Vespers I

My last two Wellington gigs (for a while, anyway) are both Vespers services, but rather different in terms of music, performers, and style!

On Saturday evening I took part in a semi-regular 'Bach Cantata Vespers' at a local Lutheran church. Different Wellington choirs are invited to sing at these, and this time the Tudor Consort provided the singers. We did Cantata No. 102, 'Herr, deine Augen sehen nach den Glauben', which has a great opening chorus, solos for alto, tenor, and bass, and of course a closing four-part chorale. On the instrumental parts, we had a quartet of modern strings, two modern flutes, and organ.

We were only two-to-a-part, which was nice - good clarity (which you really need in Bach choruses), and we each had a buddy to sing with. We weren't able to rehearse together except on the day of the Vespers, so we liked having that extra safety net of someone singing our part with us. If we'd had more time, we would have done most of the chorus with solo voices, with the others joining in when appropriate.

Here's a recording of the opening chorus by John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir. They have a larger number of singers (not my preference), and period instruments (jealous!):

As I said, it's an awesome chorus! Nice and fast and exciting to sing. Well worth the hour-and-a-half church service. ;)

Vespers II will be at St Mary's on Wednesday night. I'll get to sing solos in Mendelssohn's cantata 'Hear my Prayer', and Monteverdi's 'Ave Maris Stella'. Luckily we'll get a bit more practice time for this lot.