Corpus Christi Chorale Essay, Research Paper
I chose to attend the Corpus Christi Chorale performance, “David’s Psalms and Paul’s favorites.” A chorale is basically just a choir, an organized group of singers. The performance took place on Tuesday, October 3 at The Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal. It was a particularly special performance because one of the members, Paul Giraudin, was starting his 45th season in the Corpus Christi Chorale, and celebrating his 80th birthday.
On Tuesday, three friends and I had arranged to ride to the concert together. Little did I know that they would refuse to drive there. I have the smallest car, so I was a little frustrated when they all piled in. Then on the way to the performance, two of the girls announce that they don’t have any money, which required me to make a detour, so they could get some money. This really aggravated me, and caused us to arrive later than I had planned. This caused my to be especially unpleasant during the performance. My mood only worsened when the girls if front of me were noisily chattering the entire time. I was extremely irritated and I believe this altered my perception of the entire performance.
The first half of the performance consisted of “Psalmfest”, a compilation of works by John Rutter (1945). He was a British composer who is famous for a variety of works. I was looking in my program while listening, trying to keep up with each movement. I was often lost and confused, and since we were seated in the back row, I couldn’t hear very clearly. I do specifically remember that I especially liked “The Lord is my Light and My Salvation” towards the end.
I was especially moved when the member who was celebrating his 80th birthday his 45th season singing with the chorale, was specially recognized. That added a more personal touch to the entire performance. The second half of the performance was a collection of this man’s favorite songs. I thought that was a really sweet thing to do, and it was obvious that is made him really happy.
The first song that was on his list of favorites was “Lacrymosa”, from “Requiem” by Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart (1756-1791), a Viennese Classical composer who was popular during the enlightenment of the late 18th century in Europe. Next was a piece entitled “The heavens are Telling” from ”The Creation”, by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), another popular Viennese Classical Composer. Third was “How Lovely is thy Dwelling Place” from “A German Requiem,” by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). Brahms was a German Composer known during the Romantic Era for composing symphonies and sonatas modeled after Beethoven’s style. Next is “He, Watching Over Israel” from “Elijah” by Felix Mendelssohn, who was, like Johannes Brahms, another German composer from the Romantic Era. Fifth is “Worthy is the Lamb that was Slain” from “Messiah” by George Friderich Handel. He was a German Composer who produced and composed Italian Opera in London. This piece was from his most famous work, “Messiah.” The last piece to finish off the night was “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from “Nabucco”, by Giuseppe Verdi, an Italian, who was famous for his Italian Operas, which are still widely produced today.
I preferred the last half of the performance to the first. I liked it because the musical style of a few of the pieces seemed familiar to me. For example, “Worthy is the Lamb that was Slain” from “Messiah” reminded me of something that I played in band in Intermediate school. I didn’t even know I could remember that far back until I listened and it just popped into my head. We did play a few Pieces by Handel, so I very well could have recognized it.
As a whole, I enjoyed the performance. In class, you said there was a problem with the organ player trying to take over the director. I honestly didn’t notice this, probably because I was not listening for it. I was just trying to figure out what part they were at. Because I was aggravated before the concert, I do not think that I felt the music, or enjoyed it to it’s fullest potential. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but when I sat down to write, I realized that my negative feelings really affected the way I perceived the music.