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CLASSICAL  August 2000

CLASSICAL August 2000

Subject:

Re: Mahler's Symphony #8

From:

Virginia Knight <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 24 Aug 2000 14:14:56 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (33 lines)

Clement Lo <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>As some of you may know, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and a massed choir
>performed the famed 'Symphony of a Thousand' on Saturday night on the
>Olympic Games Site. I was actually wondering if any of the listmembers
>were in the choir (singers came from the world over) and if there were,
>what was the experience of singing with 900 other people? I imagine that
>it would be incredible but can one actually hear one's own voice? Perhaps
>anyone who has participated in extremely large massed choir could tell me,
>since the biggest I've been in is 300.

I sang Mahler 8 for the first time in Bath in May. As none of the concert
venues there was large enough we used a former railway station (now a
covered market). This was surprisingly comfortable acoustically to sing in
but not so good for the audience. I could hear my own voice and those of
my immediate neighbours against the wall of sound, but especially in the
louder passages I was mostly evaluating the noise I was making by the
vibrations it produced.

When I am singing in huge choirs (something I rarely do) I also have to
restrain myself from listening too hard to the other singers, as I would
usually, because of time lag. In autumn 1995 I sang in 'Gerontius' with
a choir of about 600 in Liverpool's Anglican cathedral. You couldn't have
wanted a better demonstration that while light moves at infinite speed as
far as human perception is concerned, sound is a sluggard by comparison.
Once we'd got used to the slowness with which both the sound of the other
singers and the echo reached us, and got our tempo from the conductor
alone, we were all right.

[log in to unmask]
Official homepage: http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/about/staff/web_staff?search=ggvhk
Personal hompage: http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/~ggvhk/virginia.html

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