Joshua Bronfman has a great post on the importance of the German motet: “A colleague of mine recently said: “I make it a point to do a German motet every year.” That statement sort of blew me away, and changed the way I program for my top college choir. I thought, “Well, of course,” but it wasn’t a thing I actually did. Since then I’ve changed, and every year I’ve made it a point to program at least one, and sometimes two, German motets in my season.”
A transcription of Flight of the Bumblebee, performed by Yuja Wang. I usually take it a little faster myself, but her tempo is also impressive.
More from Richard Sparks on auditioning.
Richard Sparks has an article on how to audition singers. I do it much the same way, and I also find that fewer students know “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” as you might think!
Valery Gergiev has conducted a lot this year. From last August to the end of this month, Gergiev has conducted 261 concerts. That works out to essentially five concerts per week. It’s hard to imagine being able to know your music well enough, nor does it seem wise to have so many performances (and thus so many rehearsals) while traveling that much. But, that makes it all the more impressive that Gergiev could keep it up all year. Kudos to him!
A funny picture that mimics a parable about choral conductors — they waste rehearsal time describing vivid imagery when there’s really no need. One of my conducting teacher’s mantras was “say it in five words or less.” We could all use that reminder every once in a while.
Richard Sparks on how to audition singers. It’s important to hear your singers individually, even in a non-auditioned chorus, as it gives you an idea of the ensemble as a whole and so you can place your singers more effectively.