Monday, December 03, 2007

Corigliano is for the birds

My stint with American composer John Corigliano's Dylan Thomas Trilogy is finally over. And not a moment too soon. I am now free as a bird from atonal, "quasi 5/4" time signatures (and I quote from the piece), and random hissing and bird calls, and have never been so excited to move onto some straightforward Handel as I am now! We birds of a feather flocked together as members of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, committing to 9 nights in a row of rehearsing, performing, then recording Corigliano's work, and in between singing we would all discuss how much we hated the music. Recall back to the Phillip Glass piece we premiered last year... that music was a stretch, yet by the end of the final concert I was sad to see it go. Not so with Corigliano. I have at most grown to appreciate the work, but if I never sing it again it will be too soon. According to the Tennessean, At least one person liked it.

We finished recording early last night, and as they say, the early bird gets the worm, and she also gets to go home and decorate her pink Christmas tree!


Mark Kelly Hall said...

I woulda paid cash money to see you doing bird calls as part of a "serious" music performance. Oh well.

BTW, the "one person" who liked it will remain anonymous to your readers until you fix the link. One "http" too many.

NSC Tenor said...

Gee--I've spoken to a number of people who liked it, even loved it--mostly in the audience, but one of them was your director ;-). TBS, apart from "Fern Hill," which I loved and envied the Chamber Chorus for getting to sing, the choral writing wasn't that thrilling; we were most of the time an accompaniment rather than the star attraction. A difficult piece, but without much glow of accomplishment. But I'm withholding my own judgment until I get to hear the recording; to the listeners I've talked to [covering a wide range of sophistication], the work seems to be considerably more than the sum of its parts. And Corigliano's own gratitude to us for taking this on made it worthwhile for me. We haven't done anything like this before--place a work that because of its scope and difficulty will be rarely performed before the public in a form that they can listen to and have grow on them [or not--we'll see]. That's worth something--indeed, it's a far more important contribution to classical music than recordng another warhorse, however well. If it works, this could well get us that long-desired Grammy.