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● On March 27, 2015, Michel Grinand, editor of the e-zine Avantchoeur.com, reviewed our performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Read here for his glowing review (French).
● On March 19, 2015, Michel Grinand, editor of the e-zine Avantchoeur.com, attended one of our rehearsals in preparation of our Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis concert. He also interviewed Zach and subsequently wrote this article about his impressions of the choir.
From one of our newsletters……..
Interview with guest conductor Mihaly Zeke
PCS Workshop on Mozart Mass in C Minor
The PCS consistently holds one or two Saturday morning workshops to help us prepare the music for each of our concerts. This season, we’ve started incorporating a guest conductor or voice teacher to expand our knowledge and vocal technique. Members thoroughly enjoy being led through the pieces by someone with a different perspective and interpretation of the music. Plus, our main conductor, Zachary Ullery, can join the bass section as a singer for the day!
On February 6th, we worked with Mihály Zeke on the music for our April 8 and 9 concerts. The following is a short interview with him about the music we will be singing.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of the Mozart?
A: The ability to span long phrases in an expressive way and create a coherent phrase. The solution is partly to be found in singing things lightly and other things more fully, then connecting and creating a light legato – because Mozart is in a transition zone between Baroque music and what will become Romantic music.
There are a number of challenges, which are made even more spectacular by the sheer size of the work and it’s expressive force – it’s very theatrical.
Q: What is the most beautiful moment in the Mozart?
A: I’d say that the suscipe depracitione section in the “Qui Tollis” movement is a really beautiful moment for me because it’s very expressive of the text. Mozart creates a scenery at the beginning with this very difficult, incessant and harmonically tortured progression. This paints a medieval tableau of Christ‘s suffering and carrying of the sins. Then the suscipe text comes in a soft and plaintive single voice part. It’s like one small human being in a huge cathedral. It’s a very nice dramatic setting of that contrast in the text.
That’s one of the spots, but there are quite a few.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of the Burchard?
A: It is the ability to develop piano lines, meaning soft singing, and always keeping this floating sound. Additionally, the large number of parallel fifths in the lower parts make it challenging for the choir to sustain the sound, but… that’s difficult for every a cappella work.
This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.