Sunday, November 18, 2007

World Premier

He looks crazy in the picture, but he seems like a very pleasant, funny man.
Instrumentals don’t have lyrics.
—Me, just now

Music today centered on church. The choir performed three songs that we hardly rehearsed for the prelude. It’s really difficult to read the music and the lyrics at the same time. I much prefer performing when I have at least one of those fiendish thingies memorized.

Worse, I was almost on my own as the tenor section. The Percussive Punctuater was away at a men’s retreat. Usually, all I have to do is hit the notes and make the appropriate vowel sounds. Booming Baritone was assigned to sing bass. (He switch hits between tenor, baritone, and bass. Amazing.)

Luckily, one of the altos volunteered to help out. Otherwise, things would have drawn serious vacuum. But between us, we got the tenor part to sound something remotely like what was written.

A local composer, P. Kellach Waddle, handled the offertory music. He performed one of his own compositions—The Morning Dispair: Prelude in F Major for Solo Bass, a modern double-bass solo. It was awesome. He played some wonderful harmonics and toyed with pitch. With modern classical music, you never know if the tuning issues are intentional or not. So I always assume they are for effect.

For the postlude, he conducted a trio:

  • Our own lovely choir director on piano
  • Michael Dzbenski, tenor
  • Josh Borski, oboe

They performed a world premier of Hopes: Mini-cantata from the Requiem Mass, a work in four movements. It is based on text from Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor. The total postlude was slightly under 10 minutes. The longest of the four movements was just over four minutes. What I am trying to convey here is that it was very accessible. It focused on the optimistic parts of the Requiem, which may have also limited its duration. But that made it perfect for a postlude. Send the people away feeling good and wanting more.

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