A gloriously sunlit October day, suitable for rehearsing the first part of Poulenc’s Exultate Deo. This piece really has the light of the sun glowing through it in the second section, ‘Jubilate Deo,’ with Poulenc’s trademark musical language of added-sixth and seventh chords and prominent major second passing notes; there’s a terrific sense of freedom to the piece, both harmonically and rhythmically in the way the time-signatures changes between three, four and five crotchets in the bar.
Circle Time followed, where we broke ranks and stood around in a circle to sing the section of the Poulenc that we’d learned; it was amazing to stand surrounded by the colourful chords and exuberant harmony of the piece. And a great way to test the integrity of the voice-parts: in general, a fairly sound effort – the odd, typically Poulenc, dissonant sonority needed careful attention, but otherwise an exciting start.
Victoria’s Ave Maria is another motet which has great rhythmic freedom – occasionally there’s a dance-feel that interrupts the regular metric feel, as though he is eager to dance but feels he can’t within the confines of a formal sacred motet, but it’s uncontrollable and sometimes can’t help but burst through. Unlock the dance-rhythm in music, and it comes alive…
And here are some of us: Reading Week and flu claimed the others.