Stick Time: Craft Beauty
Date: August 12, 2014
The present writer is unwavering (and unapologetic) in his belief that choral music is about the phrase. The latest literature “hit,” pretty wardrobe, various dance moves, and other affectations are no substitute for great choral music sung well.
Consider the accompanying performance from a recent ACDA divisional conference. Listen closely to the phrase structure the ensemble achieves within this work by Schütz (a composer whose composition are firmly rooted in the standard repertoire). What does the choir do with the dynamic arch? Is the tempo static, or does it have an organic ebb & flow? What about the word-stress within the poetry?
Then, if you really want to dive into the art you’ve chosen to practice, watch the conductor. What is he doing to encourage the performers and to facilitate the phrases that are being sung? It would seem that there really IS a relationship between gesture & sound!
As you begin this new academic year, make it a priority to craft beautiful phrases from literature of merit and value. Our art - and your students - deserve nothing less.