When I ran through the program I had drafted for the December
17 concert, I found it took me 55 minutes to play. That’s
with playing everything roughly the right number of times
through, but without the 2 pieces I wasn’t playing, and without
doing any patter between pieces. Since we’d like the actual
performance to run about 50 minutes, and absolutely can’t go
over an hour, this meant it was too long.
We postponed making a decision about what to cut until last
night, but since there will be at most two more full rehearsals, and
possibly only one, it’s time to make the cuts.
There was one obvious piece (Susanna
Fair by William
Byrd) that I hoped we’d have time to learn, but we were
still fumbling for notes last night. So doing that will take
time away from doing ensemble work, so that one’s out. Another
and Holofernes) was put in to go with
Susanna, so it’s out, too.
About half the program is going to be Morley Canzonets of two
and three voices. I’d love to do a whole program of
these, but I was a little worried that the set was too long for
people who don’t listen to this kind of music all the time. The
other sets are broken up with catchy dance tunes, but this one is
all 16th century polyphony, all the time. So I cut a couple of
There’s still one more piece that’s pitched a bit high for my
difficulties, and last night when we sang it our pitch
drifted sharp, so the high D’s that sounded a bit
strained in the first verse, I couldn’t even hit in the second
verse. We’re going to try singing it a step down, which will
make it on the low side for our tenor, so if we turn out not to
like it at either pitch, we’ll cut that one too.
If you’re recording and don’t feel like using a stop watch to
time things, the program exiftool will tell you all kinds of
things about a number of file formats, including MP3 files.