4.12.2008

Anticipation! Daniel Kellogg Post


Tonight I heard my piece La Luz in rehearsal for the first time with both chorus and orchestra. In total, there were around 220 performers on stage which is by far the largest performance force ever to perform my music. It was an incredible experience to say the least. For the last few years I have grown to love writing for orchestra. There are infinite combinations of sounds and the range from intimate soft textures to powerful full orchestral passages is stunning. For many years I have loved writing for choruses. Chamber choruses have a beautiful sound, but large choruses bring new levels of warmth and strength. Writing for these combined forces has got to be one of the coolest composing assignments.

I already knew the orchestra was offering a beautiful rendition of my music from the last two evenings of rehearsal. Now I know that the chorus is also doing a wonderful job and the piece has come to life with a whole new dimension. Many thanks to Maestro Dudley Birder and the whole chorale.

The main issues we needed to deal with during rehearsal were integrating the chorus with the orchestra. It is easy for an orchestra of 70 players to dominate a chorus of 150. Heck, two loud trumpets could obliterate 150 singers. During the first run through, I placed my handy post-it notes in 8 spots where the orchestra was too loud. Then Maestro Reischl and I had a mini conference on stage before she communicated the nuances to the performers. For the most part, this involved changing things by shades of dynamics. The first run through was good but the second run through was great. Things were gelling very well.

At break I heard many comments from both the chorus and orchestra that the piece is really great now that it is all together. Up till this evening, each group had no idea what the other would sound like.

A really fun part of the rehearsal was a party thrown by the Green Bay Commission Club. We gathered early for dinner and drinks and I offered some comments about the music. Then they were invited to bring their drinks into the balcony and hear the rehearsal. From what I heard, they loved it. As special guests, they got to hear the rehearsal in a nearly empty hall and could even stand and move around if they wished. I have always loved hearing music at rehearsals because there is an intimacy that can be lost with a packed house. They also seemed to enjoy watching me confer with Maestro Reischl after the first run and then hear those changes come to life during the second run. This is going to be a great concert.


Addendum…

I didn’t get to post this last night and I have just come from the afternoon dress rehearsal. Things are getting even better. Maestro Reischl’s tempos and phrasing really came to life today. The piece has a great flow and I love all she is offering. All of the performers have stepped things up a notch. I can’t wait till tonight…

No comments: