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Conductor's Notes - Tuesday 24th January

Another good rehearsal, and a good start to the Mäntyjärvi. Lots of information below, so thank you for reading.

What we did on Tuesday 24th January

We started with the Arbo, working on blend, balance, and the rhythms, keeping it all very tight and uniformed. It's not a hard piece at all, but because of that it'll be obvious if even the smallest things aren't 100% accurate. We'll sing this a couple more times, striving for absolute accuracy.

After this we cracked down on the Mäntyjärvi, looking at the opening section and developing the atmosphere required. Then we broke down the ostinato-type figures from page 6, eventually singing through this section until page 10. On page 10 we learnt the rhythms and notes in the Sop/Alto parts, and put it with the Tenor/Bass part underpinning the section. After the break we looked at page 18 to the end, thinking about blending those chords, and creating a beautiful "Amen" on page 20.

Finally, we finished with the final movement of the Stanford (Fare Well), again, thinking about beautiful ensemble, blend, and balance between the parts, especially on tuning the chords - we took it apart so two parts could tune to each other.

What we'll do on Tuesday 31st January

We'll begin with a sing through of the 1st movement of the Stanford (Sailing at Dawn) to refresh that from week one, but not spend too long on this. After that I'd like to look at the rest of the Mäntyjärvi, so page 12-17; these are arguably the hardest sections, so please do make sure you look/listen through over the weekend.

Finally, we'll finish with the Sumsion.

Marked Scores

Please find attached the FIRST HALF of the programme. As it's only half the programme, I'd be most grateful if you could try to find the time to put these markings in before our next rehearsal. It'll be particularly helpful with the Mäntyjärvi.

newChoir Spring '23 Marked Score - 1st Half
Download PDF • 36.48MB

Spotify Playlist

As with every term, you can find most of the music on Spotify (or YouTube). Here's the Spotify Link.

The Vivian is available HERE.

The Arbo is available HERE.

Mäntyjärvi Learning Resources

Nick Watkins, member of Chipping Norton Choral Society, North Cotswold Chamber Choir, and friend of newCHOIR, put together some learning tracks for Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae when NC3 did it last year. He's very kindly allowed me to share them with you. Below is the link to a folder of each part, highlighting your notes, beginning on page 6.

It'll be incredibly useful going forward in learning the piece, particularly as we can focus in rehearsals on putting it together, rather than 'note-bashing'!

In this updated folder, Brian has also put them into MP3 format too, so everyone should be able to access them. Check them out HERE.

Solo Auditions

There are 3 big solos in this concert - one opens the programme, and then two are in the Mäntyjärvi. So, if you're interested in these, please do let me know, and we'll do auditions on Tuesday 7th and 14th February. We're looking for:

1 Soprano (folky solo in the Mäntyjärvi)

1 Tenor/Baritone ('newsreader' solo in the Mäntyjärvi)

1 Bass/Baritone (opening of the Vivian)

Suggested Listening

I thought I'd introduce you to a bit more of Mäntyjärvi's music, as we as a country don't do much of his music. This is taken from his 4 Shakespeare Songs, and is a fun setting of the text "Double, double toil and trouble". Full of energy and mystery, he perfectly encapsulates the text. Listen HERE.

Have a great weekend and see you on the 31st.

- Ben

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