I spent most of yesterday working on choosing hymns and anthems for the upcoming six weeks between this Sunday and Ash Wednesday. Managed to get all of the hymns chosen. The choir stuff is more problematic. I now have only one soprano, 5 or 6 altos, 3 or 4 tenors, 2 or 3 basses. I put it that way, because people’s attendance continues to be irregular. I have accepted this and am trying to come up with creative solutions.
At the same time my professional integrity insists that I at least consider trying to elevate the tone both by choosing music that is interesting and well-written, but also explicates or relates to the readings of the service.
This is a tall order. But I did find some solutions. I still have about three anthems left to come up with. I also have to strategize how quickly the choir will be able to pick something up. I have sketched in a little simplified version of a Handel Chandos Anthem (no. 4) for a week from Sunday. This is probably not enough time to learn even an easy two part anthem that is not designed specifically for quick learning. But the anthem is pretty general (The text is “O Worship the Lord” from Psalm 96), so I can probably schedule it later since it is a good piece of music and fits my situation (2 part women and men being feasible).
(When searching for a picture to go with the previous paragraph I ran across a site that sold me a copy of the entire original version picture above for $1.86 (Everynote.com). I had already searched online to try and find more information on this piece in the usual free sites. Cool beans. I’m printing out a copy in order to study the version my choir will do. I love the internets!
Yesterday afternoon I brought a Haydn trio (Hoboken XV:1 in G Minor). I have loved Haydn’s music for many years. I have played several times through his piano sonatas and took an entire class on him from the Haydn expert, Ethan Haimo, at Notre Dame which involved close intelligent scrutiny of many of his works.
I was happily surprised to find many of his trios available as sheet music free online (link to page) and equally happy that the one I chose was such a little masterpiece. My fellow musicians seemed to also get into it. A good time (first rehearsal after Xmas) to read some new music.
Haydn is a bit easier (not easy but a bit easier) than Mozart and Mozart is a bit easier than Mendelssohn. If I had it to do over again I would have suggested Hadyn before the other two. The piano trios of Mozart and Mendelssohn are wonderful but quite a bit of work of me.
I’ll end with some links I’ve been perusing:
First a couple I picked up off my Twitter Feed and have bookmarked to read:
Utne Reader plugged its article on the relationship of music to increased dopamine levels and decreased depression: “Ode to Joy”
Harold Reingold recommended Cathy Davison’s response to the NYT’s article on IPads in schools. Found on the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboration web site, she remarks: “…[I]f you change the technology but not the method of learning, then you are throwing bad money after bad practice.
The rest of these links I have mostly read through and bookmarked for future reference:
The Achievement Test – NYTimes.com “The size of government doesn’t tell you what you need to know; the social and moral content of government action does”
Charles Byrne, Irish Giant, Had Rare Gene Mutation – NYTimes.com Genes, not pituitary