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"Gloria" Diary 1999

On December 11, 1999, the concert of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.7" was performed. ( Here is the information of the concert. ) I belong this group as a harpsichord player. This time, Schubert's Mass in E-flat major was taken up. I describe the process of my training, preparations etc. Oh ? Do you want to say, "There aren't any harpsichords in Schubert." ? Indeed ! But ... read the following now ! :)
---------- In the following, I use sheet of music as image data. You may worry about it cannot be understand without using browser which can display images. But all of these can be downloaded. You can see all of these sheet of music using other image-display software and you will be able to understand the contents of this page. ----------

December,14 1998 Can I join next time ?

"Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.6" was finished. The pieces were A.Vivaldi and W.A.Mozart Future problems are still included to progress. But the concert itself was very enjoyable. Next piece in "Gloria" is F.Schubert. Wait ! Is harpsichord adaptable ? Does this piece have harpsichord ?
"No. There aren't any harpsichord in it."
"Then what way can I join ? "
"It is possible as chorus singer, isn't it?"
Ohhhh! There is no way I am in chorus. Because I am tone-deaf (bomb!). Nothing singing. I should continue continuo !

December, 26 1998 The way to join as harpsichord

There was a party of the ensemble group in my neighborhood. In this ensemble group, the concert master of "Gloria" joined. A asked him,
"For 'Gloria' in next year, what can I do ?"
"Umm, If you won't join us, the drinking party after the concert will not be funny or enjoyable."(Is this meaning that I am mainly for the drinking party ?)
"But I don't want to join as chorus singer, however, it is hardly saying that harpsichord will fit to Schubert's music...."

After talking with him in several times, he said,

"OK! Add harpsichord ! Someone may say it is terrible, but I allow it !"

This was the opening of my joining to "Gloria Vol.7". And , at once, this was the starting of the unheard-of attempt without the concerning the style; "adding harpsichord to Schubert's music".

January, 15 1999 I get CD !

But I don't listen at this time. The purpose of getting CD is to study this piece. I usually leave the package of CD until the score is got.

January, 17 1999

In small concert I played , I met the conductor and the concert master of "Gloria". The conductor allowed the terrible idea to add harpsichord to Schubert's music.

January, 19 1999 I got music score !

And I start to listen with reading the score.... Umm... this is completely belongs to romantic study. Can I find the way to add harpsichord to this ?

February, 14 1999 The chorus in "Gloria" starts its activity! On the other hand, I am doing...

"Gloria Ensemble & Choir" is the group of chorus and orchestra. The combined training starts from about June in every year. Before this starting, the explanation meeting of the chorus is to be opened in the middle of February and this is the start of the activity of the chorus. In this year, the date of this explanation meeting is today. I have heard that my friend, "Uttchy" prepare the material of this meeting. I belong the orchestra, not chorus, so I don't have any relations to this explanation meeting. But I cannot help being aware this meeting. The chorus of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir" has high quality and recently it looks like the orchestra is overwhelmed !

By the way , what have I been doing ? I have been making my sheet of music of harpsichord. Because, of course , there are not "the part of harpsichord in Schubert's Mass" and I should prepare the sheet of my part...but the volume is large. I don't complete even the first volume...X-( uum.

February, 17 1999 Attracted to "Gloria" and "Credo"

On the beginning of February, I caught influenza! This have been widely going around Japan. I have been absent from our office and been in my bedding for four days. I was listening the CD of the Mass beside my bedding.

Well... (explanation mode :) ), in the classical music, the music of "Mass" is divided into the following six parts.

Schubert's Mass No.6 has the same division.

I have been firstly attracted to the "Credo".Comfortable tempo, lovely melodies and harmonies. Especially the last fugue has the sequence of beautiful harmony! Oh, probably I will be able to memorize this "Credo" first. "Gloria" is also very great! This begins with a cappella chorus (chorus without any instruments) and violins reply it with flying-like arpeggio. What great tension !

