Thursday, November 20, 2008

And Singing!!


After the Swan Valley gig, we came home, worked really really hard at getting folders out the door and catching up on paperwork and then we had 3 intense rehearsals Thursday evening, Thursday later evening, and Saturday morning before this sold-out performance on Sunday in Missoula!!
Here's the

PROGRAM:

  • Frostiana (Seven Country Songs set to the words of Robert Frost) - Randall Thompson
    • The Road Not Taken
    • The Pasture
    • Come In
      • Margaret Lund Schuberg, flute
    • The Telephone
    • A Girl's Garden
    • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    • Choose Something Like a Star


  • Blow Ye the Trumpet - Kirke Mechem
  • Sinfonia Sacra - Daniel Pinkham
    • John Driscoll & James Smart, trumpets
    • Lance Boyd & Gary Gillett, trombones
    • Jeff Stickney, organ
  • Distant Land - John Rutter

My comments:
  • Frostiana song cycle is a favorite of so many pepole.... but for me -meh. The only piece in the set I really like is the last - Choose something Like a Star. I love that poem.
  • I had not heard of ("paid attention to") Kirke Mechem before much to my loss! This setting of Blow Ye The Trumpet is just lovely! And interesting to the performer because the dynamic markings are quite the opposite of how one might easily approach singing a hymn - and Mechem's markings make the piece all the more dynamic and dramatic! this is one of the chorales from the opera "John Brown" - which was composed over 20 years and just this past May had its premier with the Kansas City Lyric Opera. I have now ordered a set of Mechem's art songs and am quite happily looking forward to exploring this (new to me) composer!!
  • The Pinkham piece, Sinfonia Sacra, was at times fun and at others painful - just like most of his writing. Performed with a brass quartet, we got to sing loudly and louder still!! But Pinkham's rhythmic dissonance is what makes me cringe - it just always sounds like people are not playing/singing together.... while at the same time the harmonic inter play of consonance/dissonance is rather pleasing. this one I'd sing again - maybe give it 4.5 stars!!
  • Distant Land- most likely Rutter's most schlocky piece ever, but appropriate sentiment immediately following the latest election cycle - "I touch a distant hand and we are one....." over top of an arppeggiated/romantic piano.... blech. However, if it helps reach out to any alienated American and reminds them of our common human plight - we are in this world together after all - most likely for a reason!- then I will sing it over and over again :)

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