This has been a very exciting week as we gradually welcomed back all the junior choristers and our junior probationers. New music has been learned, musicianship and vocal training has resumed and processing whilst singing has been practised. We are ready for our full complement of singers for the first time at 11am Mass on Sunday.
Particularly heart-warming this afternoon was the excitement and happiness at the resumption of the Friday teas today - lovely spaghetti bolognese and brownies and vanilla squares! Some choristers even went up for a third helping (the choir staff were pretty pleased too)! It has been a week of positivity.
For those who have been keeping an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages, you may have spotted that we have begun live-streaming the Sunday masses on our Youtube Channel. This has been a wonderful development, however we knew that it would be hard to wire into the Pro's existing sound system. Although it's great that the choir can now be heard in Hi-definition, it is just as equally important that the liturgy of the mass can be heard.
In a relatively short period of about three days, a solution was planned and has been executed. I'll include some short audio test clips to give an idea of the quality improvements. The live-stream links will still be posted to the Facebook and Twitter pages, however instead of linking directly to YouTube, they will link to the Live-Stream section on the website.
After months of uncertainty, covid restrictions and online rehearsals, many of the junior choristers returned to choir today. Chess, card games and reunions were popular elements to break-time! And, they could still sing!
The Senior choristers have done a wonderful job singing over the last few months. It was, however, wonderful to see these junior choristers back and to start re-building the choir from the grass-roots upwards.
The second of today’s motets; the aforementioned ’Videntes Stellam’ by Francis Poulenc was one of his latter choral compositions and was composed in the midst of a religious awakening following the death of a close friend.
Poulenc’s musical language demands a lot from the choir, whether it be the use of complex harmony or fastidious note-lengths; especially with this unrelenting homophony! We look forward to singing his ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ next week.
We're so wonderfully pleased to be able to begin processing again. It's the first sign of things returning to normal again. Along with that, the long awaited return of our younger choristers, who have been biding patiently through Zoom classes and rehearsals. We can't wait to welcome them back to rehearsals this Wednesday, where we will begin working through this week's mass setting and motets:
Missa Trahe Me Post Te - Victoria
O Magnum Mysterium - Poulenc
Omnes de Saba - Handl
This week’s motets consisted of Victoria’s ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ and Poulenc’s ‘Videntes Stellam’. This piece is very typical of Victoria’s highly expressive style, full of mysticism and serious devotion!
The text captures Christ’s self-abasement at the moment of his birth, insofar as that he would allow himself to lie, vulnerable, among common animals; ox and ass. A true mystery indeed.