Repertoire schedule change FOR CHALICE SINGERS (Jan 31 2018)

Repertoire schedule change FOR CHALICE SINGERS (Jan 31 2018)

Good morning, intrepid Singers-

The service this coming Sunday has changed somewhat, and “Always Look” is no longer appropriate for it. So: we’ll plan to sing it later this spring, I would guess offhand that March 25 will be the best date for it.

I’ll be sending you markings for “Sicut Cervus” soon. Let’s plan to work on it Thursday, so please review it. I sent you the transliteration of the text, right? The main issues are:

  • straight tone; if you can sing without vibrato, please do;
  • word accents are as always important (be sure to slightly de-weight the weak syllables);
  • follow the shape of the line; Palestrina is a great master at shaping line (a smooth, symmetrical rise and balancing fall); a very subtle dynamic shaping is a natural result- but don’t overemphasize this;
  • cadences in this style usually carry a slight diminuendo and very little if any ritardando (see for example mm. 23, and the end); very few cadences- he’s the great master of eliding, covering and obscuring internal cadences, for a seamless continuity;
  • bring out, as always, the first few notes of entrances in imitative passages (in the first section, mm. 1-23, it’s the first 4 notes, for example);
  • all notes longer than a half note generally carry a very slight intensification;
  • in suspension figures (for example, sopranos, m. 9, last beat into m. 10, first beat), do a slight crescendo into the downbeat (this dissonant note); I’ll mark these for you later;
  • I’ll send you a few dynamics (very subtle!) and some breathing places- basically, you may not breathe mid-phrase!

I’d like to ask you to start working on the Tye piece (“Give Almes of Thy Goods”), as time permits; it’s lovely, has a great message, and is very much in the Palestrina style/technique, though simpler and more homophonic (vertical) in texture.

Thanks for your musicianship and hard work- see y’all Thursday!

Tom