This weekend the Greenville Chorale and the Greenville Symphony Orchestra performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah as part of the Artisphere Festival. It was a moving, impressive performance, and garnered a rave review from Ann Hicks in the Greenville News. The only real problem was with turn-out — the Peace Center looked empty. Not that the concert was received poorly, but there was not even a curtain call. I guess you need a critical mass proportional to the venue to sustain applause for multiple bows.
Disclaimer: The following comments are not meant to detract from the performance or the hard work of the musicians that participated. These are just some things that I notice that the audience apparently never hears.
A large performance of a monolithic piece such as Elijah shouldn’t really be attempted by those with ADD or AR. Especially during the final rehearsals, there was tons of extraneous noise. I catch myself and others making mistakes, but somehow, miraculously, it all comes together, and despite the errors, out in the hall unified sound is heard. I sometimes wonder if that’s why I enjoy smaller choral ensembles more than these huge, monolithic groups. The exposure is more intense, as is the need for discipline and accuracy, however, the resulting sound is so much more precise and rewarding.