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Rehearsing Baroque Choruses

Rehearsing Baroque Choruses
My church choir is currently rehearsing the Durante/Pergolesi Magnificat for a service in December. Any tips for rehearsing these choruses as they seem so hard to break into bit-sized parts. I find I am just running them straight through. Would you suggest unaccompanied rehearsal and just giving cue notes. I could see this really benefitting the basses who have so many running eights.
on November 16, 2013 5:58am
First, Bravo for bringing this wonderful music to your church choir!  
A couple suggestions:
• In each group of 4 eighth-notes, energize the 2nd note. 
• In the basses' "Dispersit" melismas, teach the harmony underlying them: play triads or figured bass underneath them.
• Baroque music should fly. Snap fingers on off-beats. 
• Anacruses should be perhaps even more resonant and vital than downbeats. Be ready to fly!
• Warm up with some upward scales, keeping them light and really together - no racing! And warm up with those melismas.
• Spread the singers out so theres more space between singers so they can hear themselves over the roar of the group and can sing more lightly.
Good luck! You're giving them a real masterpiece.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 30, 2013 6:48am
Thanks John. Super points.
Energize the 2nd note of 4 eigth-notes --- will give this a try.
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