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Tallis O Lord in Thee is all my Trust

Hi all, am new to the forums. I am about to start the beautiful O Lord in Thee is all my Trust with a small SATB ensemble of 12. I am just wondering if those of you who have taught/conducted this before could discuss the various things to watch out for in this piece. It looks deceptively simple :) I can already see that it really needs to be sung legato and emphasis needs to be placed on the meaning of the words, otherwise I think it could have a tendency to plod. Does anyone have any other words of wisdom before we start on our journey?
Thanks, Ciara
on February 4, 2014 1:04pm
Ciara, you are well on your way with your thoughts.  I would add that you should make it dance.  Consonants are essential.  With your idea of emphasis on the meaning of words, I would remind you to remember you of what you already know and that is to not make this a "romantic work."  Make use of dental consonants for clarity of text, vowel for clarity of beauty, and a sense of dance for vitality.  Will your choir be standing in such a manner that their bodies can and will exhibit the feeling of beat/dance?  Do not make the vowels too dark.  Dynamics should be limited to mezzo piano and mezzo forte.  There should be no ritardandi no crescendi nor decrescendi.  Make it renaissance.  Have you thought of including the Nunc dimittis from Weelkes' Eighth Evening Service to close your concert?  This work is so rarely heard and it truly awesome.  Good luck; have fun; and create the excitement you have for choral music into your choir members.
on February 4, 2014 2:34pm
John thank you for replying and thank you so much for your tips, they will be very useful. I didn't realise that there should be no crescendi or decresceni, the music builds to a natural climax in the penultimate phrase of each verse, do the notes themselves provide enough emphasis? We are a group of 12 out of a larger choir and as such are performing two pieces as part of a concert programme end of March. The second piece is  O Occhi Manza Mia, by Lassus, a total contrast and one which we have done before. It's very good fun to sing. I don't know the Nunc dimittis at all, I shall have to look it up. Thank you for the suggestion. We had our first rehearsal of the new year last night and there was great enthusiam!
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