[Beginning of 'Gloria'(Start-of-gloria.gif 2.69KB)]

Finale of "Gloria", "Cum Sancto Spiritu" is a fugue. As the volume of my composition in page of "Free MIDI Libraries" reveals, I am the fan of "fugue" :). I cannot help study this fugue attentively. This fugue is fairly large, and includes complex technique of composition. There are Strettos (the counterpoint technique that one vice starts to play the theme before another voice finishes to play this theme) and there are two fixed counter-subjects at least. Chromatic motions often can be observed. Frankly saying, I didn't think that Schubert had written such attractive fugue like this :).

The beginning of 'Cum Sancto Spiritu' (Start-of-cum-sancto.gif 5.42KB)

This fugue gives me the impression that this is ancient. I could find the reason. I will show the following music.

[The theme of 'Cum Sancto' fugue, and its 'ancestry' (Tradition-of-The-theme.gif 4.8KB)]

Any of these are different in their period and composer who made them with each other, but all of these have same melodies. The theme of "Cum Sancto..." fugue has the tradition from the long time ago. So it is natural that this fugue seems ancient.

However, the harmony in romantic study often appears. The combination of the tradition from baroque music and the atmosphere of romantic study. What a great piece! I would like to play it ! :)

April, 17, 1999 The sheet of the harpsichord part of 2nd volume, " Gloria: (Glory to be God)" is completed...(It is slow !)

This diary is, at last, updated after two months ! There was a training camp of orchestra to start the training of this season. But I could not join. I had important business trip at that time. In this training camp, not only Schubert's Mass would be treated ; there would be some interesting pieces. (The year before last, the whole of J.S.Bach's "Die Kunst der Fuge (the art of fugue)" was played with sight-reading. What a thoughtless ,but enjoyable attempt it was !) So it is my regret that I could not attend it. And I am worried that I would be later to start training than others.

From the last February to this April, I have been very busy. I had six business trips with staying. One trip was going to USA. I completed my plan in my job until last March. From this April, I would planning the schedule of this year. (In the business and school In Japan, the starting month is April.) And I should update this web page :-).

From the above reason, it is very slow to make the sheet my part. I wrote " Gloria: (Glory to be God)" just now. The remaining is still too long. I must write my part in "Credo", "Sanctus", "Benedictus", and "Agnus Dei". Umm...I wonder that I will not be able to complete my part until next December. Please help me ! :-).

April, 27 ,1999 Strange Training

As the page "What is Basso Continuo" explains, Basso Continuo is performed with reading the music of " left hand " part. Right hand part is played with improvisation. It is the same in my sheet of music for harpsichord of Schubert's mass. Only the left-hand part is written in my music. Based on this, I started the following "strange" training.

While training, I noticed that "unusual" situation. I spend more times for [step 2] than the music I treated before. For example, in Vivaldi's music, [Step 2] is not needed so much. The reason can be "the complex chord" of this music. I re-noticed that this is typical romantic study's music...mmm...

May, 23 1999 Start to realize "contingency plan"

Do you mind this title is strange ? I think so (:-P).

The first "combined training" of the chorus and orchestra will be on May, 30. It is just around the corner ! But, not only I cannot complete my sheet of music; it becomes clear that I will not be able to complete it until May 30 as well. Ahhhhhhh ! I have to think what I can do in such bad situation. Which is better in the following, [1] or [2] ?

I thought [1] was nonsense and I took up [2]. (Is [2] also nonsense ? I ignore such opinion.(:-P)

I realized my "contingency plan" ! It was "to refer vocal score". "Vocal score" is the sheet of music to use in the training of chorus and orchestra are reduced to two-handed piano part in it. It is convenient to grasp the structure of the piece and the times of turning over the pages is less than full score. I asked my friend whose name in internet is "Uttchy" to lend vocal score to me vie e-mail. Uttchy is the conductor of the chorus of "Gloria" and my internet friend. (He has his web-page, whose URL is http://www.pluto.dti.ne.jp/~uttchy/. But this is in Japanese.) Soon I received the reply of "O.K." from him via e-mail. What a relief ! I will be able to join the training with little trouble.

