Basso Continuo's Music Page
[Top Page] > [Gloria Diary] > [Gloria Diary 2000]
On December 2, 2000, the concert of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.8" was performed. I belong this group as a harpsichord player. But at this time, "modern music" was taken up ! Were there any harpsichords ? Of course not ! So I was looking forward how to join this concert as a keyboard player ... and I could be on stage of concert ! What was it ? Please read the following sentences.
NOTES : I arranged the articles so that the older is upper location and the newer is lower location.
After "Gloria Ensemble & Choir Vol.7" concert, I have been remembering the concert ... One day in such days, I received a little book of sheet music. It is from Uttchy(Mr.Uchida), who can be called my teacher and friend not only in music but in internet. (This is his URL. It is in Japanese.) The book includes the letter from him. It says, --
"These are pieces of music which are adopted for "Gloria Vol.8". As you can see, they include accompaniment of organ. Will you arrange these accompaniment for piano and organ ? And I would like you to perform the part of organ."
Via e-mail, I replied "Year ! Year !" without any glance of sheet of music. I am simply happy to be able to join "Gloria Vol.8".
And after replying, then I watch the sheet of music ... Oops ! It is "modern music" rather than romantic study. My arrangement tends to have the feeling of baroque music. Does it go on success ? In addition Uttchy has high level technique of arrangements. His web-site (in Japanese) has shown it. Uum ... it is very seriously important mission ...
The members of the instrumental section in "Gloria Ensemble & Choir" perform "Kick-off training camp" every year. Usually in this camp, we have " the first reading " of the main volume of music adopted in the next stage. But we don't have the music sheet of our main stage because it is "modern" music and we cannot get in accordance with the copyrights. So we planed that we would make training of "Simple Symphony" by Benjamin Britten, and the remaining times would be for "free ensemble". the schedule of our training is as follows.
You can find there are few times toward the stage of "Gloria Ensemble". (Briten's "Simple Symphony" can be played within twelve minutes.) In the remaining times, we performed the pieces which is favorite tune of the chief player, Mr.Y.Kumekawa , small ensembles, and ensemble with drinking (!?) at night. After all, anything was OK in this training camp. I brought my harpsichord and played trio-sonatas of J.S.Bach, C.P.E.Bach and Telemann, and concerto grosso. And using piano and played Mozart's trio.
We stopped our playing at midnight. But the meeting and drinking continued until 2:00 a.m. I could not sleep this night.
During this "training", I have found that there are many various types of people in this "Gloria ensemble". A cellist joined an ensemble with guitar ! A violinist playing many ornaments (and it was very nice) only in baroque music ensemble ! I felt that it was very mysterious group :). Indeed, I am a member of this group. I brought my compositions or arrangements , which were French Style Overture on a Scottish Song, and Variations on a theme, "Lascia ch'io pianga" (Let me weep) by G.F.Handel. These two pieces were tried to play in this "training camp". And the results were -- the former are almost OK, but the latter was not good.
As described on January 24, I has been received the request from Uttchy (This is his web-site (in Japanese).) It is to arrange the accompaniment from "one organ" to "one organ and one piano".
But this arrangement cannot be proceeded easily or fast because I was in depression when I received his requirement (It is in excuse). Time flows very fast and it becomes June (bomb!). Uttchy pressed me via e-mail.
On the date of training in July, I brought the arrangement -- I've finished it "barely" or "like a thin veneer" -- and showed it to Uttchy and Mr.Kataoka, the main conductor. They replied , "OK. We will bring it and talk with the pianist." I felt easy that I can take a rest about it.
And they said to me that the pianist would not attend until September. It meant that my attendance was not needed until September. So my action for "Gloria Ensemble and Choir" has been stopped until the training in September.
My first attendance to the training of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir" was on September 10. It was after a few times of "combined training".
