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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Beginning rehearsals with RK again

Today I began rehearsing with RK again. They'd had the week after Easter off after a fairly exhausting and busy time. After I left they had their performances of Rachmaninov The Bells (in combination with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir) with Jukka-Pekka Sarasate, first in Stockholm with the Radio Orchestra, but then in Oslo and Helsinki, with their respective orchestras. They also did the All-Night Vigil, in Stockholm with Risto Joost, then in the other cities with Tõnu Kaljuste.

Prior to Easter they combined with the Latvian Radio Choir under Kaspars Putnins, singing the Pendereki Stabat Mater and Agnus Dei, Pärt The Beatitudes, and the Pizzetti Requiem (all pieces that I prepared). Then, on Good Friday and Easter Saturday they did the Bach Matthew Passion with Daniel Harding and the Radio Orchestra. That was, I heard, a mixed success, as Harding put the two choirs/orchestras at the front and back of a very large church, which made for difficult coordination problems. I hope to hear tapes of the broadcasts of all these concerts. At any rate, a very busy time for the choir!

I have three rehearsals this week on the Verdi Quattro Pezzi Sacri, which they'll be doing in May (notice again how schedule often forces them to prepare works far in advance of the performances) with Peter Dijkstra and the Nederlands Kamerkoor in Holland. They'll also do the Pizzetti on that tour, but on their own, so I'm also reviewing it with them. Even though they've just done it, there are about 5 or 6 of the choir that didn't sing that production and I also have Peter's markings. Yes, markings! It's a pleasure to be able to work with Peter's meticulously marked scores--if you read my previous post on this topic (or have dealt with this yourself), you'll know that it can be frustrating to prepare a choir for someone with no idea of what they want. At any rate, I'm enjoying this.

On Friday (my fourth rehearsal) I'll work with them on a really beautiful piece by Sven-David Sandström, April och Tystnad, and Lars Johan Werle's trees (an ee cummings text), one of my favorite Swedish works. This is to give a little head start to their work with Peter next week on a program that they'll do on a short domestic tour.

Sunday was a getting-over-jet-lag day, then Monday I met with Gary Graden for lunch, followed by meeting with Eva Wedin at the Radio library for some planning. It should be a busy week!

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