We're now over halfway through our project with just two days to go until our performance. I now feel as if we're gelling like a real chamber group, and now that the nuts and bolts are in place we can really start to make music.
We began with a run through of the piece, this time set up in concert formation so that I was standing rather than sitting as a member of the group. I had been quite reticent to present myself as 'the soloist' during rehearsals and so originally rehearsed seated, however it was useful for the players to see me standing so that they could observe my breathing and phrasing. I actually felt more confident in this way and better able to sing with my whole body, making the final bocca chiusa section feel easier and less exposed.
Throughout the rehearsal Thibault filmed extracts - the music, individual players, the group - which will form part of a trailer that we'll share on social media later as promotional material for our concert. No one really likes seeing themselves on camera but it will be nice to have a video record of the rehearsal process!
A group of us had lunch at Greenwich Market - it was good to be able to show our visitors local sites and to get to know each other out of the rehearsal room.
After lunch I worked with Aida and Olivia (first cello part) to establish shared phrasing in the melody of the piece. It was surprisingly intuitive to tune in to each other when working in a smaller group without the distractions of the pizzicato and bass figurations.
Joao then helped me with the Portuguese text. On paper it looks similar to Spanish, which I can speak to a basic standard, but there are some different sounds that really give a recognisably Portuguese, or in this case Brazilian, colour and character. For example, the soft final [l] sound in "cruel" (cruel), the soft [x] in "queixumes" (complaining), the [ng] sound at the end of "nuvem" (clouds).
Here is an English translation of this amazingly sensual text!
Tarde uma nuvem rsea lenta e transparente. Afternoon, a rosy, slow and transparent cloud
Sobre o espao, sonhadora e bela! in the air, dreamy and beautiful!
Surge no infinito a lua docemente, The Moon sweetly emerges into infinity,
Enfeitando a tarde, qual meiga donzela Decorating the afternoon like a gentle maiden
Que se apresta e a linda sonhadoramente, Who dreamily prepares herself to be gorgeous
Em anseios d'alma para ficar bela With an anxious soul to keep herself beautiful.
Grita ao cu e a terra toda a Natureza! All of nature shouts to the Sky and to the Earth!
Cala a passarada aos seus tristes queixumes Flocks of birds hush to its complaints
E reflete o mar toda a Sua riqueza... And the Sea reflects its great splendor..
Suave a luz da lua desperta agora Softly in the light of the moon now awakes
A cruel saudade que ri e chora! Cruel longing that laughs and cries.
Tarde uma nuvem rsea lenta e transparente Afternoon, a rosy, slow and transparent cloud
Sobre o espao, sonhadora e bela! in the air, dreamy and beautiful...