May, 30 1999 The 1st "combined training"

Today is the day of the first combined training. It will be start from the evening. But I cannot help being restless from the morning. I leave my house before 4 p.m. It is about one hour from my house to the hall, the place of the training. Remembering that the training will be from 5 p.m., I drove my car and have reached the hall just before 5 p.m. But nobody cannot be found. It is strange ! I look the schedule again, and notice that the starting time is 6 p.m.(Bomb!) I have mistakenly remembered the schedule. "How foolish am I ! But it is chance to tune my harpsichord. I try to bring it into the hall."

My harpsichord has 35kg weight and there are not any other persons, so I bring it into the place of training with my enormous strength! (The next day, I felt pains of the muscle not only in my arms but in my back! X-<)

After about 5:30, while I am tuning my harpsichord, people of the chorus came by twos and threes. I meet most of them first time in months. I say "Hello. I am glad to meet you again." in many times. Uttchy also come. I have requested him to lend vocal score. Just after meet each other, he says, "Oh, the vocal score for you is ready." What a grateful saying! Soon I get vocal score. I check it and think that it is O.K. to join the training.

There are too many minutes. I kill the time at making my sheet of music of harpsichord with my computer. The conductor watching it says ,"Oh? Is it possible to make music with computer ?" I reply to say, "Yes. It is very convenient. For example, to compose the music with sonata form, the recapitulation can be made with copying the exposition ... and pasting it!"(;-P)

The training is started at 6 p.m. But first one hours is only for the chorus.

After 7:00, the combined training starts ! I have been waiting impatiently for this. At first, the representatives from the chorus and orchestra say hello with each other. The atmosphere to succeed this concert is arisen. Many people attend in the chorus and people of most part attend in the orchestra. Both sides are full of spirit !

I locate myself in Cello & Bass section. I feel that it is comfortable to perform basso continuo. The first-chair cellist is in front of me. He is a fantastic cellist, but a somewhat lewd(:-P). Oh ? The player beside him is a young girl!

The conductor says hello and his baton starts its movement.

In this concert, my part does not exist in original(:-)). I am careful to the balance between my instrument and other part. It is not good that the sound of harpsichord is too large and disturbs the music. And I want to show the existence of myself. I carefully choose the notes or harmonies and push the key.

The menu of training was "Kyrie", the first volume and "Gloria", the second volume. I was impressed the beginning of the second volume. It starts with a cappella chorus (chorus without orchestra). What beautiful harmony ! Mmm...the chorus already has high-level. On the other hand, the strings, winds and brass instrument in orchestra can be the chorus's rival. Although it is the first time to encounter this music for some people, there were not any noticeably mistakes. It can be say that the level of performance at this time is in high level. I felt that the chorus already has enough experience of training and the member in orchestra can play with reading music only once. What a great group! Can I follow them ? I can say that I could follow them in the 1st training. But I prepared from last January. It is possible only after preparing with buying score and CD and with studying in many times. I should continue to study this music...

The time from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. was very fast. I feel that it is possible to join this music with harpsichord. I have been satisfied in the result of this training ...

June,27 1999 The 2nd "combined training"

Today, I did "transact business" with Mr. and Mrs. HANE, who sometimes write on my message board.

I send Mr. and Mrs. HANE. To make up for it, Mr. and Mrs. HANE help my carrying of my harpsichord. I called phone to Mr. HANE and he agreed this "transact business" ! Fine ! The transactions was achieved ! Until now, there is a situation of, "However I arrive the hall early, there are no person and I cannot do anything." or, "I bring it into the place of training with my enormous strength and I feel pains of the muscle in the next day." But I need not to be afraid it ! Good ! Good ! Good !

Now, I will write about training... Today's mission was "perform to the end of 'Credo'". I have completed my sheet music up to 'Credo'.

But the result of the training was not good. I could not recognize the structure of the music. I could not "synchronize" with other instruments. I should say that it should be developed much more. In the last training, I had felt that it was possible to join this music with harpsichord. But I cannot say it is true at present. Umm, the way is not so easy.

After the training, I took supper with my friends in "Ramen (Chinese noodles)" restaurant. In this restaurant, the soup is made from the bone of chicken and poke. It was nice taste and I was impressed with this taste more than the training...(Bomb!)

