Sunday, February 03, 2008

Johann Sebastian and Rufus, a very mixed week of music

Last week I finally caught up with MG who I hadn't seen for too long. Her daughter LB is in Melbourne directing a play at Trades Hall and I saw her briefly before M and I went for lunch.

On Tuesday we had a rehearsal at St John's for the service today - the cantata (Herr Jesu Christ, wahr' Mensch und Gott) was not so difficult for the chorus (no "runny bits") and includes the glorious soprano aria (Die Seele ruht) with the singer accompanied by solo oboe and a pair of recorders over a pizzicato bass. Today's performance went off very well. The other soloists were the ever-reliable Jerzy Kozlowski (a bass with a real trill) and the newcomer Robert Macfarlane from Adelaide.

On Friday I wagged rehearsal to go and hear Rufus Wainwright in concert. It was a very enjoyable evening with Rufus singing a number of songs from Release the stars, as well as many others. His one bad choice was to sing Macushla accompanied by french horn, saxophone and trumpet without amplification. Having heard many trained singers perform in Hamer Hall it was very telling to hear how little he was able to project into the space.

His voice is tonally quite interesting (not conventionally beautiful), immediately identifiable and, when amplified, is well controlled, though I still have problems with his diction (I think he could even rhyme "you" and "me") - but he is a very personable performer and delivers a very entertaining show. The seven supporting musicians were excellent although the sound mix was very bass-heavy for the first half of the show.

Last night F&E, two women from work, came for dinner - we had a lovely evening and it was great to get to know them out of the work environment. Next time's at their place.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the Rufus show. He is such a charmer and his Judy was terrific.

9:33 pm  

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