9 March 2015

Singing at Mass again.

I sang at Mass for the last three Sundays. I thought yesterday would be the last I would be singing at Mass for some time, but then the music director/ organist asked if I could sing the Easter morning Mass. I should have considered it a great honour of which I am unworthy, but the first thought that ran through my head was that the sopranos must be busy- which, as it turns out, was true. It's nice to be wanted.

The other week I was practicing with the Music Director and my singing teacher. I asked the director if we could go over Schubert's Ave Maria, as I am trying to expand my musical repertoire in preparation for hopefully joining the wedding and funeral circuit where I will, hopefully, Get Paid. The entire time I sang the Ave Maria my teacher was looking at me with a facial experssion which I read as "Why on earth would you want to sing that?" Afterwards, he warned me to sing it like I was walking a tightrope and to be wary aout making a mistake, as it will not be missed. He has a point. There is no happy ending to singing that song, or the Bach Gounod version of the Ave Maria. They have both been done to death, and by the greatest singers in the world. No one looks good in comparison. No matter how well I sing, no one will come up to me afterwards and say: "I have heard that sung by Pavarotti, Domingo, Sutherland, De Los Angelos, Price, Del Monaco, Bjorling- even Caruso himself- but I have to say your version was the best."

At any rate, for Easter I am preparing the Victimae Paschali Laudes sequence, which has never been sung at my church as long as I have been going, the communion proper in Latin, and the Marian Antiphon for Easter to sing post communion. I imagine Christ the Lord is Risen Today will be on the menu for the day. I don't know what I'll do for communion yet, but I'll come up with something. In the past when the sopranos sung for Easter they usually had some festive closing piece - one year it was an aria from Handel, I believe. It was quite glorious. The director often prepares an organ postlude. One year it was Widor's Toccata, another he had a violinist and together they played an organ violin redaction of the Allegro from Vivaldi's Concerto in A minor. I hope he does something similar this year, at least for his part. Easter is one of the occasions where it is only proper we pull out all the stops, and I love to hear a good organist putting a decent instrument through its paces. I doubt he'll have me singing anything grand. As he has pointed out to me on multiple occasions, the sopranos are better trained, and generally better singers than I. Not to sound bitter, but I really only needed to hear it once, and not even then. I had figured it out.

1 comment:

frival said...

I'm confused, not a single Haugen, Haas or Schutte piece. How does this place continue to call itself Catholic? ;) (Yes, tongue placed firmly in cheek - those sound like some splendid selections indeed.)