July,18 1999 The 3rd "combined training"

Today, I did "transaction business" with Mr. and Mrs. HANE again. --- I send them to the hall with my car and they help me to carry my harpsichord. The training of orchestra starts from 2:00 p.m., but Mr. and Mrs. HANE are the member of chorus and the training of the chorus starts from 1:00 p.m. It is about 1 hours from my house to the hall and we should take lunch. So I arrived HANE's house about 11:00 a.m.

While I was driving to the hall, we were listening the CD of "Schubert's Mass in E-flat major" performed by C.Abbado , Vienna philharmonic orchestra, and Vienna national opera chorus. Its tempo is slower than my CD performed by N.Arnonkol. I was impressed that there are several way to perform this music.

The training was in more higher level than on June,27 and its contents was quite rich. Especially the chorus in "Credo" has high quality. Orchestra also on the way of grasping the music. Especially lower strings ! In today's training, both the first-chair cellist and the first-chair double-bass player was absent. But it seemed to be little problem. I was very easy to play on lower strings. Incredible !

In the situation where the music become to be understood, everyone becomes easy to listen other parts. I should receive the remarks from other persons. Someone says, "Well, in the bars 11 - 12, it is good to stop harpsichord, isn't it ?"(Bomb !) ... To tell the truth, I could not decide what should I treat in these bars. In this bars, the playing instruments are cello and double bass in pizzicato only, and they are in pianissimo. I tried to join using buff-stop ( it is such like mute ). But it was still large sound. I decided that I stop to play in these bars.

After training was finished, the conductor said,

"There are various way of performing in tempo. You can guess with listening CD. (Yes, indeed) And my treatment of tempo is still different from these CD. So please notice my button. But today's performance was well. It was extremely progressed. I can find the way."

I listened these words as admiration ! I was pleased. And the leader of the chorus said,

"I should say to the member of chorus. The persons who attend this combined training 'only' are to be the persons who can recognize the notes of music completely and need not to attend any other opportunity of training. Attend the combined training only after recognizing the notes completely. If you cannot recognize the notes, attend the other opportunity of training."

Umm... I am ashamed to listen it. I am not in chorus, but this can be said also for me. My sheet music is not still completed, so I should be said that I have not made enough preparation yet. I don't have any other time to train this music than this combined training. It may be said that I should change my situation of training....

Today's training was quite rich in content. I could obtain many instructive things.

August,22 1999 The 4th "combined training" ... My gag went over well :-)

I have caught a cold. I felt quite bad today's early morning and once I had decided to absent today's training. But it became better noon. I went to the hall, the place of training.

I had business trip with going abroad and summer vacation from last training on July 18. So I could not keep enough time to train the music. And the condition of my wealth was not completely well. In the training for two hours, it was far from doing my best for the first one hour. It cannot be avoided to say that I was "daydreaming".

Today's training was the first time of the attendance of timpani. It brought very good effect for training especially "Credo". ("Credo" includes many section of solo of timpani and it should be confusion without these instruments. without timpani My senses gradually wake up :-).

In the last three times of training, the conductor's sayings were mainly toward the chorus. However, it begins to change today. He gave instruction for orchestra many times and also mentioned about the combination between orchestra and chorus. Indeed the chorus is already in high quality in several points. Especially the fugue of "Cum sancto spiritu" almost have been grasped. I have very pleasant feeling during playing this fugue.

The training was from 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. And after taking little rest, it was restarted from 3:00 p.m. "Gloria", "Credo" and the other sections, there are many places to begin with a cappella chorus ( chorus without any instruments ). It is need to confirm the beginning harmony with playing pianoforte. It was repeated that one member of the chorus goes to the pianoforte and make the beginning harmony and goes back when each of these place is encountered. I felt that we lost the force of the training with these "operations" and finally I made the beginning harmony with my harpsichord...there was laughing and talking of, "Oh ? Is this sound correct ?" and "OK. It is correct !" etc. The conductor said to me, "Thank you very much! Chorus ! It is OK with this sound, isn't it ?" I could be popular :-P ... That's why I am in this group !(Bomb!)

September,29 1999 I did not attend the 5th training.

The 5th combined training was on September 11. But I could not attend it. I feel that I put myself in disadvantage.

