What a contrast! From the grandeur of Brahms to the intimacy of Schubert and the earthiness of Ramirez.
There was not much time for musing during last night’s rehearsal, but I could not help but be struck yet again by the contrasts in the music we sing. Especially for Choir members going to sing Ein Deutsches Requiem again in the concert promoted by Distinguished Concerts International New York, the sounds and feelings associated with our recent performance continue to resonate in our minds. Indeed, I have a diary entry which reminds me that, after we sang the Brahms in 2013, the music was still buzzing around in my head six weeks later.
As we tried last night to sing the Schubert Mass with grace and style, and to engage with the complex rhythms of the Missa Criolla, it struck me that the nature of each piece could be represented by the ideal venue in which it should be performed.
The orchestral version of Ein Deutsches Requiem would sound best in the florid grandeur of a 19th century concert hall such as the Musicverein in Vienna, or in the vast acoustic of a Gothic cathedral, for which the Cardianl Cerretti Chapel is pretty much the next best thing available to us.
The Schubert Mass…..well, I can hear a small choir and a minimalist orchestra singing that in the comfort of the grand salon of a French chateau, or in the modest chapel of an English country house. Its apparent simplicity and its transparency would fit well with the domestic surroundings.
Missa Criolla would sound great sung outside in a natural amphitheatre. The rhythms, the energy, the sheer joie-de-vivre of the music might even encourage listeners to get up and dance. It is very engaging music, and although, as we found last night, it is complex to put together, it is very easy to listen to.
But back to Brahms. Some of our members have already left for New York, and others will be going during the course of the next week. I am sure that everyone in the Choir will join me in wishing them safe travel, an enjoyable time in New York, and a thrilling experience singing Ein Deutsches Requiem in the wonderful Carnegie Hall.