No rehearsal tonight (January 26)

We are, with the aim of keeping everyone safe, canceling tonight’s rehearsal. I will see you all on Wednesday at Littleton High School. If we can get there by 7, we’ll have a little time for a quick warmup and placing everyone on the risers. Rehearsal will begin with the orchestra at 7.30 and run until 10 with a 15′ break. Please bring water (nothing else – no soda, coffee, etc -). I’ll build in some times where you can (quietly) get off the risers.

While I’m not happy about missing tonight, I think it’s the right call, and I know that you will all spend your evening wisely. Which means sitting down with your score and going through the notes I sent, or finishing your markings, or finding a way to love the second part of the Credo fugue 🙂

Another thing I always do is to write the translation of the Latin on each page of my score. As Swafford says, “Instead of Classical form and key relations, he decreed the absolute primacy of the text: the rhythms for both singers and orchestra are the rhythms of the text, the moods are the moods of the text, the ecstasies and moments of mystery explicate the text: Gloria! Et resurrexit! Et incarnatus est. As Beethoven pounded his hands and feet and bellowed as he worked, composing with his whole body, he wanted us not only to understand but to feel every phrase and every significant word, not only in our hearts and minds but also in our bodies, like the rocketing scales and ecstatic cries of Gloria and Hosanna, and the shuddering of the “Crucifixus.” In theory he deplored overt pictorial representations in music, but he had enormous powers of musical description when he wanted to use them, and he had painted plenty of pictures in works including the Pastoral Symphony. In the mass there is not a single image suggested by the text that is not mirrored viscerally in the music: ascendit races up, descendit plunges down. That both gestures are clichés does not concern him. He is after bigger matters. More than any other single element, the unity of music and text is the driving force, the form, the logic, the meaning of the Missa solemnis.” (Excerpt From: Swafford, Jan. “Beethoven.” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (www.hmhco.com). iBooks)

I am very excited about our Beethoven – what a privilege it has been to learn it and work on it with you. Stay warm, safe, and healthy – see you Wednesday!