Friday evening I attended a Lenten choral concert at a nearby Methodist church. It was performed by their 150 voice chancel choir plus three soloists. I do have to wonder about the size of a congregation that can have 150 voices in the choir.
The performance was the Seven Last Words of Christ by Theodore Dubois. I was not at all familiar with this piece. That did not stop me from looking forward to the concert.
Alas, the performance did not meet my expectations. To begin with, that 150-voice choir didn’t sing much of it. Most of it was performed by the three soloists. The soprano had a good voice, I think, but her diction was terrible! I don’t think I understood more than one in 25 words of what she sang … and it was in English. The baritone and tenor were much, much better.
At times the accompaniment made it difficult to hear any of the singing. The pipe organ, timpani, and harp accompaniment was a strange choice, I thought. I do wonder if Dubois scored his piece for those instruments. It is difficult for the human voice — even 150 of them — to sing over a timpani and/or a pipe organ thundering away.
So my Easter treat turned out not to be such a pleasure.