Last night we met at The German Society in Northern Liberties or thereabouts, a large building that looks unpromising on the outside but proved to have a lovely neoclassical ballroom in cream and colonial blue, complete with musician's balcony and glowering bust of Beethoven.
The absolute angularity of the ballroom made everything boomy, particularly when we got loud. Why is one always compelled to oversing in a room like that? We dealt. After an hour or so, I think we had the hang of the room. Also, the boys' choir departed after that. They're very well-behaved in general, but I hadn't realized how many little noises from them and comments from their conductor were required to make it so. Since they were in the balcony above us, their small sounds sometimes seemed to be coming from odd corners, adding to the aural confusion.
We didn't run the whole thing. We did the first and twenty-ninth movements at the beginning so the boys could then leave. After that, Choir II did our movement with the soprano and alto soloists (who sing a duet), and then our evangelist arrived. We ran some sections where evangelist and choir go in tight sequence, like number nine, which has a lot of Choir I solo stuff. Then Mark, our tenor soloist, ran numbers nineteen and twenty with Choir II. Mark is so great; a good singer and a really sweet guy. This will be his third concert with us. He did the major solo in Finzi's "Intimations of Immortality" a couple of years ago, beautifully, then Mozart's Requiem last spring. On the strength of that, David apparently hired him for something down in Charlotte and now this. Anyway, those were some tricky bits and I'm glad we got to work out the kinks. All we need now is to run some sections with Jesus, and the bits with Pontius Pilate. And of course the big total run on Saturday morning in the actual hall.
Tonight is the free lecture David's giving about the Passion. Unless I am dead tired, I think I will go.
Small writing omen: I took the L to 2nd and Spring Garden, then walked over to the German Society. On the way, I found a memorial to the World War One soldiers of the 11th and 12th wards, a bronze sculpture of a doughboy atop a plinth that listed names.