I have not attended the training of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir" for a long time. The training is started from 6:00 p.m. in Tochigiken-kyoiku-kaikan hall as the last year. I left my home just after 4:00 p.m. and went with my car. I had needed to bring my harpsichord to the training last year. But in this year, the keyboard instrument is "organ" (pipe-organ). And we will use electric keyboard instrument prepared by the stuff. There are no need to bring my harpsichord.
I arrived at the hall about 5:30 p.m. The keyboard instrument prepared by Uttchy (This is his web-site (written in Japanese).) was so called "electric piano". It has many kinds of tone but there are no tones corresponding to "organ". I selected the sound near to organ instead. Uttchy said , "We will prepare another instrument with organ sound."
The music I play in this concert is two pieces from "Anthem". I arranged the accompaniment from Uttchy's requirement. The training was started with these two pieces. I met with the pianist, Ms. Kiyomi Kobayashi, who plays the accompaniment with me. She is a professional pianist. Just before training, Mr. Sugaya, the representative, introduced me to the members of the chorus. And then I introduced myself.
" ... and, I often mistake in my playing. So please do not depend on my accompaniment and please make your own sound in your singing."...there were many of laughing.
But this saying was not only joking. Indeed, the accompaniment is arranged my me, but I had never try to play this music :(. After starting the training with Uttchy's baton, I really often mistook in my playing. At first, I was hell-bent on tracing sheet music. And then gradually I became understand the music. I felt that my arrangement of the accompaniment is not so bad. But I think it will be better to add more notes in piano part. I will consider about it by the next training.
And after 7:00 p.m., the members of orchestra came together and the training of "the requiem", which is the main piece of our concert, was started. This music does not include any keyboard and there are no situation I join. But I attempted to join to this music. The way is as follows.
I had been already proposed to join to the main piece with organ from the chief player of the orchestra, Mr.Y.Kumekawa. I had thought same thing so I agreed this proposal. What I did ? I kept sitting and played the notes which would be good in accordance with the vocal score. The conductor did not say anything about it.
So that, "joining to main piece with organ" -- which is my attempt -- became an established fact :) After the training, I was allowed to join to main piece with organ by the conductor Mr. Kataoka and the representative, Mr. Sugaya. Three months before the concert performance, I got the way to attend main stage.
Today is the day of "combined training" which is start on 1:00 p.m. I awaked up very early ... it was 4:00 a.m. ! The reason why are ... in my recognition ... I have caught a cold for several days and the rhythm of my life has been seriously damaged, and my "depressive" situation is still alive.
But today's my getting up early was lucky for me. Because I had a "job" in this morning.
After the training on September 10, Uttchy (This is his site (in Japanese).) prepared other keyboard instrument which has the sound of "organ". This instrument is now in Uttchy's parents' home and we should bring it to the hall (the place of training)
Just after 9:00 a.m., I went to Uttchy's parents' home. It was the first time to visit their home. It is very nice house. Before bringing the instrument, I have the face to go into the house :P and Uctthy are talking with each other. (The contents of our talking included the activity of "Gloria" next year.) And I was treated to a cup of coffee and delicious fruits. I was glad. But what purpose I came to here with ? (bomb!)
During a.m. we brought the instrument and then we have a lunch in the restaurant near from the hall, training place. And we reached to the training hall at 12:30 p.m. Today's training menu is as follows. I join the former two volumes.
The result ... it was not good at least for me. I was desperate for watching sheet music and I could not have time(s) to watch the conductor. In the first piece, I lost to watch the conductor sign saying "ritardand". The reason why is very clear. I still cannot digest the music. I joined "Gloria Ensemble & Choir" for 4 times. But I should say this time - the 5th time - was worst situation for me.
I became aware that I don't have enough knowledge about "modern music". Until last year, "Gloria Ensemble & Choir" mainly adopted the music in the 18-th century or the beginning of the 19-th century. But in this time, the piece is on the 20-th century and the composer of this music shows activity of music to us. It is the music of "the present age". Indeed , it has clear keys, but when we are going to the music, the idiom of the music of the 18-th or 19-th century cannot be used. The word is mixing modern English and traditional Latin. The dissonance chord making beautiful sound. (Most of these chord cannot be analyzed with the logic of the 18-th or 19-th century. These are the field which I have been hardly experienced. Many times, the chorus and the organ makes same chord. Using the term of the 18-the century, it would be able to called "recitativo secco" performed be chorus. So I should pay serious attentions to control the tempo, dynamics etc. It is very difficult to adjust perfectly.
