If you know a singer, you know that they’re heading into the heavy season now. If a vocalist isn’t busy in the months before Christmas and Easter — even if there isn’t a single other booking for the year — something is very seriously wrong.
For November 1 (All Saint’s Day), I was in a pretty successful J.S. Bach’s Missa Brevis in A at the church I sing in. It was fun — a small string ensemble, some brass, an organ, and 14 singers. On November 11, I was privileged to sing in New York City’s simple first-anniversary memorial service for the victims of Flight 587. (I’m all the way to the right in this picture; the combo is prominent in the coverage.)
Then last Sunday afternoon, my big choir sang an Ives’s Fourth Symphony and John Alden Carpenter’s “Skyscrapers” at Avery Fisher Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra. That was a lot of waiting around to do just a little singing, but the Ives in fascinating to hear up close.
This coming Saturday night, my early music group is performing, well, some early music. Small ensemble work is pretty much the polar opposite from something like the Ives, which calls for about 200 people on stage — nine of them percussionists. This concert will have 11 singers plus continuo. If you’re in town, come hear.
And in mid-December, I’ll be appearing in the New York premiere of a new work by the Chinese composer Tan Dun, who’s best known here for his score of the movie “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.” We’ll be performing his “Water Passion After St. Matthew,” a truly extraordinary piece of work, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave festival. I’m told it’s been sold out for months, but tickets sometimes become available.
And oh yes, then there’s Christmas week. But I don’t have the music for that yet, so it doesn’t really exist, right?