Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Some Verdi Things

1. It was awesome. I'm telling you because you don't know. You don't know because you weren't there. You bastards.

2. I did not sleep all last weekend.

3. I will be buying three recordings: one for me, one for Grandma, and one for Grandpa. Anyone else who wants one can mooch it off of one of us. I'm not sure when they come out, so don't pester me.


I am, as usual, procrastinating writing a dumb paper.

So we had our last Wednesday rehearsal of the semester for Chapel Choir today, and since we only had two songs to rehearse in two hours, Rodney (our director) let us spend the beginning talking about the Requiem. Patty, one of our star sopranos, said she's had nothing but Verdi stuck in her head for months (this made me feel better, because I thought I was the only one...I've been singing in Latin down the hallways for a full 10 days). Rodney said - get this - it was the BEST VERDI REQUIEM HE'D EVER HEARD (in person).

The only way for you to understand the way this made me feel is to also understand how I feel about Rodney. I am in awe of Rodney. I can't decide whether to love him or be terrified of him. The image that springs immediately to mind is the apes and the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, though I know that's not right for many many reasons. If Rodney told me I had a good voice, I'd go audition for American Idol. If he told me I had a bad voice, I'd go pretend to be a lemming and drown myself. That's just the way it is. (As it is, he tells me I can't read music, but that's a skill failing. So I've just stopped auditioning for stuff because of it.) I'm afraid to talk to him, because I might annoy him (which in turn makes me annoy him even more, I think, because it means I sleep through a lot of Sundays and never apologize for it, but, uh, that's just part of what makes me...crazy?).

Anyway. BEST VERDI REQUIEM. And that we were so good the orchestra and the soloists drew emotion off us. That you could hear every consonant in every part of the Chapel (you try enunciating in a building with a 7-story-high vaulted ceiling and then MAYBE you'll understand how big a deal that is). That it was the most emotional and best-felt oratorio Chapel Choir'd done.

But now, after that, I don't know how I can buy recordings. There won't - you can't - you don't feel a recording. You'll only hear the bad and superficial parts. The part in the last Libera Me, where I was singing so hard my chest was vibrating and I still wanted to put out more sound because I wanted to make it better, greater, more glorious - you can't hear that. The whole Chapel full of people leaning in and holding their breaths at the first sob of the cello - that'll just register as so much less ambient noise. The part in the Agnus Dei where at least one of us was so moved she burst into tears - can't hear that either. The fact that I, normally the town joke, was so carried along by the flow that not only did I not make a single mistake or wrong entrance (!) but didn't even need to look at my score for a good 75% of the oratorio (!!) - well, nobody knew that but me. And you, now.

But I -- oh god, you guys, you don't know how depressed I was that no one came, because I was so tired and so sick and had sung two services that day and we still managed to do the most beautiful, beautiful thing I've ever been a part of, and no one was there to see it.


Blogger Rita Xavier said...

Oh, WOW! I LOVE you! - Grandma

4/19/2005 8:36 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Did you think I was gonna let them put out CDs and NOT get you one??

I love you too :)

4/19/2005 10:27 PM  
Blogger Coral Clarke said...

HEY!!! What about ME?

4/20/2005 9:04 AM  
Blogger Rita Xavier said...

I didn't expect you to, really, although I would have bought one. Of course, you know I am one of your most loyal followers! I daydream of being there in person to drink in the magnificence of the chapel and the power of your voices.

4/20/2005 12:24 PM  
Blogger Dante said...

sleep is for the weak.

i want to hear the recording!!

4/20/2005 1:44 PM  
Blogger Dante said...

damnit! the edit you made just made my heart sink. i so would have gone to your oratorio if i was able to. man.

4/21/2005 5:22 AM  
Blogger Carrie Kelley said...

Ahhh... NOW you know what it's like to be a MUSICIAN! :)

The way you feel about Rodney is exactly the way I feel about Frank Scinta!

You're a Niece after my own heart!

Savor the experience!

4/21/2005 9:19 AM  
Blogger Rita Xavier said...

You make me cry, Allie. Now I really wish I had been there.

4/21/2005 12:06 PM  
Blogger Coral Clarke said...

