Thursday, May 20, 2021

Virtual Quartet Performs Palestrina's “In Festo Transfigurationis Domini”

Safari: Please use pop-out ⇗ button.
Concord Band Virtual Quartet

After the Concord Band brass quintet virtual recording of Die Bänkelsängerlieder early in the pandemic, Concord Band members Peter Norton (trombone) and Cam Owen (horn) looked around for more music they could collaborate on virtually, and found a four-part hymn by the Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni da Palestrina: “In Festo Transfigurationis Domini”, arranged for three trombones and horn.

An interesting thing has happened during this pandemic year, as musicians turned from large-ensemble playing such as the band. During the fall and early spring, small ensembles have rehearsed and recorded outdoors. The winter months call for truly virtual groups, with individuals recording their parts indoors at home. With this situation has come the learning of new technology, and creative opportunities such as Peter taking on all three trombone parts. For this virtual performance we utilized an audio editor, Audacity, to bring together the different parts, and a video editor, Pinnacle Studio, to combine the finished audio, video recordings for each of the parts, background photos and other effects.

The far greater challenge than the technology, however, was working out the musical part of this project, getting away from the rigidity of the mechanics and finding a means to bring the give and take of an expressive performance, attending also to aspects of performance such as intonation and balance that come automatically and dynamically with a live performance. It took many iterations and a lot of experimentation and elbow grease!

On the music side, we take a lot of pleasure with the mixing of the four voices. This is a quiet work, rich in musical color and interest as parts come in and out. There are passages that start with the horn and dovetail to one of the trombone parts, which come through so nicely that there is only the change in timbre with the transition from horn to trombone. For us, the images forming the background should be rich in color, and soft—the grasses and early spring growth of our area.

No comments:

Post a Comment