Friday, April 30, 2010

NZ Music Month

May is New Zealand Music Month in 2010. Over the last decade, New Zealand Music Month has drawn attention to the vast talent and diversity we enjoy in the New Zealand Music Industry. Check out the details at

Friday, April 23, 2010

Saint-Saens Les fleurs et les arbres

City of Dunedin Choir sings Saint-Saëns's Les fleurs et les arbres in the Fauré and Friends concert on 13 June 2010.

Sung here by Chora Nova:

Saint-Saens Calme des Nuits

City of Dunedin Choir sings Saint-Saëns's Calme des Nuits in the Fauré and Friends concert on 13 June 2010.

Sung here by the Umeå Studentchoir:

Saint-Saens Ave Maria

City of Dunedin Choir sings Saint-Saëns's Ave Maria in the Fauré and Friends concert on 13 June 2010.

Faure Tantum Ergo

City of Dunedin Choir sings Fauré's Tantum Ergo in the Fauré and Friends concert on 13 June 2010.

Faure Maria Mater Gratiae

City of Dunedin Choir sings Fauré's Maria, Mater Gratiae in the Fauré and Friends concert on 13 June 2010.

Here are some clips - one for listening pleasure (Westminster Cathedral Choir) and two for practicing:

Go to this Youtube video to practice the Soprano line:

Go to this Youtube video to practice the Alto line:

(Unfortunately embedding these clips have been disabled.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Faure Madrigal

City of Dunedin Choir will sing Fauré's Op. 35 Madrigal at the concert on 13 June 2010.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead (Latin: Missa pro defunctis) or Mass of the dead (Latin: Missa defunctorum), is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular formula of the Roman Missal. It is frequently, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral.

Gabriel Fauré composed his Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 between 1887 and 1890. This choral-orchestral setting of the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead is the best known of his large works. The most famous movement is the soprano aria Pie Jesu. Camille Saint-Saëns said of it, "just as Mozart's is the only Ave verum Corpus, this is the only Pie Jesu."

Fauré on his Requiem

  • “Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”
  • "It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death and someone has called it a lullaby of death. But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience. The music of Gounod has been criticized for its overinclination towards human tenderness. But his nature predisposed him to feel this way: religious emotion took this form inside him. Is it not necessary to accept the artist's nature? As to my Requiem, perhaps I have also instinctively sought to escape from what is thought right and proper, after all the years of accompanying burial services on the organ! I know it all by heart. I wanted to write something different."
After doing the St John Passion with its intense high drama it is sheer relief and a joy to be singing Fauré's "lullaby of death".

Many of the movements from this Requiem have been used in movies, in TV shows, and by other artists. The two most used are Pie Jesu and In paradisum.

In Paradisum sung by the All Angels:

In the movie 28 Days Later, 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror/science fiction film directed by Danny Boyle:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Parody on BA ad

I just had to share this with you all - it is so funny! And lovely voices too! It's a parody of the classic British Airways commercial - the lovely 'Flower Duet' from 'Lakme' by Delibes.

Friday, April 9, 2010

If I had an iPad

By the time the iPad is available in New Zealand the forScore app might already be available.

How cool would that be? Great for practicing, and it even has a visual metronome feature, "allowing you to see, not hear, the timing. It's the metronome Beethoven never had".

Not that the visual metronome would be the hot selling point for me, but the whole concept of carrying the score along in this handy and useful format is mind-blowing. I wondered if our genre of music would be covered, but no excuses, they claim: "With forScore, you can add your own files - digitize your own sheet music, or find thousands of pieces available for free online at sites like or"
IMSLP and other sources of that ilk would do it for us.

Here's their official announcement:
Portland, OR, April 2, 2010 — MGS Development today officially announced the upcoming release and pricing of forScore, exclusively for iPad.
ForScore, the musical score reader for iPad, will be available in early April for $2.99 through iTunes and the iPad App Store. ForScore allows users to take over 1300 pages of beautifully rendered score with them on the go, featuring 18 world-renowned composers and almost 300 different titles. With innovative and remarkable features like the visual metronome, forScore is more than just a library of score - it’s a musician’s perfect companion.

Read more about what you can do with it...

Accolades for St John Passion

This letter from Dr David Galloway (Dr Patricia Payne, the opera singer’s husband) was published in the ODT this morning:

Monday 29 March, 2010

Editor Otago Daily Times

Yesterday I attended Bach’s St John Passion by the City of Dunedin Choir and the Southern Sinfonia in the Town Hall. To hear this wonderfully dramatic work sung with such warmth and conviction (and dare I say passion) in German, the language of its composition, was a treat indeed. The performance easily bears comparison with any British or European live performances of the work that I have heard. Besides the splendid contributions of conductor, soloists, choir and orchestra, the continuo players (organ, cello and flute) sensitively and deftly provided accompaniments to the several solo arias, adding a further dimension of great subtlety and beauty to the whole work. It was a glorious start to Holy Week. Warmest congratulations to the City of Dunedin Choir and their supporters, for allowing us to share in this outstanding musical event. More please!

David Galloway (Opoho)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Virtual Choir

Ever heard of Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir? I am instantly a fan! Here's a taste, 'Lux Aurumque', and then you can read the story behind the Virtual Choir.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Faure Requiem

The Fauré Requiem forms part of the Choir's concert planned for 13 June in St Paul's Cathedral. Here is a "preview" of the music for your enjoyment:

I Introit et Kyrie

II Offertoire

III Sanctus

IV Pie Jesu

V Agnus Dei

VI Libera Me

VII In Paradisum