Again, being a singer in the delightful Oregon Symphony Orchestra concert 2015 year end concert,
I cannot write a review, but I can relay what Maestro Carlos Kalmar told the Portland Symphonic Choir singers during their one (!) choral rehearsal with him on Dec 27, 2015
"Beethoven is just horrible to voices, even in this masterpiece, he
didn't care about the singers, he just wrote it and, eh, they just have
to make it happen."
"When your voice breaks - yes, I heard one there (m601) - it's just you are trying to apply too much pressure. Know yourself, know your limits, and sing always beautifully."
Choral notes by measure.
237 somewhat harsher, then
261 longer, more connected
284-5 strong "JA" from everyone
288 don't rush the "und", lead to
289 sfortsando on "nie"
290-1 all one phrase, no breath here
313 Sopranos are in the drivers seat, don't drag, and Kiss me (with a loud k)
312 make those half notes to quarters and all similar: No one early.
426 very fine, even a bit more than the first two "freudig"
546 Bass, tenor, alto, help me understand the eighth-note clearly.
549, 553, 557, really give me the sforzando, all the rest will be a little bit less.
595 Make it lighter with more phrasing, um-SCHLUNG-en mil-(crescendo thru)-li-O-nen.
603 Soprano and Alto, lyrical, leading to -SCHLUNG-en,
Tenor and Bass, detached, make the half notes a quarter note and rest thru 606
606 to 609 we crescendo
616 Basses crescendo as you go down, but in
617 Tenors, that note is yours. Own it.
619 Swing into the second note on "brü-der!", go with that till "-zelt" 622
623 crescendo to 626 with less on (milliO)-nen
630 "stürzt", the Ü is between oo and ee, very closed.
Make very clearly the final t: see my percussionists there? They should need umbrellas.
635 continue the crescendo. I want a compact, concentrated sound from the chorus.
650 nobody scoops up to ü-.
651 I want a very clear rhythm.
654 - the fugue -
Everyone has the three themes:
"Freude, schöner" is like dancing in a bierhall, a little lighter.
I want more on "Seid umschlungen": that has the power, strong and clearly defined and keep going thru um- SCHLUNG-en mil-li-O-nen. they are like the Oregon Ducks football players.
The "Freude" is like the cheerleaders on the sidelines (CK demonstrates a pom-pom gesture with his hands over his head) and I need to hear them. (CK used the same entertaining gesture in concert, looking at each section as they exclaimed "Freude!")
680 the basses and soprano are having a contest, "diesen küsse", "diessen küsse" then at
693 the altos just take over.
728-9 is the peak of the fugue, everything is going on. But he's nasty to the sopranos who have to just sit on that high A forever, but might give a little more there, too.
748 open the sound, keep the pace, and no schlepping
753 both T's in -(t)zelt, please.
795 the crescendo keeps going.
801 This and later with fire. You know how a vortex goes around and around, but it goes down? This is a vortex that goes up. I don't know a word for it.
810 forget all about the poco adagio until you are in it, until then it's all energy and speed.
812 This is very good poetry on top of amazing music. "sanfter" means "tender". Think about that.
Sopranos, please keep the pitch up.
865 with intensity, stress the beginning of each bar thru here.
915 the T of Tochter is very hard, roaring powerful, molto fortissimo thru
916 "aus" you put the "s" on the eighth note so there is a separation.
Subito pianissimo for "Elysium"
920 very clear rhythm, do the last "-funken" with me, not insanely fast, just normal fast.
So that's what we did.