So I read the score and try to guess the music. "Agnus Dei" -- it was already treated the 5th combined training on September 11 but I have not experienced yet.

It is obvious that the beginning of "Agnus Dei" has the form of double-fugue. (The whole of it is not double-fugue, i.e. "Agnus Dei" can be called "like double-fugue" or "double fugato". ("Fugato" means "music which has the beginning like a fugue".) And I noticed that the theme of this beginning is similar to "something".... What is "something" ? ... I found it !

[Agnus Dei and J.S.Bach's fugue (Agnusdei.gif 6.36KB)]

The upper is the beginning of "Agnus Dei". The lower is C# minor fugue from "the Welltempered Clavier I". Both has the same theme with diminished fourth. The introductions of theme from bass part, and oppressive atmospheres -- these are also same in both music. These "items" make us to feel the tradition from baroque study in this "Agnus Dei". I remember that "Cum Sancto Spritu" in "Gloria", whose theme is "traditional"....( See the diary on February, 7)

October,17 1999 Training only for the Orchestra

There are no "Combined Training" in October. There were sets of training on October 3 for the chorus, and October 17 for the orchestra. I misunderstood that the training on October 3 was "combined training" and went to the hall, the place of the training. (It was impressive for me to watch the training of the chorus...)

I remembered that there are no experiences of training only for the orchestra. It was good opportunity to guess the sounds and movements of orchestra. I found that there was one mistake of note. It is incredible to find such mistake only 3 months before the concert ! But I was lucky to be able to find it....

My listening is attracted naturally to the cello and double-bass sections, which are familiar section for basso continuo. There are some "melodies" of cello section in "Gloria", "Credo" and "Benedictus". The melodies played by cello is often very beautiful and they can be called to "showiness of lower strings". But sometimes they are difficult to play. Especially, in this music, the melodies of cello are on the keys of "flat". For strings in orchestra, the keys of "flat" are difficult to play. The player in cello section seems to be hard to play...X-P.

Totally saying for myself, there are not so many "problems" for about "Kyrie","Gloria","Credo" and "Sanctus". But I have found that it is not enough to understanding "Agnus Dei"....I have listen the MJQ in my driving my car, but it should be changed to Schubert's Mass again :-P.

November,3 1999 The 6th "combined training"

There were many times between the last "combined training" and today's training. It is about two months. And it is about two and half months for me because I could not attend the "combined training" on the last September.

The training starts at 2:00 p.m. What ? It is unbelievably too bad ! I cannot concentrate the music ! I often mistake music notes. I cannot understand the harmony. (It is too bad for basso continuo not to be able to understand the harmony.) I cannot synchronize myself with other instruments or the chorus. It is like that I forgot the music ! The bad situation is not only for me, but for other persons. The sound is "shallow". Some instrument mistakes to count pause. The conductor's face clouds. Why is it so bad ?

After performing through "Kyrie", "Gloria", and "Credo", the training with taking bad points is started. The conductor's severe saying is, "Your voice in chorus sounds only the neighborhood of you. The sound does not transfer to my neighborhood. In such situation like this, I cannot make anything of music !"

After a few times of trial, the chorus regains its sounds as should be. The sound becomes immediately rich. Have it effected to the instruments of the orchestra ? The orchestra gradually "wakes up". During the training, most of mistakes is removed and the atmosphere of the music can be understandable. Oh ? The melodies of cello is very clear. Great !

But I feel that I still cannot grasp "Aguns Dei".... I should read the score in detail again !

Additionally , there is a part where the harpsichord is conspicuous ! The training of it was carried out today. In this part, the harpsichord has the character of its independence and it should be match in its tempo with other instruments and the chorus. It was in failure on today's training. I noticed that I should behavior as "the accompaniment with chorus" rather than "basso continuo". I should remember my experience of piano accompaniment with chorus about five or six years ago.

November,27 1999 The 7th "combined training" The date of concert performance is just around the corner !

The date of the concert is December,11. Only two weeks are remained and the there are only two times of training; on today and on December,5 (except the rehearsal just before the concert performance). Today's training and the training on the next time is done using the same stage of the concert. My tension is to arise toward the concert.

