I don't know if I can actually write a post every day in November -- I've got a bunch of deadlines, singing, dental work, and some travel ahead -- but since I usually put something up on Instagram, I figured I could at least echo those posts here.
Halloween is a big deal in Montreal; the image above is my small contribution.
Yesterday, All Saints' Day, is a major feast day for Anglicans and Catholics and was a long one for our choir. In the morning there were two baptisms, a bunch of hymns special to that day, with innumerable verses and descants, such as Ralph Vaughn Williams's famous "For All the Saints," and a relatively new mass setting by Malcolm Archer, flanked by two Renaissance motets for the introit and at communion. In the afternoon, instead of Evensong, we sang the Faure Requiem in the context of a mass, with the names of the departed read aloud. We had a chorus of twenty, a small group of strings, the organ, and two great soloists, and it was a huge pleasure to perform for the congregation and the listening audience on Radio Ville-Marie. I've sung this work a number of times but this was the best performance I remember. It's fun (and difficult) to be a soprano in the angelic chorus, required to float smooth, high, pianissimo melodies in perfect unison. There's one moment when, after a lot of dramatic and intense choral singing, the sopranos enter on a single quiet note that is sustained for several measures, singing "Lux eterna:" I think that transformative moment must sum up Faure's concept of death and resurrection, and be part of the reason why this music is so beloved.