, because you've done it before, with astonishing results.
Please stay healthy! Our bass section leader Norm DeVol has had to withdraw because of lingering vocal problems that simply won't clear unless he rests his voice. He'll certainly be missed, but we know this is the wise choice. We send him our best wishes.