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For Unto Us A Child Is Born


OK, I guess I have misspent my life as a chorister. I do not know "For Unto
Us A Child Is Born" by heart. (In fact, I last sung this 25 years ago.)

So now I'm in a choir that requires us to sing this from memory at the first
rehearsal, and I have a small problem. In the tenor line (measure 61), we
sing: "And the government shall be, shall be up-o-o-o-on his shoulders".
But on the study CD, it's "And the government shall be upon his
shou-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oulders". (It's also this way in my Schirmer edition.)

I realize that the director's word is the law here, but which reading is
considered correct here?

Thanks,
Steve Stein

on December 7, 2002 12:10pm
Steve,

That would depend upon which edition your conductor is using. Since you
have the Schirmer, I assume that is the edition the choir will be using.
Therefore, I would go with the text underlay in the Schirmer. There a
numerous editions of Messiah, so the recording you have could be using the
Watkins-Shaw, Carl Fischer Coopersmith, or other edition.

Regards,

Craig D. Collins
Director of Music Ministry
Mt. Zion United Methodist Church
19600 Zion Street
Cornelius, NC 28031
ccollins(a)mtzionumc.net


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-choraltalk(a)lists.colorado.edu
[mailto:owner-choraltalk(a)lists.colorado.edu]On Behalf Of Stephen Z Stein
Sent: Saturday, December 07, 2002 11:14 AM
To: choraltalk(a)lists.colorado.edu
Subject: For Unto Us A Child Is Born



OK, I guess I have misspent my life as a chorister. I do not know "For Unto
Us A Child Is Born" by heart. (In fact, I last sung this 25 years ago.)

So now I'm in a choir that requires us to sing this from memory at the first
rehearsal, and I have a small problem. In the tenor line (measure 61), we
sing: "And the government shall be, shall be up-o-o-o-on his shoulders".
But on the study CD, it's "And the government shall be upon his
shou-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oulders". (It's also this way in my Schirmer edition.)

I realize that the director's word is the law here, but which reading is
considered correct here?

Thanks,
Steve Stein


on December 7, 2002 2:18pm


"Stephen Z Stein" wrote in message
news:BA178919.22574%szs(a)removespam.rcn.com...
>
> OK, I guess I have misspent my life as a chorister. I do not know "For
Unto
> Us A Child Is Born" by heart. (In fact, I last sung this 25 years ago.)
>
> So now I'm in a choir that requires us to sing this from memory at the
first
> rehearsal, and I have a small problem.

Am I alone in thinking this is very strange behaviour for a choir/director?

I think the director is asking for an awful lot of problems if (s)he is
asking you to memorise before telling you which edition you're using (!),
and before even discussing dynamics, phrasing, articulation, style etc, etc,
etc..

I'm not a fan of memorisation in most circumstances, but surely if you
memorise you should decide interpretation first, rehearse and mark that
interpretation and then memorise it?

Jon


on December 7, 2002 4:40pm
>(It's also this way in my Schirmer edition.)
>
>
There are many problems in the G. Schirmer edition. That may very
well be one of them. I feel much more confident looking at either the
Watkins Shaw or the Coopersmith editions.
--
## Dean Ekberg ##
## Rochester, New York, USA ##

on December 7, 2002 6:36pm

> In the tenor line (measure 61), we
> sing: "And the government shall be, shall be up-o-o-o-on his shoulders".
> But on the study CD, it's "And the government shall be upon his
> shou-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oulders". (It's also this way in my Schirmer
edition.)
>

1) I wouldn't trust Schirmer at all.
2) All other scores I have seen so far read:
"And the government shall be, shall be up-o-o-o-on his shoulders"

Sincerely,
Alan Dergal R.

on December 7, 2002 8:53pm
Message text written by INTERNET:choraltalk(a)lists.colorado.edu
>So now I'm in a choir that requires us to sing this from memory at the
first
rehearsal, and I have a small problem. In the tenor line (measure 61), we
sing: "And the government shall be, shall be up-o-o-o-on his shoulders".
But on the study CD, it's "And the government shall be upon his
shou-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oulders". (It's also this way in my Schirmer edition.)

Oh Dear, all these different editions of the most popular oratorio only
serve to confuse.

Your CD is probably from the older Prout edition published many years ago
by Novello.
The Schirmer seems similair to the newer Watkins Shaw edition used in the
UK.

I'm afraid it's whatever the conductor says should be sung! Speaking as a
tenor who has suffered under this problem
for many years I sympathise with your problem!

Trevor

from Kent UK where it seems to have been raining for the last 10
years!!!!!!

on December 8, 2002 7:37am
Jon,

It does sound a bit strange, but there may be some reason for it that we
don't know. Perhaps Stephen is new to the group and the group has already
been rehearsing and has all that information. If not, it is putting the
cart before the horse imo.

