[publishing] Susanne un jour

Latest upload to the music publishing:
Susanne
un jour, Lassus

This is not specifically for the Cantabile Renaissance
Band
, unlike most of my polyphonic Renaissance music.

It was supposed to be for the Cambridge Center for Adult Education
Renaissance Ensemble class. I will still use it for whatever part I
end up doing, and I suspect most of the singers will use it, but the
instructor is still convinced that unbarred parts are a harder way to
play Renaissance music, and is planning to distribute hand-written
parts. She has degrees in music from prestigious institutions, so her
education does include how to write legible notes, and her normal
handwriting is no worse than most peoples, but when she reduces lyrics
to “fit” under notes, they come out completely illegible.

Anyway, she decided that, or told me about the decision, after I
had already done more than half the transcription, so I finished it.
I’m going to be not only singing or playing some part in the madrigal,
but doing divisions on the top line. So I’ll be able to play the
divisions against the MIDI file instead of just a metronome, which is
an advantage when things get wild and crazy.

See Ancor che
col partire
for something else I did this way. I also did “Non
Gemme non fin aura”, but haven’t yet uploaded it; watch this space for
further developments.

The transcription is from the Choral
Public Domain Library
edition. Unfortunately this contributor
uploaded the .mus finale file, which I can’t read. Had they uploaded
the .etf file, lilypond would
have been able to use it. The MIDI file is also useless for
transcription purposes, as all the
parts are on the same channel.

[WG] Songs for Neffa, and a plea for copyists

NEFFA is almost upon us – only 10 more days! I’ve finally finished making a booklet of tunes for our workshop, including:

Arise and Hail – Babylon Streams – Corfe Castle – Cranbrook – Folkestone
– Lingham – Lydia – Pentonville – Poole – Psalm 95 – Spanking Roger – Wiltshire

That’s 12 tunes, which is more than we’ll have time for, but I want to be
able to make the final choice on the spot. This includes several we’ve
never done there before, plus several all-time favorites. Or favourites,
I suppose. We’ve got a big-time groaner, some arse-kickers, some Thomas
Hardy references, some folky-sounding ones and some more-elegant ones. Something for everyone…
If you see any on the list which you’re not familiar with, maybe you’ll have time to look at it before we have to do it with 100 other people.

So, Now – I need some volunteers to make copies. It’s a 22-page booklet,
which needs to be copied double-sided, and stapled. It’s all laid out so
that 2-page pieces will come out on facing pages.

If you can make a batch of copies, without getting in trouble with your boss, let me know ASAP and I’ll get a master to you. We should plan on having about 140 copies, since we got 120 people last year. If I get them
copied at Stooples (I know it’s spelled “Staples,” but they always mess it up), it will cost me about $231, which is rather a lot considering it’s
a volunteer event (and I don’t have a real job)…

I hope everyone’s having a good week. Maybe it won’t snow any more between now and Neffa. I’ll send another email next week with the final Neffa
information.

Thanks,

Bruce

[performing] Report on the March 30 Dan Laurin Masterclass

As far as my own performance went, I wasn’t embarrassed. I don’t
think it got as relaxed as the best of what I did in my own apartment,
but it was a good audience and I was fairly comfortable making
eye-contact, and I played at the level I’m capable of this month.

Setting

Karen Kruskal and Sheera Strick have a beautiful house, which they
enjoy opening up for musical events. Along with John Tyson, they
organized a party spread for afterwards, and plentiful water for
drinking during the class. While the seating area was a little on the
crowded side (when they’re expecting larger crowds they remove the
coffee table, or even one of the sofas), it was much friendlier, more
relaxed, and more intimate than the Marion Verbruggen class at Longy
in January.

Performers

Two young professional recorder players, one professional oboe
player who plays recorder very well, and 3 amateur recorder players.

The oboe player, Wai Kit Leung, has informed me that he’s an amateur,
not a professional.

