“I was much encouraged by the rehearsal tonight,” Carl said on the way home last night after our 5th choral rehearsal on the Mass in B Minor. For openers, almost everyone was present, which is a big part of the equation!
That reminds me of a joke that is floating around the internet: A community band was plagued by attendance problems. Several musicians were absent at each rehearsal. As a matter of fact, every player had missed several rehearsals — except for one very faithful oboe player. Finally, as the last rehearsal before the concert drew to a close, the conductor took a moment to thank the oboist for her faithful attendance. She humbly responded, “It’s the least I could do, since I won’t be at the concert.”
Last night we rehearsed only Part I, which is the Kyrie and Gloria. Next week, though, the choir is going to sing the whole piece, from beginning to end. We’ll have to stop rehearsing Bach for a few weeks to do the Holy Week-Easter marathon.
“I would like this choir of 40 to sound like 20,” was one of Carl’s admonitions last night. “Not so heavy!” Then he turned to the sopranos, saying, “Sopranos, you have to prepare that high note in advance! You can’t wait until the last second!”
At the break, Carl took the opportunity to “voice” the tenors, to find the optimum seating arrangement for blend, balance and tone. Who you sit next to is an important factor in the overall sound of the choir. Carl always has the group sing “My God, how wonderful thou art”, sung to the tune “Dundee” for voicing purposes. I believe that all sections have now been “voiced” except for the basses, which Carl will probably work on next week.