What was probably last concert of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education
Renaissance Ensemble took place before a standing room only crowd.
(There were only a few more people than usual, but there were fewer
chairs than usual.)
Last Sunday’s dress rehearsal must have been the kind that leads to
a good performance — almost everything was better in performance than
in rehearsal. I’m told my divisions on Suzanne un jour was an
exception, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t true. There might have been
a few things that worked better on Sunday, but I’m sure the
performance as a whole was more comfortable after a few more times
getting through it without falling apart.
In any case, nothing was a total disaster; a lot of the rough edges
that had been glaring on Sunday were fixed by Wednesday, and we
recovered from the new rough edges that had never happened before with
a fair amount of aplomb.
The cornetto playing is what I can do without warmup these days. I
was expecting the pieces to be easy, because neither of them has a Bb,
both have an easy range, and they were next to each other. However, in the Michael Altenburg the
Cantus Firmus has two pages of rest in a 3-page score, and the viols
needed to tune between the pieces. I should of course just insist
on brass players equal warmup time with the viol
tuning time, but I haven’t managed that yet. Another problem was that
the director asked for crisper articulation on the repeated notes in
the Altenburg, and I haven’t figured out how to do that well yet. The
repeated notes in “Come Live with Me” seem quite separate and much
prettier to me than the Altenburg ones, so maybe I should just ignore
direction like that.
My singing was almost entirely in the tenor range, since I have the
lowest voice of the 5 female singers. I was annoyed that she gave the
“Come live with me” solo to the baritone, because it was more
comfortable for him than for me as a mezzo, but it would have been
even more comfortable than that for me as a tenor. Anyway, I managed
to not push the low F’s and to sound pretty good on everything above
that. I blew the entrance on the C above middle C in Sumer is icumen
in (the last piece), though. I think if people want an exposed
entrance on c, they should give you a note above G some time before
I got lots of compliments on the “Suzanne un jour” divisions. I
guess they were good. There are easier pieces to do divisions on.
And doing them with a lute player who takes 6 weeks to simplify his
part to what he can play in an 8-week term doesn’t give you much
The serpent playing was quite good. And the microphone
configuration I found with the borrowed mic last time produces better
balance with my mic, too.
Update: The pictures are in the serpent.laymusic.org