Monday, January 4, 2010

'010 musings

Four days into 2010, and the holiday that was, is all but a memory. A really good memory though. Jasper was as relaxing as it was energizing. We could have done without the drive back in bad winter driving conditions, but we are back in one piece, and quickly getting back into the regular routine.

This weekend, I'm conducting the second concert of the Scona Chamber Singers in a program of Heinrich Schütz, which includes selections from both Geistliche Chormusik, as well as smaller ensemble selections from Kleine Geistliche Konzerte. The program was selected by my co-artistic director, and soprano Jolaine Kerley, and we are being joined by organist Jeremy Spurgeon and a DMus cello student, Amy McClary. We started rehearsing on the 2nd, and put in quite a few hours this weekend, and will meet again on Friday for two more days of rehearsals, and do the concert on Sunday. The music is coming together fast, but it will take a few more runs for us to keep into the rhetoric of the language, and gel as an ensemble.

Scores, of course, have been a bit of an issue, especially finding good continuo realizations. The U of A library does house the complete works, and most of the Kleine Geistliche Konzerte is realized nicely in the Bärenreiter-Verlag Kassel edtion, but there is nothing for the Chormusik except a figured bass. Luckily, Jeremy is a pro - so I don't think it will be too much of an issue. The added complication is we are doing much of the concert in a different key than published, so I will be spending the better part of the day tomorrow in front of the computer transposing the cello part - but it will be worth it, and it's mostly quite straightforward.

Aside from this project, everything else is running as it should - Da Camera gets back into action tonight, and Richard Eaton Singers tomorrow. The church choir resumes after just one week off, and we enter our seven month period of interim ministry following the retirement of our Rector of ten years. It will be very different around the parish, but I am lucky to have an extremely supportive vestry and staff. It seems I will be relied on for much of the liturgical planning, which will up my work load a bit - but it will be a great learning experience!

On top of all this - I'm back to counting my calories today. I did manage to lose close to 30 pounds last time I started this regime, and of that, only 10 have crept back again. If I can drop another 25 or 30 by summer, maybe it will drop another 5 or 6 strokes off the handicap. Four more months until golf season! sigh.

Poster for concert:

After a friend pointed out that Schütz looks like the original owner of a local wrap and sub sandwich restaurant I can't look at this portrait, painted by Rembrandt, without seeing Schütz holding a ham and cheese wrap.

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