Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Die Mainacht.....The Gondoliers.....wrong notes and all !

Preparing for exams, festivals and a show........all within the next 6 weeks ! I am tempted to say AGH ! At the moment all the exam candidates are working hard. P who is tackling the Trinity Advanced Recital Certificate, is singing some difficult and 'grown up' music including the tricky and substantial Brahms song Die Mainacht. It is such a beautiful song, full of romantic and rolling melody as many songs by Brahms are, and the long phrases are simply TOUGH ! I think I quite surprised P by admitting to her that in the dim and distant past when singing this song myself in recital I always took a cheat breath in the big long final sentence. Suddenly given permission to 'cheat' she could manage the sentence and make it seem as if she were singing the whole thing in one monumental phrase, and let the examiner ( or indeed audience!) think she possessed iron lungs !

Young N sang her whole festival programme today and almost fainted by the end of her lesson ! One after the other we covered Fac ut Portem, Pergolesi, Miss Baggot's Aria, Britten, Ah Chloris, Hahn, Sleep, Ivor Gurney, Bist du bei Mir, possibly Bach (?!) and I Built upon a Rock, Princess Ida, Sullivan.........pause for breath ! We missed two things out, a duet and another English Song, Weep you no more by Quilter. It is a hefty sing and she did it with courage and strength........and looked like a rung out rag by 3.30pm !

The rehearsal went well, I am working them and pushing them at a rate of knots, and will hopefully consolidate tonight's slog at a long rehearsal on Sunday. I am sincerely hoping that all who were there tonight turn up on said Sunday. I am getting rather vocally worn out from playing all the roles who are not able to be with us until the exclusion two weeks.......and playing the infinitely tricky piano accompaniment of The Gondoliers........and keeping a beady eye of the casts various feet, hands and fairness there is an abundance of wrong notes and fistfuls of harmonies which are nearer to Shostakovich that Gilbert and Sullivan !

It is, however good for them to have to sing 'against all the odds' so to speak ! It's good for the soul.

The loveliest of photos of a very handsome young Johann Brahms.

Always been my favourite.........


Die Mainacht
May Night


As the moon shines silver through the trees
Casting its sleepy light on the grass,
The nightingale sings,
And I wander sadly from bush to bush.

Hidden, a pair of doves coo
Their pleasure, but I turn aside
In search of deeper shade,
And shed a tear.

‘Oh when, you smiling face, which like the dawn
Lights up my soul, will I find you here on earth?’
And a lonely tear burns my cheek.


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