I drive my car carrying my harpsichord to arrive the hall by 6:00 p.m. In the training in summer, there was sunshine in this time. But in this season , it is dark just after 5:00 p.m. I drive my car with feeling of "Time flies...", and arrived to the hall. The first thing we should do is physical labor :-P, i.e., setting of the stage. But I should carry and tune my instrument. When I finished tuning of my instrument, the setting of the stage was already finished....

The training is started at 6:30 p.m. The first menu is a cappella chorus (chorus without any instruments) under the baton of Uttchy (His URL is here. It is in Japanese.) I do not attend this chorus so I listened it in a seat. It is the first time to here this music. Complete harmony make me to feel somewhat similar to divinity ! I sit toward the back of the hall, but the sound can be listen very clearly. A cappella chorus has the power to make the audience to be quiet. I am keyboard player and love keyboard music. But I feel that any keyboard music cannot be equal to a cappella chorus in its pure sound. X-<

At 7:00 p.m., the training of Schubert's music starts.

At first, Mr. Kataoka, the conductor performs through the whole of the music...umm...something is not incorrect. I feel that we shrink from something like heavy feeling. It is not the situation of only three weeks until the concert performance. But I cannot understand what is wrong. After going through the whole of the music, we took a little rest.

During the rest time, Uttchy and Mr. Kataoka are talking with each other. I moved myself to the neighborhood of them and try to listen to them. It is too difficult for me (bomb!) But I was impressed the saying of "the variety of the 'color' cannot be achieved".

After the rest, Mr. Kataoka makes some notification and we repeat from the beginning. Oh ! It becomes good ! The strange feeling in the 1st time is removed in my mind. I felt that it is OK to go toward the actual performance of the concert.

My grasping for "Agnus Dei" was almost solved. I reached to the level of other players of singers. But it is too few that there is only 2 or 3 times to play this music including the date of concert performance. In this season I usually think that I want to go about this music much more time.

By the way ... I did a stupid performance again (Bomb!). In the point where harpsichord is conspicuous, I push the keys... ohhh? Strange sounds like koto ! The laughing arises. Oops! I forgot to release buff stop ! I should be careful to treat buff stop ! X-P

After training I took supper with Uttchy and other persons. We talked about the training, our web-sites (Uttchy's site is so famous that there are almost one thousand of accessing.). Uttchy said to me, "The BGM of your top page (fugue on a theme of 'we wish you a Merry Christmas.') is nice !". I pleased him. But I think the BGM of the top page of his site is more better than mine. It is another arrangement of the same Christmas song.

December,3 1999 Going to professional harpsichord concert

This event is not related with the "Gloria". On December,3, there was a concert performed by Treveror Pinnock -- one of the greatest harpsichord player. Rameau, Bach, Handel, Telemann... I was captured the world of baroque chamber music.

Frankly saying, I did not think that harpsichord has such wide range of expression. Of course, the instrument Pinnock used is a large French type with double keyboards while mine is a small spinet. But delicate changes in tempo and articulation ... I do not have such various technique of playing. His performance showed off the wide expression of harpsichord to me.

December,5 1999 The last "combined training" + Accompaniment like sight-reading (:-P)

Now, it is only one week before the concert. Today is the date of last training. Leaving at 4 p.m., and I drive my car with my harpsichord as usual. It is cold and cloudy. The outside temperature does not become high even in the daytime. It changes to the weather of "winter" just after the beginning of December. During going to the hall, the outside became dark rapidly, and when I arrived the hall, it is dark to be able to call "midnight".

The menu of training is similar to in one week ago. The first thing is "physical labor" i.e. setting the stage. I finished tuning of my instrument and joined it.

The significant difference from November,27 is the existence of "professional soloist singer". Just after setting the stage, I am called from Mr. Kataoka, the conductor.

"Accompany with piano for the reading of soloists."

I am careful to hide that I am feeling "Ohhhhhhh---- !":-) and saying "Yes."... what shall I do ? Indeed, I treat this music more than half years and I can say that I have grasped it. But I have no experience of accompanying with piano with reading vocal score of this music.