  • I got drafted to start, and played Van Eyck’s “En Fin l’Amour”.
    See the
    laymusic.org blog
    for a discussion of the edition I did to prepare
    for this performance. Dan said that musically it was very well
    prepared, and worked on articulation (mostly), fingers, and breathing.
  • Wai Kit Leung, an oboe player from Hong Kong, played a Vivaldi
    concerto movement, with Dan playing the bass line on an alto
    recorder. Dan worked with him on vibrato and adding ornamentation.
  • Emily O’Brien played the first two movements of the Bach Cello
    Suite in G major. She had played this at the BRS concert in January,
    when I thought she was better. The first movement especially seems to
    me particularly unidiomatic for recorder. It sounds better when she
    plays it than it would if I played it, and Dan played it better still,
    but it still isn’t a piece I’d pick to work on. He discussed how you
    decide where to breath, and worked on getting her to be more relaxed
    about taking time where she decides to breath.
  • Brian Warnock did two movements of a Loiellet sonata, with Miyuki
    Tsurutani sightreading the harpsichord part. Dan first suggested that
    the Largo should be larger, and then worked with him on the
    ornamentation, which was quite impressive. I’m always surprised when
    people like him play the fast movements at the same speed as the slow
    movements. For a lot of people it’s obviously because their fingers
    aren’t up to playing the fast movements, but there was nothing wrong
    with Brian’s speed in the Allegro; he just doesn’t hear the Largo as
    slow as I do. Part of the problem was communicating with an
    accompanist he hadn’t rehearsed with — they took several measures to
    settle in on a speed when Dan asked for a slower one, and it wasn’t
    clear that is was really the speed either of them would have picked.
    One good point Dan made about Baroque ornamentation was that we
    should think of Baroque painting, with stars and angels and
    elaborately dressed people and lions and snakes.
  • Anya (I should check her last name) played Malle Simon by Van
    Eyck. She hadn’t really learned it very well, but therefore improved
    markedly on Dan’s suggestions. He was very helpful in discussing
    varying the repeats by shifting the emphasis.
  • Mary Briggs played a movement from a Bach cello suite. It was
    labeled a Sarabande, but doesn’t sound anything like a typical
    Sarabande with the da daa de da daaa rhythm. He discussed why this
    piece might be called a Sarabande for several minutes, without as far
    as I remember coming to any conclusion. This one works better on
    recorder than the ones Emily played. Dan made a good point about why
    to play Bach — he said you have to think about phrasing
    because heaven knows Bach didn’t.

[cantabile] Report on the March 29 rehearsal

Some decisions we made:

  • Clear or Cloudy isn’t ready for public performance. We will work
    harder on it next month, and I will try to get better underlay.
  • Anne’s voice works fine as an instrument in an instrumental
    setting.
  • The serpent isn’t ready to play 15 minute performances in settings
    where there’s no warmup time.

Route

Let me know if I have any of this wrong.

  1. April is in my Mistress’ Face
    • Instrumental: Bruce and Laura, T recorder, Ishmael, Fiddle,
      Bonnie, viol.
    • Vocal: Bonnie and Anne, Laura, Ishmael, Bruce
  2. The Silver Swan
    • 4-foot instrumental: Laura, Bruce, Ishmael, Anne, Bonnie
    • vocal: Anne, Laura, Ishmael, Bruce, Bonnie (viol)
    • 8-foot instrumental: Laura, Anne, Ishmael, Bruce, Bonnie
  3. Me, Me and None but Me
    • Instrumental: Bonnie, Laura, Ishmael, Bruce (trombone)
    • Vocal (2 verses): Bonnie and Anne, Laura, Ishmael, Bruce
  4. Il Bianco e Dolce Cigno (Arcadelt)
    • Big instruments: Bruce, Laura, Ishmael, Bonnie
    • Vocal: Anne and Bonnie, Laura, Ishmael, Bruce
    • Recorders: Bonnie, Laura, Ishmael, Bruce

Transcription error

We discovered an error in the Tenor line of the Eb version of “The
Silver Swan”. The words “death ap-” in the second phrase should be
eighth notes not quarter notes. I will fix this all the places I
can. I think the 2004 book isn’t fixable, so if you print it out
again, do it from the
laymusic.org site.