... but ..., is it OK that I am still worrying about such things before only 2 months of the concert ? I am afraid... and I wish that I am only person noticing such things in this phase ... perhaps, the answer is "yes". I feel that it is the result from my late starting. Umm ... my depression may be more deep...X-(.
Note : Recitativo secco (Italian word) ...Recitative with "a cappella"( = non-accompanied) form or only with continuo. When the other instruments accompany the recitative, it is called "recitativo accompagnato". These terms, recitativo secco and recitativo accompagnato are mainly used for the music of from 18-th century to 19-th century.
Today, November 3, is holiday in Japan. I woke up late and decided to take it easy.
At 1:00 a.m., when I was eating late lunch, the phone was ringing. It was from Uttchy-san (Here is his web-site (written in Japanese)).
He said, "Today, we train 'Gloria Ensemble and Choir'. Will you join us ?"
I replied, "Oh ? The training date is November 5...."
"No! It is today and from 1:00 p.m."
Ooooooohps ! "Training on November 5" was my misunderstanding. I ate the remnants of lunch panicky and rode my car toward the training place ! There were many cars in the road. I felt the all of other cars on the road was very slow.
After fifty five minutes, I arrived the training place. It was the time when the training of "Anthem" was ended just now.
"Well...., I could not the training of the Anthems. But I am still lucky because I can join the training of 'the requiem'."
Thinking above things and I set my instrument.
Today's training is special because the soloist of soprano singer whose name is Yumi Kitta comes. Surprisingly, she is still a high-school student. I am afraid that the fantastic first-chair cellist, Mr. Baba, who can be called somewhat "sukebe" (-- It means lewd in Japanese(:-P)) , would attack her during concert performance ! (<--- Don't be absurd !) Coming the soloist, It was good opportunity to grasp the music. I felt that the training proceeded smoothly and that my recognition for "Requiem" becomes deeper. I want to brush-up my performance.
After training, the staff urged us to get a lot of publicity and to sell the more tickets. Well ... I would like to say that this site is advertising "Gloria ensemble Choir".
Now , because of my lateness, I could not do the training of "Anthem" in this day. It will be trained the Sunday of next week, November 12.
This time was the training without orchestra. In the Anthem, I join as an organ accompanist (and I forgot to attend the training X-() so I (of course) joined this training.
During this training, I felt that I still have not "understood" this music. If I've already "understood" the music, I can play spontaneously if I cannot watch music sheet clearly. But at this training, I still "stare" at the music sheet and I cannot make communication with the conductor and synchronize with the chorus. There are only 3 weeks. I should make counteraction -- it is "individual training" --...
The training of the requiem also carried out today. I join this music as one member of orchestra so I sat out. The pronunciation of "English" words was often adopted as matters. It is usually difficult for Japanese. And it sometimes dominates the atmosphere of the music. I felt that there are large difference between voice (chorus) and "clavier" which can make sound only with pushing keyboard.
Next training is on November 25. It will be on the stage which we use the concert performance.
This morning, after having had a breakfast, I checked the way to turning over my music sheet... I should say that this action is too late. For the case of the last year, this kinds of action already had finished October. I have to say, "The delay of starting to treat this music still remained". ( Though I can say that I've already escaped from the situation that neither the composition nor the outline of the music are understood. ) It is my problem to regain this "delay" during remaining one week.
