We nearly had to call the Fire Service to attend last night’s rehearsal. Carlos was on fire. What he had been doing for the rest of the day I do not know. But by the evening he was well and truly ignited, fired with a passion for the music we are singing and fired by the vision of the performance he wants us to give in a few weeks’ time.
And when Carlos is on fire, he lights up all and sundry around him. Nobody was spared. All voices were put through the mill; our pitch, rhythm and intonation thoroughly assessed and, wherever necessary, corrected.
Never content with just notes, Carlos instilled in us the sense of the music; where to sing gently, and where to sing with strength; how to add colour and texture to reflect the conjunction of music and words; all the time projecting the true character of the music as if there were an audience somewhere in that crowded room.
By the end of the evening, our performance of those two key sections of The King Shall Rejoice was cemented in our musical consciousness.
I reflected as I drove home, with Thou hast prevented him and Allelujah still rushing around in my mind, that it’s at times like this that we should be very thankful to have such a great man as Carlos as our conductor. It cannot be said too many times: we are extremely privileged to work with a consummate musician who not only understands all the intricacies of the music but also is ready to freely share his own innate musicianship with us.
We can look forward to a few more rehearsals in the same vein, as Carlos refines and polishes the rest of the music for the concert.
And we can look forward to two fabulous performances. With a little more effort, we should sell all the tickets and sing to two capacity audiences, who will no doubt be thrilled with what they hear.