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On December, 2001, the concert of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.9" was performed. I belong this group as a harpsichord player. The pieces are Joseph Haydn and Michael Haydn. Umm...It needs basso continuo's activity and I can easily join as a harpsichord player ... What was happend ? Please read the following...
1. In "'Gloria' diary 2001" I arranged the articles so that the older is upper location and the newer is lower location.
2. I divide "Gloria Diary 2001" as the following;
The stage of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir" had been take a "stage of instrument ", i.e. the stage without chorus. In this year, we will treat the 96th symphony by J.Haydn.
I will attend with my harpsichord. Some people may say, "Is there a harpsichord in Haydn's symphony?" But the earlier symphony has the direction to use harpsichord. And in the last symphonies, the symphony named with "London". So there are few problems in using harpsichord in Haydn's symphonies, -- it is my arbitrary thought :-P.
Now, I start this piece only a week ago. The chord progresses of Haydn's symphony are usually simple, so it is not hard to realize basso continuo. But the development of the 1st movement with Sonata form sometimes shows surprising chord progress. So I should check carefully the orchestral score before training. So I am reading orchestral score now. This music has attractive. The thematic developments are sophisticated. Especially, the bas part (Cello and Double bass) often treated the figure of theme. It means this piece is attractive for the player of bass part.
During reading the score, I found two problems. So I will show these. The problem is on the starting of the 2nd movement.
It may be said that you cannot any problems in this 4 bars. But please see carefully again. There are many appoggiaturas. All of these appoggiaturas are "long appoggiaturas" so xxx should be read as xxx. Certainly saying the music part of Cello and double-bass show it. At the 14th bar, Cello and double-bass take the figure of theme, that is written in score as
Now I write the 1st violin part of this beginning again.
And I have the first problem, that is,
"Why did J.Haydn use not the style (B), but the style (A)?"
Certainly, the style (A) and the style (B) can be played as same music sheet. But I solved this question readily. The answer is;
(i) An appoggiatura is nonharmonic tone and it is solved next tone.
(ii) From (i), the people perform this music or read this music can clarify the code.
Explaining in more detail, the first d2 note in the 3rd beat in the 1st measure should be regarded as a nonharmonic tone and the next note - c1 - is harmonic tone. So the code at this point is not "D" but "D7". So the style (A) has more information than the style (B).
People who know "code" can read above things from the style (A), but it is not impossible from the style (B). So I would like to say that it is not good to write the note as It is better to write as, .
This opinion is based on the viewpoint of "composer". But it is possible to say that these things are needed even for the players. For example, An appoggiatura and the next note should be treated at once. It means the progress of solution from nonharomnic tone to harmonic tone. It means "tension" and "relax". An appoggiatura and the next note cannot be divided. So it is hardly possible to play this appoggiatura with staccato. Nonhamronic code brings us "tension" and resolution brings us "relax". So an appoggiatura needs some kinds of accent in comparing next note.
The other problem is still in my mind ... I will write it another day.
June 24... the training schedule tells me that it is the day of the first "combined training".
I have been well on the way to recovery from depression. Especially, it is very well recently. I already changed my life from in my hometown to in my present address on June 20, i.e., the 4 days before the training. I could be narrowly in time!
However, it is about 5 months from my last playing of my harpsichord. I tried to perform my instrument...I feel that the result is "almost OK".
On the day of the training, I drive my car from my home to the hall of the training. It is usual way in my life of "Gloria". But perhaps I could not make such action like this. I feel again and again that my recovery is in certain.
The result of training was "substantial". The direction from the main conductor, Mr. Kataoka, was mainly towards the members of the orchestra. It was unexpected situation for me. I felt that many of the contents of his direction were quite natural for me. (For example, after the 23rd measure of "Sequentia" (the words is "Tuba mirum...".) the trumpet should stand out. It is quite natural because the words mention "strange trumpet". See the diary writing on March 19.) The reason why is that I have been studied the scores of these volumes of music, especially the relation between the music and the words.
Few members in orchestra studied this point. But I dare to say that it is needed to know the words even for orchestral members, and that the words have the function of expression marks. My studying of the scores without playing instrument was very effective. I had a time to listen other parts today's training. I feel that the player of keyboard instrument in basso continuo should study the music to treat as well as the conductor. It is possible to say that my preparation of studying the music was enough for today's training.
