Monday, November 27, 2006

Four Pieces From Vivaldi's Gloria.

Here are four great pieces of choral music I'm doing with a six week Christmas choir. The Northwoods Conservatory Choir in Minoqua WI. We rehearse 8 times in six weeks and then perform one Sun. afternoon at 1:oo. I do two short choirs a year to work on my singing voice and because now I'm hooked on them. It's great fun if you've got a penchant for playing and singing music. I was stunned to find out when I showed up the first night that it was all christian inspirational music; at this secular musical institution. I only went because it was organized by some folks who I sing with in a christian choir during the spring. I can't believe the excellent musical selections we're doing. I'm absolutely loving it. So I thought I'd start to share them with you here.

What an amazing resource this was for me. I came away from the first rehearsal with 8 complex pieces of choral music that I had to learn and 10 minutes after returning home I found most of them on this site after just 'searching' the author and title. I read music but can learn much quicker by ear. Hope this stuff adds to your library of good Christmas tunes. Vivaldi's bio is also very interesting.

In order to listen to each one of these, you'll click on the title below, which will take you to the right page, and then will have to scroll down to, and click on, the 'selected track' which will be highlighted for you.

Gloria in excelsis Deo

Et in terra pax

Gloria in D, RV589 -...

Cum Sancto Spiritu

(I included the four that don't remind a person of Christmas as much because it's a little early for me to start thinking much about it.)

The other neat thing to do, while you're at Rhapsody looking at their music, is to add some that you like to your 'favorites' page for easy access to perhaps raise your spirits at certain times(or even to vanquish some other moldy old seasonal tune out of your head with).

Peace and joy and hope and most of all love as we get closer to the highly stress filled dual-natured Chrismas season. Lots of hard work ahead. Joy as well, with the mind set on the Spirit. Let me echo a hardy praise God! Todd


Bhedr said...

Well, I encourage you in this wonderful endeavor. Sounds great.

I play guitar. There is wonderfull stuff out here in cyberland to enhance that talent as well. It is amazing what this stuff opens up. My oldest son is moving up to speed quick. It wont be long before he surpasses me one day. I just sit back and wonder what it would have been like if we had all of this when we were kids.

boronic said...


Great music. If you get a chance, post your concert on Sing We Now of Christmas! which is a free resource designed to promote Christmas caroling and related music.

Merry Christmas

Todd Saunders said...

So true Brian. Recognizing a kids propensity to enjoy music by playing it is a nice gift from a parent. We probably all have our stories of discouragement from our parents. I wish I had the option of keeping up on piano lessons and trying guitar lessons when I was in fifth grade; and then the trumpet in 7th. Turned out I had to drop everything but the trumpet. But we learn from our experiences and go on. I never did give up entirely on any of them.

Then as a young adult in college and realizing I had a little talent at playing by ear and even making up tunes, I realized I didn't have any musical foundation in many of the 'other' classical forms of music; big band music, folk, blues, jazz, bluegrass, but just a bunch of classic country and classic rock in my head. None of the basic forms of music to draw from except classical and marching band music. I have made up for that though by now. So with my daughter, I'm programming her with all the stuff she'll need just in case she has the gift or the urge to get serious with music. So far she's very musical and loves to sing. I'm also reluctantly happy to say that she'll break out in a hymn in the grocey store and I'm always having to quite her down(especially, All the Way My Savior Leads Me).

So your doing your son well by giving him what you're giving him. Then when he becomes an adult he'll have a little ability to fall back if he wishes to use it.

I'm telling you, this choir thing is a good thing for me. I got home and found that music on-line and really went fast forward on the parts. The next week at rehearsal I think most of the bases and tenors heads were spinning at how difficult it was to learn this stuff without practicing it at home so I was just yelling out my part and having a blast listening to it all in contrast to the sopranos and altos and baritones. It was better than just about any bluegrass jam I'd ever been at. Take care.

Todd Saunders said...

That's quite a site with quite a mission. You've got quite a daunting job in helping to develope it. I did get some useful info off of it. Thanks.

Bhedr said...

Yes I play a lot of ear as well and those old Rock and Roll classics and folk and country are easy to pick out...but of course classical demands much discipline...but you know in reality bluegrass flatpicking is some of the most difficult playing I have ever tried and have succeeded very little in. Anyone cam pick around some pentatonic and major scales and all but to infuse the chords and pick out at the rate and speed they do...well it is just beyond me. One of the greatest guitarists in flatpicking in Steve Kaufman.

Todd said...

Yes bluegrass is extremely technical stuff. Just like all branches of jazz and blues. I started when I was about 30 years old and I worked my way up to being able to play the melody and memorized improvisations up to speed(a good part of the time anyway), but it's really still out of my reach to get very technical unless I play very slowly. But it's fun to rip through repetitive old-time fiddle tunes. All that stuff really helped me grow some skills on the piano and it's really pretty ridiculous what I discoverd I can do. Just in the way of underlying rythmns and harmonies and layered themes and the sort. Be patient and I'll get some sort of fun stuff posted by the end of the winter.

I agree about Steve Kaufman. I saw him about 17 years ago or so a couple years after he won the national flatpicking championship (in Galax?) doing a dual flatpicking show with Mark O'Connor of all people who started out playing the guitar before it was discovered he was a musical prodigy and went on to gain all that fame on the fiddle. But I just heard a more recent recording the other day on the local bluegrass show with Kaufman and someone else brilliant on the mandolin playing Sweet Georgia Brown and it was incredible. Just incredible.

Bhedr said...

Wow your a flatpickin fan as well. Yep Galax is in Virginia as well.

Wow! Great. I didn't realize your scope of talent. You must be great to listen to on all of your instruments. This is great.

Yeah I guess Doc Watson inspired everybody by his technique and I guess Kaufman has put it all into hyper-drive. Amazing.