Thursday, 1 September 2011

ASC

aka Actual Singing Content.

basilique sainte marie-madeleine de vézelay
Or choral content to be precise.

But don't anyone ever tell you it's easier than solo work. Because it's not. Nope. Nuh-uh. Not in a million years.  You need an extra kind of confidence. It's not enough to know you can sing the music by yourself, you need to know that you can sing it with other people, be able to blend with other voices, not be put off by the others in your section, or be so scared that you're not pulling your weight, or are sounding crap, that you end up forgetting how your technique works. You almost need to be arrogant about it all.  It intrigues and confounds me!

But what better music to be intrigued and confounded by than the wonders that are the Requiem, and Mass in c minor, by WA Mozart, with Arsys Bourgogne, and the Camerata Salzburg.  Om nom nom!  (I auditioned last year - my first as mezzo/alto, so I was doubly pleased to take part!)

But enough of such inane twaddle - I know you really want to know about where
we sang, not why, what, or how we sang!  ('Cos really, after the initial - ooh pretty music, and ooh - cool orchestra, the rest is all hard work, sweat, and tears!)

Arriving at Vézelay in Burgundy in 36c heat at 9pm wasn't my idea of fun, I have to admit, but after making a tour of the village, fell in love.  Not with the hills. No. (The small town is built on the summit of a hill.  The rehearsal venue and the basilica was at the top, my hotel was at the bottom.  Big hill.  Much sweat.)  But oh. Pretty. PRETTY!

Ruins.
Ancient buildings.

Picture-postcard views.


And then there was the Romanesque Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene.


Absolutely stuffed to the gunwhales (or, should I say up to the pillars) with fabulous stone carving...




 feel free to click on the pictures for enlargments

The interior is lovely and light, with some nice stone striping on the arches.




And there was one example of stained glass.  (I had taken many more of the same window, but only discovered once I had arrived home that the reason none really came out was because the lens was rather needing cleaned!)


An exhausting 10 days, but totally worth it to be able to marvel over a lovely and ancient small town, and take part in some fabulous music-making.

1 comments:

Tammany Friday, 2 September 2011 at 12:29:00 BST  

Nah. I've been to Salzburg twice. I want to hear about the singing! I'm in two choirs this year and it's killing me. One is 40 voice and one is 120. You're completely on target about technique. I think I forget how to sing at each rehearsal and find myself over singing or under singing, depending on which group is rehearsing. It's frustrating to no end. Still, I get to sing Orff, Berlioz, and Respighi this year so I'm only sort of complaining.

Mair Bloag Weejits

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