Regards,

Craig D. Collins
Director of Music Ministry
Mt. Zion United Methodist Church
19600 Zion Street
Cornelius, NC 28031
ccollins(a)mtzionumc.net


on December 8, 2002 7:42am
Alan,

>1) I wouldn't trust Schirmer at all.
>2) All other scores I have seen so far read:
"And the government shall be, shall be up-o-o-o-on his shoulders"

In grad school for one of my papers I made a comparative study of the G.
Schirmer, Watkins Shaw, Coopersmith and Kalmus editions. Both the G.
Schirmer and Kalmus editions are chock full or errors. I don't remember if
that was one of them, HOWEVER; if that is the edition the group is using,
and unless the director has given them the "correct" text underlay, imo
Stephen should go with what's in the score, since that's what the rest of
the group will do.

Regards,
Craig D. Collins
Director of Music Ministry
Mt. Zion United Methodist Church
19600 Zion Street
Cornelius, NC 28031
ccollins(a)mtzionumc.net


on December 8, 2002 2:19pm
>>(It's also this way in my Schirmer edition.)
>>
>>
>There are many problems in the G. Schirmer edition. That may very
>well be one of them. I feel much more confident looking at either the
>Watkins Shaw or the Coopersmith editions.
>--
>## Dean Ekberg

What isn't clear here is whether the conductor has told the singes to learn
their parts from the CD that's been supplied. If so, that's exactly what
they'll learn, and they'll never unlearn it! Perhaps the conductor doesn't
even realize that there's a difference between the CD and the music?

John


John & Susie Howell
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411 Fax (540) 231-5034
(mailto:John.Howell(a)vt.edu)
http://www.music.vt.edu/faculty/howell/howell.html


on December 9, 2002 7:37am
John,
Hence one more reason not to learn from a recording. There is
this--apocrophal--story about Wilfred Baine's preparations for Bach St.
John. During a lull in a party at the Baines, his wife was heard over the
crowd that Wilfred had worn out three sets of records learning the piece.
I, for one, have not resorted to study tapes but I rehearse each of my
ensembles daily perform fifteen concerts a year. Each ensemble gets at
least one major work if not twol. Once a week choirs require different
means, of course but I'm still not convinced about learning from tapes.
Steve

Stephen A. Stomps
Auburn High School Choirs
250 Lake Avenue Extension
Auburn New York 13021
PH: 315-255-8341
FAX: 315-255-5876
HOME: 315-255-1783
email: steve_stomps(a)auburn.cnyric.org
AHSChoir(a)auburn.cnyric.org

on December 9, 2002 10:03am
Stephen A. Stomps wrote:
>John,
> Hence one more reason not to learn from a recording. There is
>this--apocrophal--story about Wilfred Baine's preparations for Bach St.
>John. During a lull in a party at the Baines, his wife was heard over the
>crowd that Wilfred had worn out three sets of records learning the piece.

My wife was there! It wasn't St. John; I doubt he could have conducted it.
I think the three records may have been the Enigma Variations. But the
story is Gospel, not Apocrypha. Apparently it was quite a concert, for
some aniversary or other, with conductors who hadn't played in years trying
to play their violas and ex-met sopranos who refused to be in the same room
with each other! Wilfred was not a very good musician, but he was a genius
at managing people. Subsequent Deans lacked that genius.

> I, for one, have not resorted to study tapes but I rehearse each of my
>ensembles daily perform fifteen concerts a year. Each ensemble gets at
>least one major work if not twol. Once a week choirs require different
>means, of course but I'm still not convinced about learning from tapes.

If you have a choir of non-readers and don't want to spend the time in
sectionals and note-pounding, it is an alternative. But it's also true
that practice doesn't make perfect; practice makes permanent. My Sweet
Adelines Chorus used learning tapes, and if I tried to make a change in
rehearsal they'd go back to their tapes and relearn it without the change!

John


John & Susie Howell
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411 Fax (540) 231-5034
(mailto:John.Howell(a)vt.edu)
http://www.music.vt.edu/faculty/howell/howell.html


on December 12, 2002 1:22pm
In article , Craig D.
Collins through the Choraltalk Gateway
wrote:

> Since you
> have the Schirmer, I assume that is the edition the choir will be using.

No, I have the Schirmer from a long time ago. (My high school
daughter, upon seeing this edition, commented, "$4.95! You're OLD!")

And the answer (at least this director's) was - "shall be, shall be".

At a breaknexk tempo, too. Handel must have loved his tenors. They
get off easy on the 16th note runs.

Thank you to all who have commented. I certainly learned a lot!

Merry Christmas to all,
Steve Stein

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