He Knew He was Right, Anthony Trollope

Watched the BBC adaptation, so downloaded the gutenberg edition.

It’s ok, but I think I’ll read more George Elliot before going on
another Trollope binge. I read Daniel Deronda after seeing the movie
of that, and it was more interesting.


Update, March 24, 2005: I changed my mind. Trollope is really brilliant in his own way. So
I’m rereading the Parliamentary novels. More anon.

Finally cataloging the books

As part of the de-messification of the upstairs, when I put away my
books, I catalog them. This is something everybody with a librarian
bone in their body thinks about, and then doesn’t do.

However, now that we have technology, someone has made it easy. Tellico is a program that
lets you catalog any kind of collection, but for books, all you have
ot do is enter the ISBN, and it searches the web and fills in all the
information Amazon or somebody has for the book. So to catalog one
book, in general you enter the ISBN, click “search”, and then click
“add entry”. If for some reason the ISBN printed in the book doesn’t
match the ISBN in the databases (which it didn’t for “Horse Heaven” by
Jane Smiley), or the book is old enough to not have an ISBN printed in
it, you can of course enter information in the conventional way, or
search on the title.

This is still just a novelty, since only the books that were
cluttering up the computer desk and most of the ones that were
cluttering up the bedside table have been entered yet. You can see
the current catalog at mybooks.html.

But it should eventually be a major contribution to the
de-messification, since my theory is that instead of buying more
bookcases or throwing out lots of books, I should put books that I
want to keep but don’t expect to read in boxes, and I’ll be able to
enter the box ID into the catalog.

I’m actually reading most out-of-copyright stuff on the PDA instead
of in hardcopy, so having the dead tree version clutter up my shelves
is a nuisance. But if the PDA were to die in the middle of one that I
have a hard copy of, I’d be seriously annoyed.

Tellico has interfaces for lots of kinds of collections, such as
videos and stamps and wine. I’m looking forward to doing the CD’s. I
understand that all you do is put the CD into you computer, and it
gets all the information straight off the CD.

Phineas Finn experiences performance anxiety

I’m rereading Trollope’s Parliamentary novels, which I read and
liked in college and may have reread some when the Masterpiece Theater
version starring Susan Hampshire was coming out in the 80’s, but
I certainly haven’t looked at them since. I really think Trollope is
underrated as a characterizer of bizarre people who manage to look
completely ordinary. But Phineas Finn is a fairly conventional
bildungsroman.

So far, I especially like the part when he finally gets up his
nerve to make his maiden speech in Parliament. The whole book is at
the Electronic
Text Center, University of Virginia Library
, and the chapter this
happens in is The
First Speech
, but since it’s tedious reading if you don’t know the
characters, here’s the performance anxiety part:


Phineas was determined to speak, and to speak on this evening if he could catch
the Speaker’s eye. Again the scene before him was going round before him; again things became dim, and again he felt his blood beating hard at his heart. But things were not so bad with him as they had been before, because he had nothing to remember. He hardly knew, indeed, what he intended to say. He had an idea that he was desirous of joining in earnest support of the measure, with a vehement protest against the injustice which had been done to the people in general, and to Mr Bunce in particular. He had firmly resolved that no fear of losing favour with the Government should induce him to hold his tongue as to the Buncean cruelties. Sooner than do so he would certainly “go among them” at the Banner office.