However, it can be said only for "on the music sheet". It was quite bad in real playing of my instrument. I did not have bad coordination for playing my harpsichord. My reflexes cannot follow my thinking. I felt irritated with myself. It is needed for me to process both studying the sheets of music, and training my finger from now on.
After 11 days from the 1st "combined" training, I have returned to my office. It means that I became "a member of society". However, I have been taking drugs to avoid becoming depression disease. In addition, my absence from the office was 8 months. It was very long. So I pay effort to grasp the changes occurred during my absence. So I am tired although I have few hours of overtime works.
For above reason, I can hardly proceed to read music sheets and my analysis although the second "combined training" is tomorrow. I will only one remarkable point which I found in my analysis. The point is, in "Dieas Irae", the phrase with the words "Oro supplex et acclinis", i.e. the 190th measure. Let me show the music.
At the 180th measure and a few bars after, soprano solo and tenor solo take the characteristic figure.
The meaning of the words "Oro supplex et acclinis" is "Low I kneel, with heart submission". It is natural to think that the above characteristic figure can be regarded as; "the action of kneeling with submission is expressed with music" isn't it? ... This is the starting point of today's my thoguht.
The first appearance of this figure is by solo singers, so that, usual "combined training" without soloists, the members of "Gloria Ensemble & Choir" -- especially, the members of the ensemble without the score of this music -- cannot understand. However, this figure has very important role from this measure. On the 200th bars and after, this figure appears alto solo and bass solo singers. And after a few ten bars, we -- the ensemble and the choir -- take this figure from the 249th bar.
As you can see, all chorus and instruments except timpani and clarino -- these instruments cannot play scale in the period when the composer was alive -- plays or sings this figure. And after the 265th measure -- it was not appointed with music sheet -- there is a sequence based on this figure. In these two sections (after 249th and after 265th) and in every times, this figure has the word of "Amen" -- it is the words of praying. The last section is also with this figure with the word "Amen". (See the next music.)
I feel that these treating of this figure effect the image of
"A few people prays at first, and all people become to pray."
Is it my strained interpretation? Maybe. But we should know that the 190th bar where this figure appears firstly and its neighborhood becomes important turning point in this music. Especially, just before the first appearance of this figure -- the 187th, 188th and 189th measure mainly consisting of disconnected action of the 1st violin -- should be treated very carefully because it is just before the "praying".... I give some kinds of pressure to the player of the 1st violin :-P.
Well, we will see the corresponding section in W.A. Mozart's Requiem.
The above music is the section of "Oro supplex at acclinis" in W.A. Mozart's Requiem. It appears with quiet and strange harmony just after the famous and fearful music of "Confutatis". We can say that M. Haydn and W. A. Mozart composed the music of "Oro supplex at acclinis" with rather different sense with each other.
By the way, tomorrow training will treated the next music (Domine Jesu Christe etc.) I should begin to prepare...Oh? Is it too late ? I think so(Bomb!).
In Japan, the rainy season was end and it is midsummer. The highest temperature in one day is over 30C degree every day. My house does not have any air condition systems, so it is "hell of hot". X(
Now, today's training is started at six p. m. So I should leave from my house before 5 p.m. Then it is enough to start tuning of my harpsichord about 3:30 p.m....
However, it is very hot! The tune of my harpsichord was completely broken for hotness. During tuning, I sweated heavily. My T-short is soon drenched with my sweat. I take of my T-short and continue tuning. It seems a day laborer in road repairing. Additionally saying my harpsichord cannot be tuned. The time goes in vain and it is already 4:00 p.m.
Suddenly I found,
"It is meaningless to tune in this room, because the training hall has air conditioning system."
How stupid I am! I load my car with my instrument with 35kg weight.
I want to take a bath with cool water, but there are no times. I change my clothes and go to the training hall with driving my car. I feel that my body still stacks the heat. I bought a 1-liter bottle of water and drunk it.
The training starts from 6:00 p.m. The heat in my body still remains. I feel that my mind is in blank. I could get few things to performing in this training X(. I want to describe the "few things" I could get.
Firstly, I know that I did not still recognize how to treat the 8th notes in bass part. For example, the beginning of M. Haydn's Requiem;
Or the beginning of "Credo" in J. Haydn's "Missa brevis";
I have been felt these pieces are "the music of beginning of classical period". But in today's training I change my thought. I feel that the bass movement of them are still traces the baroque music. And I have experience of baroque music from listening or playing A. Colleri, J. F. Händel, and J. S. Bach. So I have been thought that it is not difficult to play. But today's training broke my way of thought. I cannot answer the question, "How to play these bass notes?".
