Tannis Sprott (soprano)
We began our Saturday rehearsal on an introspective note. Our former rehearsal accompanist, Bruce Kirkpatrick Hill, passed away unexpectedly last week. Even in a city the size of Toronto, the musical community is a small one, and he had many friends among the choir who wished to attend the funeral. It leant a special resonance and poignancy to our rehearsal of the Bach funeral anthem Der Gerechte kommt um. Music encapsulates all of life’s journeys, and our choral program encompasses them all.
It was wonderful to have the orchestra join us this weekend. In six hours of rehearsal we managed to cover all of the accompanied repertoire twice. The different colours of the various instruments in the orchestra bring so much life to the music. The Rameau Tendre Amour just shimmers with the addition of the strings, and when the trumpets and timpani joined in on the three Bach selections on Sunday we nearly blew the roof off the church! You can really feel the excitement building in the choir as we incorporate the orchestra and begin the final shaping of the music. What we don’t have a sense of yet is the contrast from the accompanied works to the more ethereal quality of the contemporary repertoire, but I bet it’s going to be stunning.
Sunday’s rehearsal was preceded by a lecture for members, who were invited to attend our rehearsal. They got to hear first hand some of Ivars’ endless stream of new and colourful imagery to assist us in our interpretation of the music. The sopranos are still not raunchy enough in the Bach Singet dem Herrn when we’re praising with drums and dances, and at one point Ivars instructed the basses to “wear red shoes”. That one went completely over my head, but I’ll be listening to see if I can find a “red shoe” moment in our dress rehearsal Monday night.