The Countdown Continues (With Updates)

The always-insightful Steve Siegel has a great preview up on the Morning Call’s site.  Thanks to Ellis Finger for hosting me on WDIY on Tuesday morning.  It’s always a pleasure to discuss The Choir’s work with our friends at WDIY.  Tonight, The Choir has our first rehearsal with the two pianists, Tom Goeman and Eric Plutz, as we dig into this wonderful arrangement (by the composer, himself) of the Brahms Requiem.  I will have my trusty iPhone on hand to take pictures, and will publish the best ones here.  Tickets are still available and will also be available at the door.  More about this fantastic concert, soon!

Tom Goeman's hands, with Greg Funfgeld, Chris Nomura, and Eric Plutz

Update, 3/16, 10:00 pm: Rehearsal concluded a few minutes ago with vigorous cheers for the unexpected win by Lehigh’s basketball team over second-seeded Duke University.  Also, the music wasn’t half-bad!  Very much expected was the power and musicianship of our own beloved Tom Goeman, joined by his very estimable colleague, Eric Plutz, and did they over-deliver!   As they ticked off the sixteenth-notes in octaves that invigorate the “death, where is your sting,” section of the sixth movement of the Brahms, one of my colleagues in the bass section combined the word “holy” with a slightly less-holy noun.  Indeed.  I assiduously try not to overuse the superlative “awesome,” but, in this case, it more than applies.  Greg’s main exhortations to us had little to do with technique (we know and love this piece), but to constantly, inexorably dig deeper: to find more in the text with which to relate, to project the substance of this amazing music with evermore care and clarity.  There’s a palpable excitement in The Choir to do just that, and I’m certain that Sunday afternoon will be full of musical and spiritual delights.

Tom Goeman, Greg Funfgeld, Laura Heimes, and Eric Plutz, at Saturday's rehearsal

Update, Saturday Evening, 3/17/12:  We had a very intense 2 1/2 hour rehearsal this afternoon, working long sections of our repertoire.  At this point, there are less corrections, and more refinement.  Things are sounding exceptionally beautiful, and the sense of ensemble and esprit de corps are very advanced.  The artistry of Tom and Eric cannot be overstated, and it was a delight to welcome our two soloists, Chris Nomura and Laura Heimes.  Laura has sung with us at Bach at Noon, and was willing and able to substitute for Tamara Matthews, who had to step aside for health reasons (we’ll be eager to welcome her back, and wish her all the best in the meantime).  Laura and Chris both sound absolutely fantastic.  We’re all sharing in the sense that tomorrow afternoon’s concert will be very special, indeed, and are eager for our audience to hear this gorgeous music.

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