To those of you whom we had the pleasure of hosting last night, here is Moondog singing Nero’s Expedition. As you may notice, we got it wrong––the round starts after 4 bars, not 3. So, now we’ll have to drag it out next meeting and get it right. Not such a bad thing. I’m really fond of it.
So, here are a few bits and bobs from last night’s session––a nearly lovely Non nobis domine (I say nearly because we’ll do this again, and better), a little jocularity around Britten’s treacherous setting of the word “merry,” and our first complete read-through of the canon from his Welcome Ode. Again, this will greatly improve but it’s important that we hear our starting point.
I thought it might be fun to make recordings of our sessions from now on and post the best from each, just for our own information and entertainment. To our long-time members these first two will be perhaps a disappointment, something to remind us of what we are capable of. Our new members can maybe use it as a starting post––keep track and, as time goes by, relish the development and improvement, and hopefully your own feelings of enjoyment in singing.
Keep in mind, too, that we are not a choir. We’re a class for individual improvement. That being said, you all made some really lovely sounds last night.
I heard about this choir this morning on Radio 4, as I’m sure many of you did, and thought I should post it to the group. When you hear this choir and listen to yourselves (And yes, I’m going to record us one evening soon!) you’ll hear that you are anything but tuneless. You’re singing in 3-part harmony, in tune and with a blend. So, go LVW!!
Time for a folk revival? Ready for incense & candles? Beehives, Beatniks and Birkenstocks? Me, neither. But this is a great song by any standards, and while not an overly ambitious arrangement, I think it nicely captures the mood.
This will be a really nice change of pace for us. Don’t panic, it’s not too difficult to learn. The difficulty will lie in the dissonances that derive from singing the 3 parts of the canon together. When it’s right, it’s quite magical. I’ve included clicks in (hopefully) appropriate places to help you count the bars of silence.
Another 3-part madrigal from the 17th Century by Thomas Tomkins. It’s lovely and sombre in its minor key.
When you work from the audio be sure to note what bar and beat you come in on as all audio parts start immediately and may not reflect your actual entrance beat.
Check out these lyrics:
How great delight from those sweet lips I taste Whether I hear them speak, or feel them kiss! Only this want I have, that being graced With one of them, the other straight I miss. Love, since thou canst do wonders, heap my blisses And grant her kissing words, or speaking kisses.