Choral Union (9/5/11)


I received good news!!!  I got into Choral Union again!!  I really didn’t think I would get in because I was so, so, so nervous and screwed up the sight reading portion (which I had aced the year before, but for some reason just couldn’t pull myself together this time).

Now, granted this was the first audition I did while not medicated. I have serious issues with anxiety and well, Richard, our choral director has always been rather intimidating to me. (Even though I  baby sat his kids when I was a freshman and sophomore in college, I still couldn’t stop looking at him as “Dr. Nance.”) My anxiety got the better of me this year and I knew I made some mistakes that I otherwise wouldn’t have made had I been able to be calmer.

So, here I am. Venturing on my 6th year of Choral Union (though not consecutive years). I auditioned when I returned back from California and did okay, but my tonality was off because I had two golf ball sized goiters in my thyroid pressing against my vocal chords and wind pipe. Had those removed, plus my tonsils and well… I have never sounded better really. And my range has gotten so much higher and clearer! I am one of those sopranos that has little vibrato and have to generally work really hard to create one. Put me next to another person that I match well with and we sound like 10 people. I am super glad I have a place in this choir because it is my outlet for my soul, plus the time away from Sunshine is needed so I can recharge.

I am so excited to be singing in this choir again, and we are doing some amazing music this year. For the first concert we are doing one of my favorite madrigal sets by Morten Lauridsen, called the Fire Madrigals.

Taken from an exerpt that Lauridsen made regarding the Fire Madrigals: “I wanted this music to emanate (like ripples from a pebble thrown into a pond) from a single, primal sonority – one dramatic chord that would encapsulate the intensity of the entire cycle and which would provide a musical motivic unity to complement the poetic.  This sonority, which I’ve termed the “Fire-Chord,” opens the piece and is found extensively throughout all six movements in myriad forms and manipulations.

“Like several of my cycles, the Madrigali are designed in an arch form with significant sharing of material between movements one and six, two and five,  The cycle has its dramatic high point in movement four, “Io Piango,” where the music gradually builds from pianissimo to a fortissimo, seven-part explosion of “Fire-Chord” before settling to a quiet return  of the opening measures.  The “Fire-Chord” returns in its original key and spacing in the final movement, on the word …”You.”   The final cadence in the cycle is left unresolved – this love will forever remain unrequited.” Taken from a peer music site.

I love these pieces, and they are all about love, and the fire of love that is all-consuming. Although they are in Italian and some may not understand what we are saying, they have these chords that just tear your heart into pieces that generally coincide with the words “fiama” meaning fire, and “amor” meaning love. When these chords really jell, it is just amazing.

So, for a treat today, I am including my favorite piece in the Fire Madrigals. Se Per Haver Oime. (My other favorites of Lauridsen is O Nata Lux, and O Magnum Mysterium. Granted, a lot of these pieces sound so similar but they are still so hauntingly beautiful. Had to share).  Hope you enjoy and have a beautiful day!! Don’t forget to giggle!

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