Saturday, 4 February 2012

Marlborough is Alive with the Sound of Music

Sopranos front, tenors & basses middle, altos right.
Some slightly fuzzy photos here of my choir practise last night at Marlborough College.  I took them surreptitiously on my Blackberry phone, as not everyone likes to be photographed!  The choir is large and consists of 230 singers with mostly sopranos, about 70 altos, about 40 tenors and some very powerful basses with big voices making up the number.  We are singing Handel's "Messiah," and are spending 12 weeks in rehearsal before the performance in the College Chapel on Sunday March 18th.  We will be accompanied by the Southbank Symphonia Orchestra, and will have four professional singers as the solists.  It will be a splendid occasion.
Ian our accompanist on the piano and Simon our conductor discuss the music.
Ian, our wonderful pianist, accompanies the practices on the grand piano and here he is discussing with Simon our conductor, the finer details of Handel's great work.  Or perhaps, they could be discussing what to drink later after the practise! 

Simon talked last night about Baroque music and its lack of dynamics. There are no crescendos or diminuendoes marked in the score of the "Messiah."  It contains what is called, "Terraced dynamics" meaning, a phrase of music was played either strongly and loud ff, moderato mf, or quiet p or pp.    Simon is full of interesting little snippets of information about the history of music and is an excellent conductor, getting the most out of his willing singers.   The website gives more information about the college music department.  

Music is an international language, the markings I apply to my score are they same as those applied by singers and muscians around the world.  It is a great uniter of people, and Daniel Barenboim has used his talent to unite both Israeli and Palastinian musicians during the terrible troubles in both their countries.  We must all make music!
The large stage is empty during our tea break.  This concert hall is used by the school for musical evenings and for concerts given by outside performers, singers and orchestras, which are often free to the audience.  The college chapel holds a series of organ concerts, which are also free of charge to attend.  The college involves the local community in its events. 

Simon waiting to resume the practice after our break, with some of the lady altos in the backfground.

No comments:

Post a Comment