Soloists and Mr. Kataoka and I entered a room where there is a piano and we were waiting the preparation. On the stage the training of a cappella chorus is going and it makes beautiful sound. But I get too nervous to listen such things. I stare the vocal score in waiting.

After the training of soloist begins, I am desperate. Thinking " It is good to trace bass and melody line in such case.", I desperately play piano. It is very hard sight-reading !

The reading of soloist was finished without any trouble. Now, the last training is to be started !

In this phase, there are few significant problem. Some mistake were found in orchestra but they were easily corrected.

But when the soloists sing, the tempo of music is unstable. In such case we should "synchronize" our feeling of tempo. But it is not enough only to "follow". It is not easy.

The training was finished at 8:30 p.m. The remaining thing is performance of concert and a small rehearsal before it only. We received the paper which shows the schedule of Dec,11 in detail. At this time of one week later, we will be just after finishing the concert...

December,11,1999 The Day of the Concert !

It is "the day of the concert performance" !

It is the day of the conclusion of the preparation for about 1 year !

It is the day when we will show all of our abilities !

But I cannot say that my condition is completely good. I attended a year-end party -- with large amount of drinking staying in the hotel -- of our office last night. (It is so called "bou-nen-kai" (forget-year-party).)

I can say that this thing -- not completely good condition -- was the prelude of "a nightmare" before arriving the concert hall.

Before leaving my house, I tuned my harpsichord. The tune of this instrument is sensitively affected by atmosphere. It is necessary to tune just before performance. Of course, I will have to tune again in the concert hall. But it becomes easier when "preliminary tuning" is carried out.

And then, go to the concert hall ! I start to drive my car with carrying my harpsichord. But ... Oops ! The road is very clouded. My car goes very slowly.

During driving, I am thinking about today's time schedule, what we shall do before concert, and ... Gash ! I left my tuning kits for my instrument in my house !

I turn my car, go back to my house, arrive, I get off my car, and just before entering my house... I feel "strange touch" through my right shoe. It is the moment that I tread on BM from a cat.

After that, I restart to drive my car with carrying my instrument, tuning kits, and some of odor X(.

After arriving the concert hall, "Sorry to have kept your waiting !" I shout loudly and carry my instrument to the stage.

The rehearsal goes very simply. Today is not the day of training any longer. It is ended at 5:00 p.m. The conductor, Mr. Kataoka says, "Relax ! Shall we enjoy the music !" This word concludes the rehearsal.

The starting time of the concert is 6:00 p.m. It remains about one hour. I tune my instruments again. The tune must become illegal after rehearsal.

I tune in the middle one octave and copy the tune to the higher and lower octaves. It remains about a few ten minutes. There are no person but me in the hall. There are no sound but my tuning. I gradually feel some kinds of "tension" surround me before the performance.

The last tuning is finished at 5:45.

I entered the offstage waiting room. The other people of players and singers are already changed clothes and are awaiting the beginning. An atmosphere of tension can be felt also in this room.

The hall opens at 6:00 p.m. I glance the foyer. Oh ! What many persons ! And I sneak into the audience seat. Oh ! It is before 20 minutes from the performance, but about half of seats has already been occupied ! Good ! And then I decide to listen the 1st stage of a cappella chorus. ( I will go on the 3rd stage only. )

The curtain had fallen. And many people enter the seat one after another. I am thinking that it is strange to listen the performance of the concert where I will go on a stage.

At 6:30 p.m., buzzer tells the starting of performance. The curtain rises. All members of the Gloria Choir is on the stage. Clapping. The chorus conductor is Uttchy (Here is Uttchy's site. ("Uttchy's musicbox") It is in Japanese..)

Uttchy starts to move his baton just before the rising of the curtain is end. It is the beginning of 1st stage. Any noise or clapping suddenly disappears and a cappella chorus -- just like from a heaven -- fill the space alternately. What wonderful, great sounds of spirits ! I am very glad to listen this stage. I feel that I am taking a shower of "spirit" before my going on the 3rd stage.

The 1st stage, which has created the other world, finished. I rush into the offstage waiting room and call Uttchy. Firm handshake !