To explain how to play these 8th notes in bass is very difficult. Certainly our two conductors, Mr. Kataoka and Uttchy-san could not appropriate explanation. I have been thought that it is somewhat hard. However, I cannot expect how difficult it is!
But I should master this point. If I cannot do it, I cannot call myself "Hono'no Continuo (It means basso continuo flame and it is my handle-name). These 8th notes can be regard as baroque music? Or were there other ways to perform these 8th notes? It is most important problem for me.
Secondly, it is clarified that any part are not synchronized in "Gloria" of J. Haydn's "Missa Brevis". The reason can be simply said that each person did not practice enough. However, I will force today's hotness to the reason. (Bomb!)
In my summer vacation, I have enjoyed to visit my homeland and Gujo-hachiman and all night dancing there. So I was quite tired in the end of this summer vacation. The third combined training was performed in such period, i.e., the last date of my summer vacation. It is still in summer. I was afraid that it would be hard to tune my harpsichord. But there are no problems to tune my instruments. It had been hot in my homeland and Gujo-hachiman. But after returning to my present house, it is not so hot to disturb my tuning of my harpsichord. It was only 20 minutes to tune it.
Today's training includes the first time of the practice of J. Haydn's 96th symphony. I had not known this music enough, so I had paid most of my effort before today's training to read this 96th symphony. The result was good. During today's training, I felt that I could grasp this music and I could make my actions towards next time of the combined training.
While, the problem of "how to play 8th notes in bass part in J. Haydn's Mass or M. Haydn's Requiem" was almost solved before we know. (In the "Credo" of J. Haydn's Missa brevis, the bass of chorus part was appointed to be care how to sing 8th notes. But I felt that it would be soon solved because it was already solved in the orchestra.)
During today's training, I was insolently feeling, "Anything were almost OK! There are no problems to proceed my performance in this group." But heavy problem was waiting for me. It was happened in "Benedictus" of J. Haydn's "Missa brevis".
Before explain it, let me show the way of compose the music for "Benedictus". It is possible to say that high-tone of solo voice and/or instruments in the arrangements. In J. S. Bach's Mass in B-minor, "Benedictus" is for solo recorder and solo tenor (high-tone of male voice). In W. A. Mozart's large Mass in C-minor, it is for solo soprano and ensemble of woodwinds instruments. In L. Beethoven's "Missa solemnis", it is for solo violin and quartet of solo voices.
Then, what are main roles in the "Benedictus" of J. Haydn's "Missa brevis"? One of them is soprano solo. And the instruments to be match for this soprano solo is an organ or clavier (keyboard instrument)! Oops! It is for me!
Let me show what I was surprised.
You can understand solo clavier is very important role. It should play very delicate melody. Usually, clavier was only for accompaniment named with "basso continuo" in "Mass for chorus and ensemble". So we can say that "Benedictus" in J. Haydn's "Missa brevis" shows us unusual way of using clavier like J. S. Bach's "Brandenburg Concert No.5".
This delicate melody of clavier is developed alternating with soprano solo as the following.
This "Benedictus" is double-concerto for soprano solo and clavier! Anybody playing this clavier-part should be nervous.
Honestly I confess; I had been playing only basso continuo. The melodies had been played by other persons at any time of the concerts I had attended. It means that I had no experiences to play any melodies with my right hand in any concert!
The result of today's training of the "Benedictus" was ... too bad. I could trace the melody. But it was nothing but tracing the melody. In my "tracing", I cannot be careful for any other instruments or any of conductor's indications. When I brought back from the selfish world of myself, I found that the speed of my performance was completely different from any other person's. The music was "collapsed".
After the training I was thought it was very serious in today's my solo clavier. I had been thinking that I had constructed my opinion of the way of playing clavier in ensemble. But my opinion might be only for basso continuo. I had been in easy place named with basso continuo and had been lazy in my training to play melody like singing. It is far from "ensemble keyboard player". Additionally saying, the time I met with this "collapse" was bad for me. I still didn't recover from my fatigue of my summer vacation. Today's "collapse" increased my fatigue. And then my depression disease came again! After the vacation, I could not return to my work in my office. I had to take rests in some days to get back my health. In my depression disease, I cannot have desire to play my instruments. Is it a vicious circle? Are there any ways to escape from it?