I wish I could have been there too, kid. :(

4/22/2005 7:32 AM  
Blogger Carrie Kelley said...

Me, too (wish I would have been there)...

I want to tell you something, though.

No matter how much you wanted to have us see it, or be there, or how much you wanted to share it with everyone, the audience STILL wouldn't have experienced the same thing that you did.

So many times, I have been "lifted up" while performing, and so many times I've found that the spectators had a non-committal response, like, "It was great." They didn't FEEL what I felt. They didn't experience what I experienced. I wanted so much to share my profound joy with them, but they weren't as receptive to the performances as I would have liked, ONLY because they're NOT ME. It's all a matter of perspective, hon.

What's REALLY great, and I think more important, is that you shared with us YOUR EXPERIENCE. THAT, we can taste and feel, even though we were not there.

Love you!

4/22/2005 8:13 AM  
Blogger Rita Xavier said...

Beautifully said, Carrie. And, Allie, I keep thinking about this post - how it has made me feel. For weeks, I kept thinking about how much I wanted to go to the oratorio, and even checked Amtrak schedules online, but could find nothing suitable. The tracks through your area are being repaired. Also, I had several doctors' appointments, and a couple of antique shows, limiting my days, unless I canceled everything, which, admittedly, I could have done if I persevered. None of this makes you feel any better, I am sure. I'm sorry, my Allie, and I hurt for you, and for me because I missed the performance.

4/22/2005 11:55 AM  
Anonymous craig said...

You gotta remember, kid, that the reason none of us was there is not because we don't want to be - its that you've done gone and surpassed us all, left us behind in the dust. You're now the most highly educated member of the family, a world traveller, and you'll probably land some job the moment you get out of school that will pay you in one year more than what all of us have earned in our lifetimes.

and stuff.

We don't get to travel in your circles. :(

4/23/2005 9:39 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

holy fuck, you guys, I wasn't even talking about you. I was talking about people at Duke.

jesus, I leave for a few days and I come back to a pity party celebrating a pity party.

4/24/2005 12:09 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

and while I'm feeling hostile, abrasive, and profane, that last is total crap. Do you think there was a poster outside saying "Admission Requires Ticket and Proof of College Education"? What the hell? Yes, ok, I'm in college and learning things. I also live in less than 200 square feet, share a bathroom with 13 other people, have two jobs, and subsist for days on EasyMac and Diet Coke alone. Does the fact that I use a lot of someone else's money to read books not make me a Clarke? Does it not make me good white trash like we always have been? If you're going to other me from the family for something, please let me EARN IT. I'm not any smarter or more cultured or any of that bullshit than the rest of you, so cut it out.

wow, I'm angry.

4/24/2005 1:35 AM  
Anonymous craig said...

hey... I was saying it like with a nudge and a grin, kiddo! :(

4/24/2005 4:31 PM  
Blogger :D said...

oohhhhhhh I didn't know I didn't know I didn't know! I wish I had been there. I was in Messiah once, in high school, and I cried onstage. Every time I hear the chapel choir sing that little thing at the end of a service I have to hold back tears because you sing so incredibly, heart-breakingly beautifully. I swear to you darling, if I had known I would have been there.

thank you for telling us about it though. I agree with Carrie--one person's experience of a thing is never quite like another's, and that's especially true with the spectator/performer difference.

and by the way: your family is not nearly as disfunctional as you make out, i think. After all, I think of my family as normal but the only one I can get to even look at my blog with any regularity is my mom and she refuses to comment.

4/25/2005 10:38 PM  
Blogger Rita Xavier said...

Deirdre, I also love the song at the end of the service. I sit with my hands together and my eyes closed (in front of the computer) when I listen - it is so peaceful.

4/26/2005 12:22 AM  
Blogger Chris Clarke said...

If you're going to other me from the family for something, please let me EARN IT. I'm not any smarter or more cultured or any of that bullshit than the rest of you, so cut it out.

Well, I wouldn't worry. I am smarter and more cultured than the rest of them and have spent 30 years actively trying to get out of the family. And it hasn't worked. I think you're safe.

4/29/2005 9:31 AM  

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