I say, "Great ! I was listening on a seat and received your spirits !"
"Thanks ! Today's performance is very nice ! I think it is better than any times of training !" he replies.
"Next step is the 3rd stage !"
"The main stage !"
"Let's do our best !"

The 2nd stage is string ensemble. I do not go on this stage. I go to the wings and waits. I will check the pitch of the sound of my instrument during the break between the 2nd and 3rd stages.

The 2nd stage is sophisticated string ensemble. The atmosphere is differ from the 1st stage. But it is comfortable feeling.

After the 2nd stage ends, there is a break for fifteen minutes. I go on the stage and check the tuning. OK ! There are few changes in the pitch ! Soon I go back to the wing. All players and singers are coming in the wing and soon the wing becomes very clouded. I tell the oboe player that A=442Hz. and check it. All members are waiting the buzzer ...

The starting buzzer of the 3rd, main stage rings. We enter onto the stage and arrange ourselves. I arrange my sheet music on my harpsichord and glance the audience seat. It seems almost full. Good !

The conductor, Mr. Kataoka, and the solo singers enters. Clapping. And the final main performance is started !

I am careful to synchronize to the other bass instruments. At first I am rather cool. But I become gradually agitated with thinking "It is the last time to enjoy this music !"

"Cum Sancto..." fugue. It was my favorite section in this music. I put my feeling. In "Credo, there are many pizzicato. I should be more careful to strings and it is not easy. But the result of the many times of training effects very good performance today. It is also OK to make ensemble with both solo singers and other instruments. Very sensitive tension continues and I sometimes just before losing my consciousness ! Fortunately there are no serious happenings.

"Sanctus","Benedictus"...music are going. Mr. Kataoka, the conductor expresses very nice face of emotion. Some parts of my brain is calculating the beat calmly and other parts fired in a passion. I cannot understand whether it is dream or reality.

Last piece, "Agnus Dei". Starting with oppressive double-fugato and then changing peaceful E-flat major. I feel that I listen "Dona nobis pacem" from the heaven. I played last chord in this atmosphere. It is the end of ALL stages. Mr. Kataoka shows full of smile. Curtain call of soloists and conductor. All members show faces of satisfaction. Of course I do too.

But there remains encore. "Carelessness is our greatest enemy !" I confess that the encore piece is "Ave Maria" by C.F.Gounod which is a famous piece ! Its accompaniment is based on the 1st prelude from J.S.Bach's "Welltempered Clavier I". The first 4 bars are the prelude performed only by a harpsichord. In the diary of November 27, I wrote " I did a stupid performance again (Bomb!). In the point where harpsichord is conspicuous ..." etc. It was about this encore piece. Mr. Kataoka watches me. His grinning says me "Is it all right TODAY ?". I reply with same grinning and the encore music starts. The satisfaction after finishing large music is filled in the hall. And the sound from my playing flows this space of satisfaction. It is great moments for me ! And then chorus of "Ave Maria" starts. Encore is ended in a feeling of dreams. Storm of applause. And, all music of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.7" is end, end ...

January,11,2000 After the concert ...

The closing party went with a swing ! I overdrunk and shouted "Great ! Great !" many times and many people laughed me. The party continues, with changing places, until 4:00 a.m. In the closing party, Uttchy and I discussed about the next time concert, i.e. "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.8" on year 2000, but I will write this in other pages probably named with "Gloria Diary 2000".

After the concert, I was busy because of Christmas and New Year. My friend performed small, but impressive concert on December 23. I went to listen it. In New Year's Day, I went to my hometown etc.

And one photograph and video tape were sent to me on January,11. It is the record of the concert. Watching the video, I remember the excitement of the concert. I have found some "faults". I felt shy when I found my grinning face in the beginning of encore was clearly recorded. :P

But I can say that this was impressive and nice concert ! What will happen in the next concert ?

Now, it is the time to lay down my typing from this "Gloria Diary 1999". The concert of next "Gloria" -- "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.8" -- will be performed on December, 2000. The activity of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.8" has already started ! Please go to "Gloria" Diary 2000 !

Please let me know your impression via e-mail or BBS.

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