Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Revisiting Pulcinella

Almost a year ago, I arrived in Chicago to begin rehearsals for a project that I had been very much looking forward to for a very long time with the Chicago Symphony. Originally, when the idea was proposed, my manager simply asked if I would be interested in auditioning for a series of concerts with the Chicago Symphony, and I was excited at the simple prospect of singing with them again for the first time since I made professional debut with them back in 2003 during a run of concert performances of Part II of Berlioz' Les Troyens. When I found out that the project was to be Stravinsky's Pulcinella, I excitedly jumped at the chance to audition for it, and immediately ran to my music library where I pulled down my score of the piece that I had inherited from Rosie, my teacher from my Michigan days, who had inherited it from her own teacher. I quickly learned the first movement, and then a few days later traipsed down to the audition, where I sang for all I was worth, determined to nail this. All of this was before I knew who would be conducting or anything else about the concerts. None of it really mattered to me – I had been dreaming of singing this piece since I first encountered the music as an orchestral musician in high school. Stravinsky's arrangements of Pergolesi's music had been entrancing me from the age of 15, and I was not about to let any chance to sing this rarely performed complete version of the ballet slip by, no matter who my colleagues were going to be. I had simply loved this music for too long.

That I would later find out that Pierre Boulez was to conduct or that we would also bring the program to Carnegie Hall after a run of concerts in Chicago was all icing on what was already (to me) a pretty delicious cake. As the concerts approached, and I found out more about who my colleagues were to be and where we would be performing the piece, it just started to become even better than a dream come true. It was becoming to be something more incredible than I could have ever imagined. So, to find out that we would also record our performances that week in Chicago for release on the CSO's own recording label blew my mind.

Yesterday, our recording of the piece was released on iTunes, and it will be released worldwide tomorrow and next week in the US. I must admit that seeing my name on an album cover next to Maestro Boulez, my wonderful singing colleagues, and the Chicago Symphony is incredibly surreal, and I am tremendously excited and, well, giddy about it. It really seems almost too good to be true.


Bernard said...

Its true so enjoy it!!!! x

TaylorV said...

Congratulations! What an amazing production to be a part of. How was it working with Boulez?