I belong a small ensemble group of strings. Today is the date of small concert performance of this ensemble group. The conductor of this group is Mr. Kumekawa. He is key person of Gloria ensemble. So this group is familiar for me.
Most of the audiences are not fans of classical music. So today's performance can be called "lecture concert of classical music". All of the pieces to play are little and famous. I already so recovered from my depression disease that I could return to my work. So I barely attended today's concert.
As a matter of fact, I had a plan to challenge one thing in order to recover from failure of the last "Combined Training" of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir". The target to challenge was decided. It was the following music.
It is the 2nd movement of the 5th harpsichord concerto composed by J. S. Bach (BWV 1056). This music was also used in a Cantata and it is famous piece as "J. S. Bach's Arioso". My challenge was to succeed to play this music. I thought that the success of playing this music means I can "repair" the "collapsed 'Benedictus'". There are still few desires to playing my instrument. So I have my performance with few training.
Then what was the result of my challenge? I cannot say it was perfect. But I can say today's my performance passed master. I could be careful to the accompaniment of pizzicato strings, and I could pay attention to the conductor's indication. Also I completely traced all notes of the sheet of the music. And I feel that I could add some of "emotion" to this music.
Frankly speaking, I felt relieved. J. S. Bach's Arioso is common with the "Benedictus" of the J. Haydn's Mass in some points, i.e., delicate melody with complex ornaments. So I can say it is OK to try "Benedictus" again at present situation. It was very good result for me.
Anyway, I could remove one element of the origins of my depression. I obtain great results!
Meanwhile ... I consider about many things of "music". Analysis, interpretation, and explanation of music...they are important. But before all things such like these, it is very difficult to "make sounds exactly from the sheet of music". At present, it is easy for me to play with improvisations, because I can select notes to play easier in improvisation. Should it be said that I was select more easier and easier way in my performance?
Although I could remove one element of the origins of my depression, this experiance taught an "important problem" for me. All of titled or numbered music (not only in classical music) have two elements. One is "reproducing" and the other is "improvising". These two seems to be inconsistent with each other. I feel that the former is regarded as more important thing than the latter in classical music, especially the education system of classical music in Japan. Sometimes I hear that it is appointed that Japanese classical musicians are good for technique but that they do not impress audiences. It would be poorness of balance for making music. And I also would be poor of balance for making music in the opposite side. I have been aiming only the latter -- improvisation, analysis, explanation etc. I cannot understand whether I should collect my balance for making music or not. But I should consider this "important problem" during in my activity of music.
This updating is almost 3 months from the last updating. I should say that I am sorry for my lateness of updating. The reason why was that I was very busy for my work, and the training of "Gloria Ensemble & Choir" had been frequently performed. (Especially, we had training in every weekend in November.) So I could not have enough time to write this.
Now, I will write the progress of training for me.
The small percentage of Benedictus in Missa brevis show that my training for solo harpsichord is not still enough. This piece has given me not only solo but also other many problems.
I feel that it is enough at this time for other pieces. However you can see that the point of M. Haydn's Requiem is somewhat small percentage. I have the reason of these sets of pointing. But I don't have enough time to explain it. Please let me write it in the other date.
Now, I will explain the reason of previous my "self-grading".
About "Missa brevis" (except for 'Benedictus'), I can say that I have already grasped almost whole of music. I often used score of music sheet during the trainings. I feel that it is good to use scores rather than music sheets of our parts for the keyboard players of basso continuo (including me) if we have enough time to turn over the page of music sheet during our performances. I feel that it makes us to be able to grasp the behavior of other parts during our performances.
And I can say that same things for performing "J. Haydn's 96th symphony". I have used score for training. I never used music sheet of my part. Although I started the training of this piece later than other two pieces (J. Haydn's "Missa brevis" and M. Haydn's Requiem), I could firstly grasp it.
While, in the pieces that I trained with using the music sheet of my part, the situation is not so good now. I cannot recognize the whole of the music when I use only the parts. It makes me to be "self-satisfied".
The typical example is the finale of "Cum sanctis tuis", that is, the finale of M. Haydn's Requiem. Let me show the beginning.