Though the beginning time of today's training was 4:00 p.m., I arrived at the hall early during one hour. The reason why is ... it is needed to set the electronic keyboard instrument used as organ as well as setting of the stage. To match the pitch of the piano to the electric keyboard's pitch Uttchy-san's elder brother came. ("The Uttchy's musicbox" is Uttchy-san's site which is written in Japanese. His elder brother also has his web site named with "Piano Works" It is also written in Japanese.) Uttchy-san's elder brother's job is tuning-up the piano. And he came in order to match the pitch of an electronic keyboard and the piano before today's training. I admire that both of brothers had jobs are related with "music".
In addition, (though it is natural that relatives are similar to each other), it is interesting that these brothers look alike well with each other. Watching these two brothers sitting the sofa, I remember the word "heredity". And I cannot help thinking about the great Dr.Mendel who found the law of heredity of inheritance through the experience of growing green pea, the great Dr.Morgan who found that gene exists on the chromosome, Dr. Hershey who found that Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is equal to "gene", furthermore the great Dr.Watson,Crick and Wilkins who found the structure of the DNA -- an essential mechanism of transmission of the genetic code in "meiosis" and "sexual reproduction", etc.... This thinking can do nothing. It was trivial now, and, anyway, pitches of both the piano and the electronic keyboard were united with Uttchy-san's elder brother's hand. Afterwards, Mr.Kataoka, the conductor of the main stage, also furthermore exchanges and the balance of the power of the piano and the electronic organ was confirmed by the pianist, Ms. Kiyomi Kobayashi, Uttchy-san, and me. The position of the speaker connected to the keyboard was decided. The stage is promptly set on the other hand.
And then it became 4:00 p.m.. It is the time to start the training of the anthems. It goes up to the stand of Uttchy-san stand the conductor's position -- in front of the center of the stage. My organ is located on the left part side of the stage from the view of singer. The piano of Ms. Kobayashi is located on the right part side. The third following The first two pieces does not use the organ. And training proceeded to the third piece. It became the moments where I emitted the sound.
Firstly, I had bewilderment for a while. But as the time goes by, I became to be able to hear the surrounding singing voice and the piano sound well. And it came to understand the command of Uttchy-san well. (Though it might be my illusion :-P) I would like to say that the reason is I've checked the way to turning over my music sheet and the score by the space on the stage. Bookbinding of my music sheet seems to have been still effective.
The training of the anthems, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.. It is a content with considerably high concentration. Tiredness has gone out suddenly after the training of the anthems ends. However, I think that it is able to obtain the feeling "I have done my best.".
The training of main stage, "Requiem" starts at 5:30. There are not some member in a part of wind instruments and the timpani. Moreover, the soloist singer, Miss. Yumi Kitta, could not also come today. Then these (timpani and soprano solo) were temporarily substituted with electronic instruments in at hand of me. The sound grows too much, and timing with shifting sufficient. It was a miserable result ! X(. The basso continuo should keep its position and should not be too forward x-(. The training confirming the weak point by a current practice became the main. Especially, I think that pointed out matter on the orchestral music side stands out. It is necessary to ruminate. The last match is carrying over to rehearsal at the day of concert performance.
Anyway, today's training was high the density, needed high level of concentration, and ... all of us were tired. It would be said the place of training is different with the usual training. Moreover, there might be a tension the concert performance one week later, too. Indeed, it is the one that all the expressions change when becoming the concert performance one week later.
After the training, saying. "It is annoyed to return to owns' houses by this now and to eat meal in the evening. Let's finish in the vicinity." and I invited about four people and we ate in the nearby family restaurant. While we are eating, the other members of "Gloria" enters and enters continuously. Our thoughts are --- homogeneous:-).
In my cases it was usual to spend the day without especially preparing it in front of the concert. In case of last year, the day before the concert was "Bou-Nen-Kai (The year end party of the stay in of the office enters the day before)."
But, in this year I am fighting bravely for "Good performance" at the day before. However, the individual training in this situation would bring nothing better for me. It is needed to check the way to turning over my music sheet. Especially the section when turning over was not good in the training last week. Re-arrangement of the page with cutting off or connecting with adhesive tapes etc. were executed. These work should take time. And, the music sheet after the works completed became stiff with many adhesive tapes.
