Friday, April 1, 2011
I was very lucky to sing this when I was in graduate school at Syracuse.
Rule #1: if you can sing in a big choir, do it.
Mahler's 2nd is long. The choir (150 strong) sits on stage. Most people don't know the song too well so they come to the show expecting some singing. They come in, see the big choir and think "cool, I'm ready".
The Symphony starts. One, two, three movements. No singing. Then there is intermission. "Hmm, why is the choir sitting there if they aren't going to sing?"
Fourth movement. Still no singing.
Fifth movement. 10 minutes in still no singing.
Then silence. The choir stands. All the eyes in the audience go "holy crap, here we go". Men sing first, real soft. Then drop the hammer. I love dropping the hammer. Its a different type of loud then electronic instruments. It totally envelopes you.
And then we sail to the end. Screaming all the way. Totally draining.
Any song that has horns with bells up works for me. Any song where the composer says one tympani just isn't enough works for me too.