- January 10, 2019 at 4:26 pm #585574
I sing in & assistant direct a semi-pro group — some trained voices, some untrained — of 20 voices (5/part). This season we’re singing the Brahms Requiem. And while I ADORE this piece and am psyched to perform it, it is uh. Probably a bad idea for a group our size. (Don’t ask me, I had no control over rep selection.)
Anyway, the choice has been made, and I’m trying to do damage control. How does a group this small successfully sing the Brahms Requiem, both in terms of
a. making music (sustaining the long lines, etc.) and
b. not shredding our voices?
Interested in suggestions for rehearsal, performance, score study, whatever!January 11, 2019 at 10:52 pm #585611
You might consider contacting Chris Shepard, Artistic Director at CONCORA. He led the ensemble in this music last season — 21 voices, Brahms’ 4-hand piano arrangement (the “London” arrangement). A recording might be found on YouTube, IIRC
GMChoraleJanuary 15, 2019 at 8:36 pm #585789
A few suggestions for you:
Use a small, resonant performance venue, not a great carpeted hall.
Use the smallest ensemble you can get away with. The two-piano arrangement is fine for the fugues but I would sorely miss the woodwind.
Don’t rehearse at all in the afternoon of the performance.
Consider holding one or two guest tenors in reserve for the final movement. Even in a large chorus, their final entries demand staying power.
Finally, trust the music. Brahms’ writing will allow your lines to carry without your having to force them. I think your contribution will be a lot better than just damage-limitation.
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