Can I be entranced by myself with paying effort just before the concert ? ... No ! It should be called, in Japanese, "Saigo-no-waru-agaki" which means "the last struggle".
I will sleep early tonight. I hope tomorrow's concert would be in success.
It is the day of the concert performance. I woke up about 8:00 a.m. and ate breakfast. Then check my baggage - its contents are clothes during performance, music sheet, today's schedule table, and some money for the drinking party after the concert :-).
The schedule table decided in a unit of minutes says that we shall getting together to Tochigiken-kyouiku-kaikan hall in 1:00 p.m.. It is about one hour from my house to the hall. So I decided to start 11:30 a.m. and to ate lunch in the restaurant near the hall. I would be in Tochigiken-kyouiku-kaikan hall (the place of the concert) about 12:30.
After arriving the hall and eating lunch, I would go the main hall of Tochigiken-kyouiku-kaikan. But the door to go into the main is still closed. I firstly changed my clothes to for the concert performance in the small room near the door. After changing my clothes, there are some people waiting for the opening the door of main hall.
The door of main hall was opened just 1 p.m. o'clock. The stuff of this hall seems to be rigorous for "time":-).
The schedule table prepared the stuff of Gloria Ensemble & Choir has been already distributed from the stuff of Gloria Ensemble & Choir. It mentioned the relation between time and what we shall do in detail. So it is OK to make our action obeying this schedule table. It is quite useful. This schedule table says that our first thing we should do is physical labor, i.e., setting the stage.
After this "physical labor" and the arrangement recording system, I had one Job. It was setting electric keyboard instrument and making its sound match to the pianoforte. Recording stuffs, Uttchy-san (the conductor of the 1st stage), Ms. Kiyomi Kobayashi (the pianist), Mr. Kataoka (the conductor of main stage), and I made sounds from both keyboard and listen it and checked the position of speaker of electric keyboard. (It would be thoroughly changed just before the concert performance.)
After doing this, It pasts already 2:30 p.m. It is the time of starting the rehearsal.
Miss Yumi Kitta ( the soprano soloist) has already arrived this hall. All instruments including particular percussion, a harp, and a set of timpani, also has been already in this hall and waiting the rehearsal starts.
Rehearsal proceeded monotonously in the order of the real concert performance. Uttchy -san made a few of suggestion, but it was not fatal notation. The "training" was already ended last week. Today's rehearsal is the time only for "confirmation". But introduction of a piece, I paid some effort to synchronize my playing with the pianoforte's movement. After all, this introduction is to be dominated by me and the conductor Uttchy-san is to be match his baton to me.
After the rehearsal of 2nd stage which is the stage of string ensemble and I don't join, it is the time of the rehearsal of the 3rd stage. It was needed to re-arrange keyboard and speaker. I discussed with the people of double-bass part and fixed my instrument's position.
The contents of the rehearsal was only playing once through the music. There were few notation from Mr. Kataoka. The training more than this would makes player's (especially singer's) physical strength decline.
After the rehearsal, we re-arranged the position of speaker. It is better to go the sound from speaker to the wall of stage. We did it and we had a good result.
After taking light meals we were waiting to start the concert. The curtain had fallen and it divided the hall's space into chorus member on the stage and seats of audiences. All people of chorus had been already on the stage. I went to near the entrance of stage and tried to observe how many audience were setting. Though I could not watch well, But I felt the atmosphere of many audiences setting.
During this time, I feel that I become very nervous. The people around me would notice my nervous situation and anybody try to talk with me. But it is my strategy. When I was accompany of chorus a few years ago, I was experienced many times that the result was good if I became nervous just before the starting of performance. I drive myself into being nervous situation and pay effort to be as nervous as other people noticed it.
At 6:30 p.m., buzzer tells the starting of performance. The curtain rises. In clapping from the audiences, I enter with Uttchy-san (conductor), and Ms. Kobayashi (pianist). At this moment, I am not usual for me. I have changed my emotion through the nervous situation.
