Our chorus began work on the vocal movement tonight for a May performance with the orchestra. I know that many of you are more familiar with this work than I, and may even have performed it. I'd like to keep a rehearsal journal similar to the one I did for Bolcom Prometheus.
First - I knew it was in German, a language with which I have no familiarity. Tonight was my introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Our director handed out scores and two sheets which I'm sure will prove to be very useful. The first was a line-by-line listing of the lyric with the IPA below. Very helpful if I only knew the IPA...oh-now I do (see link). Can review at home.
The second was the complete lyric with the English translation. Always nice to know what one is singing about.
The director started rehearsal by explaining the IPA and stating that he knew there were all kinds of German dialect. We are going to sing in Hochdeutsch as confirmed by a pronunciation dictionary he has at the ready to quell any dissention. He started us on spoken pronunciations that were incorrect (unusual tactic, I thought), and worked us toward the correct ones. By the end of rehearsal (they are only 1.25 hours/week through Easter, then will expand to 2.5 hrs) we had completed learning pronunciation on the first three lines, and matched them to the choral music. (measures 472-493). I thought it sounded lovely.
My goal this week is to review the IPA on the three lines and make sure I thoroughly rehearse the words and part together. Also find a recording and review the piece while looking at the score.