He started up, wildly, when Mr Palliser had completed his speech; but the Speaker’s eye, not unnaturally, had travelled to the other side of the House, and there was a Tory of the old school upon his legs — Mr Western, the member for East Barsetshire, one of the gallant few who dared to vote against Sir Robert Peel’s bill for repealing the Corn Laws in 1846, Mr Western spoke with a slow, ponderous, unimpressive, but very audible voice, for some twenty minutes, disdaining to make reference to Mr Turnbull and his politics, but pleading against any Reform, with all the old arguments. Phineas did not hear a word that he said — did not attempt to hear. He was keen in his resolution to make another attempt at the Speaker’s eye, and at the present moment was thinking of that, and of that only. He did not even give himself a moment’s reflection as to what his own speech should be. He would dash at it and take his chance, resolved that at least he would not fail in courage. Twice he was on his legs before Mr Western had finished his slow harangue, and twice he was compelled to reseat himself — thinking that he had subjected himself to ridicule. At last the member for East Barset sat down, and Phineas was conscious that he had lost a moment or two in presenting himself again to the Speaker.

He held his ground, however, though he saw that he had various rivals for the right of speech. He held his ground, and was instantly aware that he had gained his point. There was a slight pause, and as some other urgent member did not reseat himself, Phineas heard the president of that august assembly call upon himself to address the House. The thing was now to be done. There he was with the House of Commons at his feet — a crowded House, bound to be his auditors as long as he should think fit to address them, and reporters by tens and twenties in the gallery ready and eager to let the country know what the young member for Loughshane would say in this his maiden speech.

Phineas Finn had sundry gifts, a powerful and pleasant voice, which he had learned to modulate, a handsome presence, and a certain natural mixture of modesty and self-reliance, which would certainly protect him from the faults of arrogance and pomposity, and which, perhaps, might carry him through the perils of his new position. And he had also the great advantage of friends in the House who were anxious that he should do well. But he had not that gift of slow blood which on the former occasion would have enabled him to remember his prepared speech, and which would now have placed all his own resources within his own reach. He began with the expression of an opinion that every true reformer ought to accept Mr Mildmay’s bill, even if it were accepted only as an instalment — but before he had got through these sentences, he became painfully conscious that he was repeating his own words.

He was cheered almost from the outset, and yet he knew as he went on that he was failing. He had certain arguments at his fingers’ ends — points with which he was, in truth, so familiar that he need hardly have troubled himself to arrange them for special use — and he forgot even these. He found that he was going on with one platitude after another as to the benefit of reform, in a manner that would have shamed him six or seven years ago at a debating club.

He pressed on, fearing that words would fail him altogether if he paused — but he did in truth speak very much too fast, knocking his words together so that no reporter could properly catch them. But he had nothing to say for the bill except what hundreds had said before, and hundreds would say again. Still he was cheered, and still he went on; and as he became more and more conscious of his failure there grew upon him the idea — the dangerous hope, that he might still save himself from ignominy by the eloquence of his invective against the police.

He tried it, and succeeded thoroughly in making the House understand that he was very angry — but he succeeded in nothing else. He could not catch the words to express the thoughts of his mind. He could not explain his idea that the people out of the House had as much right to express their opinion in favour of the ballot as members in the House had to express theirs against it; and that animosity had been shown to the people by the authorities because they had so expressed their opinion. Then he attempted to tell the story of Mr Bunce in a light and airy way, failed, and sat down in the middle of it. Again he was cheered by all around him — cheered as a new member is usually cheered — and in the midst of the cheer would have blown out his brains had there been a pistol there ready for such an operation.

That hour with him was very bad. He did not know how to get up and go away, or how to keep his place. For some time he sat with his hat off, forgetful of his privilege of wearing it, and then put it on hurriedly, as though the fact of his not wearing it must have been observed by everybody. At last, at about two, the debate was adjourned, and then as he was slowly leaving the House, thinking how he might creep away without companionship, Mr Monk took him by the arm.


Trollope doesn’t state it that way, but I think everything he says
bears out my theory about freezing in public performances — that it
happens when the performer is more concerned with how people will
think about him than with what he has to say.