The 1st stage consists of 5 piece of the anthem. The 1st piece is started. It is "a cappella" (non-accompanied) chorus. And 2nd piece is with accompany of piano. I am feeling that some kinds of "spirits" emit and go through my body. during this time.
And the 3rd piece, it is the first time to my playing. In introduction by piano and organ, I felt that the conductor, the pianist, and I made "good ensemble". After that, it is OK to play naturally. I can say today's performance was best of all of situation of training. This situation continued to the 4th piece. And the last piece is again a cappella. It was fantastic conclusion of this stage.
The 2nd stage is by the string orchestra from Gloria ensemble. The all member of Gloria ensemble have high-level technique in their performances. The atmosphere is differ from the 1st stage. But it is comfortable feeling. It is like "intermezzo" between the 1st stage and 3rd stage. In this time, I am in the stuff's room and am thinking nothing.
And the last stage, "Requiem", I again on the stage and check the positions of my instrument and speaker.
The starting buzzer of the 3rd, main stage rings. We enter onto the stage and arrange ourselves.
The conductor, Mr. Kataoka, and the solo singer enter. Clapping. And the final main performance is started !
The starting of this piece is group of dissonance. I make a low sound with pianissimo and join it. Mainly I started to this piece with "tasto solo" (playing only bass-line without chords) of "basso continuo". It means emphasize bass. In "OUT OF DEEP" movement, the first-chair cellist, Mr. Baba made fantastic sound. In "PIE JESU" movement, soloist, Miss Kitta makes very beautiful sound. During music proceeding, my feeling of "basso continuo" is gradually awaking. I added chord in some phrases, and followed tenor lines in another phrases. The last movement "LUX ATERNA" I played as classical "basso continuo" and my playing sound remains the reverberations of last note.
It is the end of ALL stages. Mr. Kataoka shows full of smile. Curtain call of soloist and conductor. the first-chair cellist, Mr. Baba, and the oboe player Mr. Komoto who made fantastic sound in "THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD" was introduced.
Of course :-) there remains encore. It is Christmas song "Joy to the world" arranged with Handel-like style. I set my organ to make larger sound, and I am enjoyed to play as "basso continuo". After the encore, the halls became full of clapping again.
And the concert of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.8" was ended with great success. And it means the start of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.9".
Time flies. It is two months after the concert performance. I have already started to prepare the next stage, i.e., "Gloria Ensemble & Choir Vol.9". In addition, I moved the location of my life to my parent's house after the cooncert. The purpose is to recover from to my depressive disease. (These things have already been described in the section of "January 23,2001" in "Gloria Diary 2001" in detail. I recomend you to refer it.)
On Feb. 15, I received a large package in my parent's house. The person who sent it is Mr. Y. Kumekawa.
The contents of it are almost the items for the next "Gloria Ensemble & Choir Vol.9". But it also includes the results of "Gloria Ensemble & Choir Vol.8", i.e., the photograph of the concert performance on stage, a set of questionnaires from the audiences and from the members of "Gloria", and a compact disk (CD) that is the records of our concert performance.
I could read the contents of the questionnaires. It was interesting. But I cannot still listen the CD. My depressive disease disturbs me from listening too complex music such as "Requiem".
I should recover from the depressive disease and I have to listen the CD and confirm how the result is. I will not lay down my typing of "Gloria diary 2000" until I listen the CD and I write the impression of the listening.
I listened CD...It is already one year later and "Gloria Vol.9 (on 2001)" had been already ended. I think that it is not bad in "Anthems".However,the result of "Requiem" is acceptable for me. Because I cannot feel my exsistance from the sound of the CD. Frankly saying, it would be bery difficult to add "Basso Continuo" to modern music.
Next "Gloria" adopts baloque music. I will be wild to play!\(--;)
Now, it is the time to lay down my typing from this "Gloria Diary 1999". Next Gloria -- "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.9 on 2001" has been described. Please go to "Gloria" Diary 2001...
Return to top page