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).