Sunday, February 10, 2008

My senior music recital

It is finally over! I don't have to think about it the rest of the semester. It was a hectic weekend with my family here, and things were really rushed in the morning before my recital. I was stressed out, got there late, all the other people singing in my recital were already there, waiting to practice, but in the end, all went well. I had 20 songs in my program, including 4 Gregorian chants from the Lenten season, two polyphony pieces by Palestrina, one by Guerrero, and the Burial Sentences by William Croft. The recital was pretty much exactly an hour and a half long. I made a few mistakes in my recital, but nothing anybody else noticed, so all is well. You can't expect perfection. I had the recital recorded, but i just realized today upon listening to the master CD that somehow the person recording for me only got HALF of the last song! So I'm a little upset today, because I was planning on having copies made, but I need to find out how that happened, and find a way to have the whole recording of the song. it really is a disappointment because it was Bach/Gounod's Ave Maria, which was one of my favorite songs in the program and i had worked hard to do that well. I pray that something will work out.
On a more positive note, it is interesting and satisfying as a singer to have previous recordings of myself, from high school and 1st year college, and to hear the huge difference in how I sing. It is a good feeling to know how much I have improved.

I had wanted to do a post this past week on Ash Wednesday at my parish, but it's a little late to say much about it now. All i will say, is that the men did an absolutely WONDERFUL job singing the chants, it truly is impossible to describe the effect they have on you. I had forgotten that the Ash Wednesday chants are some of the most beautiful in the church's repertoire. And they were made all the better by some of the men just singing a moving drone ( I don't know what else to call it) while the others chanted the melody: it adds SO MUCH depth to the chant, and even more moving! I don't think i had ever heard Nick do that with the men. Organum yes, drone, no. Although i guess it would be considered a type of organum.
Being able to sit and take in the beauty of the chant just fills me with such an excitement and desire to bring that beauty of chant to the rest of the church! I had taken Shawn and three other Catholics with us to my church that evening, who had never been to the latin mass or heard chant, and they found it to be absolutely beautiful and moving. I think that would be the reaction of most people if they heard chant done well, and in the context of a beautiful, sung liturgy. I just can't imagine people hearing the chant as we did and say to the music director afterwards: " I hated all that music, it was awful, don't ever do it again!" That is, unless they hate beauty and truth. I do understand though, that they needed to be provided with english translations as well.

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