Saturday’s rehearsal is CANCELLED. Singers should practice The Volunteer Organist, Proud Mary, Look at the World and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to prepare for our next rehearsal at 17:45 for 18:00 next Tuesday 1 October at 55 Broadway.
Today’s rehearsal was delayed by the impact of heavy rain on London’s Transport network. But we had a go at Transport of Delight, did some serious work on Jesu Joy and Va Pensiero, and sang The Volunteer Organist for the first time. A good time was had by all and we ended up with our best turnout this ‘term’ with at one time 7S, 4A, 2T and 2B.
Yesterday (Saturday 21 September) we found ourselves expectedly singing to visitors on the route of the 55 Broadway Open House Tours and worked on Betty Botter, Con Amores, Chitty chitty bang bang, and learned Jesu Joy from scratch. We had a bit of a discussion about this wonderful piece of Bach with its 1-2-3, 1-2-3 beat (which the basses get to sing most of the time) and here is an instrumental version of an extract from Bach's original Cantata 147, in German to help you get a feel for how it goes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZKGD2IIhjk.
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (or simply "Joy") is the most common English title of a piece of music derived from a chorale setting of the cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 ("Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life"), composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1723. The same music on different stanzas of a chorale closes both parts of the cantata.
A transcription by the English pianist Myra Hess (1890–1965) was published in 1926 for piano solo and in 1934 for piano duet. It is often performed slowly and reverently at wedding ceremonies, as well as during Christian festive seasons like Christmas and Easter. (Source - Wikipedia.)
We welcomed one new prospective member and our former chairman, Nina, and made a good sound with 4S 2A 2T ands 1B. On Tuesday 24 September, again at 55 Broadway, we plan to concentrate on Chitty, Con Amores, and Va Pensiero.
And below is some social media publicity about our forthcoming event at Southwark Cathedral.
There will be no rehearsal tomorrow, Tuesday 17 September.
The next two rehearsals will be on Saturday 21 September at 1500 and Tuesday 24 September at 1800 - both at 55 Broadway. Do check the schedule here on the website. Please destroy any copy with the words 'to be confirmed' against the Saturday dates.
Last Saturday we were a little hampered by transport delays but started with A Transport of Delight just to show we were not downhearted. We worked on Proud Mary, The Ash Grove (including the tricky last three pages which we have not sung as a choir in recent times) and finished with those tongue twisters. Great fun.
If any member who has not been to rehearsals so far for the Michael Keyte memorial event on Saturday 19 October (or who is now available for the event at Southwark Cathedral on Wednesday 6 November), now is the time to start coming to rehearsals - you will be very welcome and we will work with you so that you can catch up. Both events look to be enjoyable - and the repertoire for Southwark is nearly finalised. And then there's (dare I say) Christmas, with three events confirmed so far. More details on the website.
The final MP3s will be posted shortly.
On Tuesday 10 September at Stratford we were delighted to see / hear three new / potential / returning singers and enjoyed some creative warm-ups. We sang through some of the Abba Medley, reprised Look at the World, and rehearsed Va Pensiero - the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves - and The Gasman Cometh - two very different pieces which used to be in the Choir’s repertoire some time ago. For most of our songs for the October Concert we now have MP3s on the website and others will follow shortly.
Our next two rehearsals will be on Saturday 14 September starting at 2pm and then Saturday 21 September at 3pm, both at 55 Broadway. If you can't get to Broadway before three this Saturday, no worries - just turn up!
Oh and Merel asked what we know about Va Pensiero. This is what I found on Wikipedia:
“Va, pensiero" (Italian: [ˈva penˈsjɛːro]), also known as the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", is a chorus from the opera Nabucco(1842) by Giuseppe Verdi. It recollects the period of Babylonian captivityafter the loss of the First Templein Jerusalem in c. 500 BCE. The librettois by Temistocle Solera, inspired by Psalm 137. The opera with its powerful chorus established Verdi as a major composerin 19th-century Italy. The full incipitis "Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate", meaning "Go, thought, on golden wings".
Some scholars have thought that the chorus was intended to be an anthem for Italian patriots, who were seeking to unify their country and free it from foreign control in the years up to 1861 (the chorus's theme of exiles singing about their homeland, and its lines like O mia patria, si bella e perduta / "O my country, so beautiful, and lost" was thought to have resonated with many Italians).
Last Tuesday we rehearsed Look at the World, The Ash Grove and Two Tongue Twisters. I'm gathering together / commissioning some music links and files to post on this website but the list below should be a useful starter. Meanwhile Merel has been meeting Southwark Cathedral to firm up on the music for our big event on 6 November. Tomorrow's (Tuesday 10 September) rehearsal is at Stratford.
Look at the world:
Gas man cometh:
In Italian https://youtu.be/2F4G5H_TTvU
In English https://youtu.be/UvbX_Ek4XG8
Tenor 1: https://youtu.be/xMggu8BjF38
Tenor 2: https://youtu.be/YNWAbkH90tw
This is in unison until page 6 so it’s the last half that the parts are most useful.