Jeff: I was worried about you after we talked earlier.
Erin: Yeah, I was pretty upset... I'm sorry I got off the phone so abruptly.
Jeff: Well, I was afraid I was insensitive.
Erin: No, you didn't say anything wrong! *pause* We weren't on the phone long enough.
Both: *pause* *snicker*
Jeff: Yeah, good point...
Tonight we rehearsed with our orchestra for the first time, packing them into our usual choir rehearsal room, which was ridiculous and a little entertaining. We also had our soloists present. I'm iffy on our soloists. Both are addicted to vibrato, and not the nice kind, either. They have vibrato that wavers way out into the ether of "no particular pitch whatsoever". Garrr. But they're technically proficient and liable to sound decent in the show space, so I'll try not to be a snob...
Tonight was also an interesting and new experience for me, rehearsal-wise: I have never performed for the first time with an orchestra while being directed by the Chorale director. It was amazing. The Chorale coasted through, and Tsolainou had to spend lots of time in nitpicky spots helping the orchestra... there were several spots where she went twice as fast as their own director had been leading them all semester long.
Now, our orchestra is one damn fine group, but it's hard to describe the smugness a choir feels in a situation like that. To, just once, not have to adapt to a new director and appear completely goofy and clueless in a dress rehearsal? To, just once, not miss half the cues because the director gives them differently? To, just once, not have every tempo feel odd? Priceless. And all because apparently, Tsolainou is awesome enough to direct an orchestra.
In-depth Brahms geekery which I refuse to cut because, frankly, it's way more interesting than all the whining I've been doing lately:
Movement I: I have it memorized. It's always lovely to have something very easy to start with. I sing this one in my sleep at this point.
Movements IV and V: very pretty, very BO-RING. Well, not really... it's like acting, though. It's SO much fun to act a part where you can cry and scream and make a huge mess, but it's more technically difficult in many ways to act like a normal human being. Singing is the same way for me. I have to focus on tiny nitpicky details like tone and inflection during IV and V, because I'm not wailing all over the place like the dead rising. IV is a waltz! A freakin' WALTZ! Only Brahms could pull that off in a requiem.
Movements II, III, and VI: all big showy dramatic pieces with screaming and sturm and drang (and fugues). These are my favorite bits. During VI tonight, Tsolainou actually asked us to sing with desperation, "as though your life is meaningless". And people wonder why I love singing requiems. It's like free therapy, people.
Movement VII, the last one: it has been so hard for me to like this one at all. That's because it's a physically strenuous movement, but not fast or loud or furious like the other really hard ones. It has lots of long, graceful, beautiful, difficult places. Doing movement VII after movement VI is like following a 400 meter hurdles with a single, impossibly long yoga pose. By the end of it, I'm sweating and ready to die. But that's nothing; I'm an alto... I'm shocked that I don't see sopranos dropping off the back of the risers during VII. It's got to be some kind of level of soprano hell: sing six movements of a requiem, and then the last one keeps you on long notes that absolutely have to be beautiful, and you might as well rent an apartment above the staff because that's where you'll be the whole time.
I'm almost to the point where the spots where I have trouble are just going to have to stay that way, and if I get them right by accident during the performance, awesome, and if not, oh well...
Semagic/LJ keeps giving me server errors, btw. Anybody else having this problem?