- Mozart's Requiem. I'm a fan of it, but it's a little bombastic at points.
- Verdi is fine, but not my favorite.
- I've forgotten what Faure is like. I think I liked it.
- I probably heard Berlioz and Dvorak at some point, since I listened to a lot of Dvorak and I like requiems, but I don't remember either, except that I lump them together.
- I don't think I've heard the Haydn one, though apparently it has a lot in common with the Mozart, so I might as well.
- Brahms: I haven't heard it. I mean, it's a requiem in name only, so it's only on this list to pre-empt its suggestion as a requiem. Though I suppose I am interested in whether or not I should listen to it.
- I grew bored of making this list.
I dislike the Oatmeal guy: http://www.reddit.com/r/badhistory/comments/25huxk/the_oatmeal_claims_in_a_recent_comic_extolling/
Might get some singing book. Singing for Dummies or Singing Exercises for Dummies? Or something else along those lines. For myself and the wifing unit.
Speaking more of choral stuff, sort of assembling music for the choir binders at church. Everything is a fine balancing act, and while the priest says, "I don't care much about selections," he simultaneously, well, cares about selections, sometimes in odd, restrictive ways. There is certainly some reasonableness to this: you want to rein in people from choosing an overly ambitious repertoire that won't work with available manpower and avoid switching everything every week because everybody would get confused and you want to make sure that things are kind of coherent (ie don't switch musical idioms in the middle of the service). Nobody here is a musician, I just listen to a lot of music and know what a tritone substitution is, and even if I were and knew stuff about directing, I wouldn't have the time to dedicate to actually being the "choir director". I'm just a guy who knows a lot of church music and has strong opinions. And, frankly, the priest is about on the same page as far as levels go: he's started setting his own stuff in lilypond now, so, you know, he's no slouch.
But, still, you know, some of the things he wants don't make sense or are just bad ideas. eg using the same setting of certain litanies for every occurrence of that litany in every service. Why the need for such uniformity? Currently, the vespers service uses a "Byzantine-ish" setting for those and the liturgy uses typically 4-part Russian settings. I'm not really a fan of the former, but nobody seems confused by this lack of uniformity. And typically for evening services you want a setting that can be done with fewer parts because you have lower attendance. This suggests having different settings - and using the different settings we have - is reasonable (since Byzantine can be done with just 1 person, really). Another bad idea is that he wants to sing this one litany in multiple languages: English, Slavonic, Greek, Romanian, and Arabic. And possibly Spanish and/or French as well! I appreciate the desire to include all the diverse elements of our congregation at once, but 1. that just sounds chaotic 2. no one melody is going to naturally fit the contours of all those languages simultaneously. I think a better idea would be to have one setting where English and Slavonic can pair off, another for English, Greek, and Arabic, another for English and Romanian. I don't know whether Romanian could fit in with the Slavonic or Greek and Arabic. English is flexible enough to be beaten into conformity with other languages and the Greek and Arabic can and do fit together.
anyway, there's a setting picked out for that monstrosity, but 1. it sounds awful 2. if it sounded good, it would still sound out of place, musically 3. there are some errors - for instance, "kyrie eleison" is supposed to be 7 syllables, this is written as ky-ri-e e-lei-son. I've heard some sloppy cantors sing it is ky-ri-e 'le-i-son, but you'll get kicked off the kliros if you ever say e-lei-son. I also quibble with the transliteration of the Georgian, but we're not singing the Georgian - it just doesn't give me faith in any languages I can't verify. Oh, why not throw in Latin as well?
Of course, you know, here he is suggesting all these things, and I don't like them and think they're unreasonable, I suggest a bunch of things and he doesn't like them, perhaps thinking they're unreasonable, we're really in symmetric situations. But, you know, the difference is that I'm the one who's going to have to sing it.
Speaking of requiems, they're going to bury my grandmother's cremated remains soon. It was supposed to be no big deal, but they might be making it into a deal. I don't know. hopefully i won't have to sit through some crappy music or, worse, some made-up ceremony.
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