February 11, 2014: Zeroing In
David Cherwien shares his notes from the February 11, 2014 rehearsal. The two programs he references in his notes are variants of the same repertoire: a hymn festival performed in Minneapolis (City-Wide Hymn Festival on Sunday, February 23, 2014 @ 4pm in Central Lutheran Church's beautiful sanctuary) and on tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Winona, Minnesota and a concert to be performed on tour in Dixon, Illinois.
I am feeling the context for the whole program, zeroing in on details - that's where we are with these two programs. I was greatly encouraged by the Bach. I noticed that home practice had indeed happened! (If not everyone - enough that it was a noticeable difference!) With Bach there are no notes that don't make that much difference. Every one counts! Accidentals get clearer, which bring out the phrase and where it is going, which bring out the text, and ultimately the message of what we are singing about. The details, when sloppy, draw the listener's attention, and block the message! Every note needs to be crisp and dead center.
In contrast to the Bach is the legato steady-stream-of-support music - the Mealor "Ubi Caritas" and Aaron McDermid's "Lord God You Have Called Your Servants" where we need pear-shaped vowels, and silky tone which creates beautiful lines. Vowels need to be darker, arch of the tongue high most of the time.
I'm eager to share these two programs. Too bad Minneapolis doesn't also get to hear the Dixon program - and too bad Dixon won't experience this hymn festival!
The rehearsals are now available on the member website (password access is needed) each week - you are able to listen anytime. Sometimes it's scary. Sometimes it's surprisingly fun!