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2:33 AM
@Robusto yes.
Very, very challenging.
First rehearsal last week. We managed the first ten bars. And half of us had performed the piece before.
The time signature changes like every single bar. Literally.
But you have to abstract from that. Really it's a Gregorian monody is what it is. No bars at all. Just a single line of music that goes wherever it is that it goes at its own leisure.
That's how you have to think of it. Then it's suddenly very easy. But it's very hard to get yourself to think of it that way.
The line has no metrum at all really. It's an entity. A single thing. Duruflé tries to break it up and shoehorn it into metrums a word at a time. Really he's trying to help. But it can easily achieve the exact opposite if you're not prepared. You're not used to thinking of it that way.
One second it's 3/4, then 2/4, then 9/8, then 2/4 then 4/4 then 3/4 again.
If you look at them numbers, you're screwed.
So what I'm doing right now, what I've been doing for the past two weeks, is just listen to it non-stop on my earplugs. So I can just internalize it as a single whole. As a song that I just sing along because I know it by heart.
And it's working. But very, very slowly.
Concerts in summer. We do have time.
Here, just a couple bars at random from the Introït.
It continues like that for another 40 minutes.
Very challenging for the organ/piano player as well. He is constantly doing the exact opposite of whatever the choir is doing.
When we're mellow, he is agitated. When we're in common time, he's in trioles. And vice versa.
But that's not you what you hear. That's not what you've heard. Not if we get it right. Then it's just music. A single aethereal peaceful line. That comes from nothing and dissolves into nothing. If we get it right.
 
3:08 AM
What does help is that we're rehearsing some of his other music on the side. Motets. Lord's Prayer. Very short pieces that take the same idea and distill and compress it into just a single minute or two.
Our choirmaster certainly knows what he's doing. We're in safe hands.
But that doesn't mean we don't have to put in the work. He only makes it easier. Shows the way. Paves the road. But we still have to actually walk the walk.
 
 
15 hours later…
5:48 PM
@Cerberus Do verbs like renovate and rejuvenate have obvious Latinate antonyms I'm oblivious to? I've considered antiquate, obsolesce, obsolete but don't much care for them for whatever reason, and I don't think inveterate, resenesce will reverberate with the masses.
delapidate?
I tried going backwards from desuetude but that lands me nowhere English.
novus inverts to vetus or senex.
Perhaps the opposite of revise is revert.
Rather than devise. :)
@RegDwigнt Is anything held constant across those changes in time signatures, like the duration of a quarter note as opposed to the duration of the measure as a whole (as though each were in 1)?
At least those are all symmetric, so the beat won't jump around as it does with 7/8.
Does hemiola have an antonym? :)
 
6:11 PM
Time signatures tell you where the beats are. I don't know that Gregorian monody can be said to have beats.
plainsong
Monotones for monophones, and vice versa.
 
 
2 hours later…
7:47 PM
@tchrist the duration of a quarter note stays exactly the same. A measure in 4/4 will be exactly twice as long as a preceding measure in 2/4. Unless there's also a tempo change, of which there are certainly a handful in every movement, but definitely not every single bar.
 
8:36 PM
@tchrist Hmm I think you've found the obvious ones!
Such as they are.
It also depends on what kind of opposites you want.
Renovate could be made to contrast with stagnate.
Though one is transitive and the other isn't (I think).
But you could change the sentence.
A stagnum is a pool without any current.
Could even be a swamp.
 
 
1 hour later…
9:47 PM
@RegDwigнt This is the problem with composers "helping" in that respect. They forget how much effort we put into sight-reading, and so that we're going to try to use that to sort out their impossible mess.
 

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