As you can see, it has the structure of fugue. But in basso continuo, there are nothing but series of the fourth notes. It is my weak point to keep a steady tempo in such situation like this. I tend to go faster and faster. My countermeasures are... keeping my eyes from my hands or the music sheet of my part, and paying attention to the sign of the conductor, and other players.
The reason why my "self-grading" is low for "Benedictus" in J. Haydn's "Missa brevis" is ... I cannot play this piece from memory without sheet music. My role is certainly "solo player", but it is far from "selfish playing". Especially I have still problem in the following bars.
It is the last two bars of the "Benedictus". If I perform this in disordered tempo, it causes directly disordered tempo in the next "Osanna in excelsis". I have the important responsibility to prepare the changing tempo and beats.
It is only one week before the concert. The training begins from 4:00 p.m. today and the place main hall, that is the same as the concert performance.
But I was late for the training. It is the first time that I am not in time. What a shame! It was already 4:10 p.m. when I reached the main hall. Everyone are already on the stage and there are also professional soloists of soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. It is the moment of the end of the 1st movement of M. Haydn's Requiem. I tuned my harpsichord quickly, brought it on the stage, and added to the training.
However, the contents of training was satisfactory for me! I can listen and watch the behavior of the conductor and other players and singers. I can made good result even in "Benedictus" in J. Haydn's "Missa brevis" ,i.e., the most difficult point for me. It was incredibly smooth. So I asked Mr. Kataoka, the main conductor, "Am I going too fast? " But his answer was "No. It is OK. "
Anyway, I was in very good situation in this day's training. It was too good, so I wonder that the concert performance will not be in success. The most afraid things is that the before day of the concert performance is the drinking party of our office with staying hotel. I have to take care my health for a week from now on :-P.
The day before the concert was drinking party of my office with staying in a hotel. But I was very careful not to over-drink, so that my condition is not bad in the morning of the day of the concert. I arrived on one and half p.m. It is already ended to arrange the stage. I take my harpsichord on the stage. Less than five minutes after, the tune began to broken. My instrument is very sensitive to the temperature and humidity. It was spent to 15 minutes to tune again.
After 2:00 p.m., we had rehearsal. It was very dispassionate rehearsal. All conductor Mr.Kataoka, Mr.Kumekawa and Uttchy-san (whose website is here. (in Japanese)) proceeded their rehearsals simply. It was very good for me because I could have enough time to tune my instrument. I began to start tuning with composure.
But I was getting nervous and nervous during tuning. After finishing tuning, I am completely like a bundle of nervous tensions. I cannot help walking around, praying that I would not mistake, uttering an incantation (?)c Backstage, I paid effort to concentrate myself. Other people would watch me as a strange person (^^;).
At 6:40 p.m. the buzzer calls us to start concert performance. The 1st piece is J.Haydn's Missa brevis. Unfortunately I cannot remember what I did on the stage. The only remaining thing is "Benedictus" was not so bad, and I made some kinds of improvisation.
Although I cannot remember enough, let my try to show the contents of my strange improvisation. The music sheet shows that the bridge between "Benedictus" and "Osanna" is
But I performed this point like...
This point is important for all players and singers because just before changing the beat and the speed of the music. Especially the conductor should be much careful. But there occurs my improvisation! It should be "an accident" for the conductor. Uttchy-san SUMIMASEN(Sorry)!. But after the 1st stage, many people said to me, "The harpsichord playing was beautiful" or "It was very nice!" So, please excuse me, Uttchy-san!
The 2nd stage, and the 3rd stage, I remember all things of training, or analysis when I was depression disease, and everything was end.
All things of "Gloria Vol.9" was end. It was very nice experience for me. Especially I can enjoy the concert performance almost with best condition. It was very fantastic concert for me. Great!
Now, I will write a "foolish" episode.(^^;) During the rest time between the 2nd and the 3rd stage, I was tuning my harpsichord. And when I saw the chair of audiences, HASSEL-san, (he is one of my internet friend and great clavier player. This is his URI in Japanese.) I was impressed and said thanks to him. But he asked to me, "What is it on earth?" "It is notification of 'now tuning'", I replied.
He was amazed my strangeness. What is strange ? OK. Let me show "the notification saying 'Now, tuning'"!
It is in four languages, i.e., "Japanese / Nihongo", "Korean / Hangue-eo", "English" and "German / Deutsch". I believe it is great! But other purple would not think so.(^^;)
Please let me know your impression via e-mail or BBS.
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