Having a great time with Allan R. Scott, Music Director of the Helena Symphony & Chorale, and with baritone Ron Loyd, preparing for the performance of Psalm 46 on Saturday, October 18 at the Civic Center in Helena. A piano rehearsal earlier today, followed by an interview on Montana Public Radio, and off to a full orchestra and chorus rehearsal tonight.
Ron Loyd sounds perfect for this, such a beautiful, intelligent, big, thrilling voice—a Verdi baritone is what singers call it. Opening the concert will be selections from the Old American Songs of Aaron Copland. Yet again am I reminded of how good Copland is, I mean, really, honestly, fully engaged and original. It’s the old problem of appreciating popular repertoire. These are sung all the time. There’s a reason.
Anyway, I’m reveling over the perfect match of Ron Loyd to the Old American Songs and to Psalm 46. Allan Scott is on top of every detail and is brimming with energy, imagination, and commitment to the music and the Symphony. I’m thrilled to be working with them. (Though no Dodge Ram for a rental car this time!)
The notes, choral score, text, and a recording of Psalm 46 are here, along with an explanation of how and why it came to be composed. I’m glad to report that I’ve forgotten most of the theoretical business behind the harmonic language of the piece, and I think it works just fine without anyone else knowing that, either, but since I went to all that trouble, that’s in the notes, too. If you read it, don’t say I didn’t warn you, but my hope is that it may be appreciated simply as a meditation on this Scripture.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.