wiseheart: (benedictine)
... takes place on December 17. We're going to sing the following pieces:

Gounod: Ave Maria
Coventry Carol
Angels We Have Heard on High
Ding Dong Merrily on High
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
Kodály: Karácsonyi pásztortánc
Karai: Vasi betlehemes
Pueri concinite
Bárdos: Karácsonyi bölcsődal

To say that it's an ambitious programme would be the understatement of the century. We're scared witless, especially about the Gounod Ave Maria. Our choir leader seems to forget sometimes that most of us are middle-aged people, and teachers at that, whose voices has been seriously eroded by decades in this educational business.

Somehow we always manage, though, even if a bit less stressful programme would be welcome. That way we would make fewer mistakes, I think. But while she's a lovely person, in some things there is no use arguing with her.
wiseheart: (Tosh_flowers)
That would have been today, for our school choir consisting of teachers and parents. (When we say "year" we think in school terms, just that it's clear.)

In any case, we had it today, and while it wasn't what it could have been, it was still nice. Fortunately, we were the only ones who knew where we've screwed up the pieces; the ones who came to hear us liked our performance.

I'm still not sure that I'll return to the choir next term. It's just too much stress. Our choir leader is a darling, but she doesn't seem to realize that we're just amateurs, mostly with fairly ruined voices (due to teaching that is really hard on the vocal cords) and always chooses too ambitious pieces. Then she is stressed out because we're struggling with said pieces and have to abandon many of them on which we've already worked for months because we simply can't sing them on the niveau she expects us to do. *sigh*

I love singing with the others, I really do. But it should be something by which we relax, not additional stress. After twelve years or so it simply becomes too much.
wiseheart: (Merlin magic)
These guys have been around for twelve years! How comes that I never stumbled across them?



On the other hand, it is perhaps better so. I only discovered them a couple of months ago and have already developed a serious addiction. *g*

wiseheart: (Merlin magic)
It is an annual programme on German TV, taking place on the evening before the first of Advent and usually lasts 3 hours, live. Mum and I watched it. It was particularly beautiful this year, with stars like violinist David Garrett, Katherine Jenkins, Christiane Hörbiger, Mireille Mathieu, the Soweto Gospel Choir, the Shadow World acrobat group, Michelle, Ella Endlich Oonagh and so on. The Princess of Thun & Taxis participated, and the Christkind came over from Nuremberg for a visit.

As usual, they've brought the light of peace from Bethlehem this night. It was a beautiful and moving programme.
wiseheart: (Valinor by Ted Nasmith)
I thought I'd give you the full programme, so that you might be able to look up the individual parts if you want to.

Beginning: violin solo (something by Kodály)

1. Alleluia by Boyce
2. Parce Domine by Menegali
3. A part for 4 voices about the joy of singing by Pitoni - sorry, I don't know the English title, but it is gorgeous.
4. O Occhi manza mia by Orlando Lasso
5. Ave Maria by Arcadelt
6. Ave verum by Mozart

Flute solo

7. Choir from "Der Zauberflöte" by Mozart
8. The Musician's Song by Tamás Daróczi Bárdos (contemporary Hungarian componist)
9. The Two Girls Went to Pick Flowers - madrigalesque based on a Hungarian folk song by Balázs (contemporary Hungarian componist)
10. Songs from Five Continents by Erzsébet Szőnyi (who just turned 90 this year - this is a funny collection: we sing Japanese and even Swahili!)
11. The choir of the slaves from Nabucco by Verdi

It is a very ambitious programme, so wish us luck. :)

On a completely unrelated note, I've updated Arthur's Quest, thanks to my generous beta, [livejournal.com profile] lindahoyland.
Chapter 19 - The Judgement of the Siege Perilous is here.
wiseheart: (Mycroft_drink)
Because there are days when things actually go well! They are rare, granted, but they do exist. Sometimes.

In this spirit, I'm happy to tell you that not only have I managed to get a Christmas tree a full 3 days before Christmas Eve, but our annual Christmas concert was beautiful, too. I managed to get right all 3 tiny solo parts, Mum loved the whole thing, and we won't have to go anywhere tomorrow.

But the most important news is that - after almost a decade - I've actually finished Emissary of the Mark! No, really! I can hardly believe it myself, but the sucker is in fact done! Granted, the last two chapters are still in a rough, hand-written version, with which I'll have to do a lot of cosmetic corrections while typing them up, but they're done, done, DONE! God, I really feel like Christmas had come early this year!
wiseheart: (Default)
We were informed this morning that our annual Christmas concert - which would have taken place tomorrow evening - got cancellet, because of an unexpected family emergency of our choir leader's. It's really sad, for the poor woman before all else, she's really had a lot of bad luck in her life in recent years. But it's sad for the rest of us, too. We've worked so hard to make this concert a success; and besides, there hasn't been a Christmas without a concert for the last six or seven years.

Ah, well, I hope her family gets better, soon. Next year will also be Christmas... or so we hope.
wiseheart: (Buliwyf)
Listen to the English version of a beautiful Hungarian ballad - OT: "Bordódi Kristóf", as sung by our greatest contemporary singer, Zsuzsa Koncz.

I was delighted to discover it on YouTube, less than an hour ago.
wiseheart: (Default)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac5k81Y3LMQ&NR=1

This is more than two years old by now, from a concert we gave in the Hungarian Art Gallery in Budapest ([livejournal.com profile] the_wild_iris might remember it, it's the one in Buda Castle). I'm the second one from the right, in the first row.

Just a short piece, unfortunately, but lovely nonetheless. Enjoy!
wiseheart: (Tosh_flowers)
On April 28, we took part of the annual music festival of the 11th district of Budapest. Some of it even made it to YouTube!

The grand beginning, with 200 schoolkids and us (I'm the chubby woman with the glasses and the very wide, lacy collar on the far right, seen at the beginning of the clip):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNzkXWbP3dY

Several clips from our children's choir:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwdRL6T9lnc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb2C-EdbeTM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwSvhGtcYy0

And, last but not least, the choir consisting of us, teachers, and some of the parents (I'm the third one from the right in the front row):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEKPwWkGPJk
wiseheart: (Merlin magic)
I'm having great fun writing the Epic Merlin Fic (TM). The dratted thing has spawned countless subplots already, of course, even though I'm still only at Chapter 6 of Book One, but it's still fun. Potential readers - especially those only familiar with the BBC series and not with the legendary itself - probably won't enjoy reading it half as much as I enjoy writing it, but so far, reviews were positive.

I don't expect several hundred reviews on FF.Net or on [livejournal.com profile] hiddenrealms. I'm not active in any Merlin communities, plus, I think, my writing style only appeals to a handful of people: too detailed, too many hints only people thoroughly familiar with the source material would get, too many characters handled at the same time, too much world-building and background trivia. Too bad, really, I shamelessly enjoy being admired. ;)

I can't blame people, though. As Professor Tolkien said in the Prologue to LOTR, I'd probably find the stories most people prefer superficial, poorly written, not properly researched or plain childish and boring. In fact, I do. So I have no right to complain if the same people don't like my stuff, right? Even though a fanclub of my own would be really nice.

Well, at least I have fun. And I discovered that listening to medieval music on my computer when I'm typing up the hand-written stuff makes it even more enjoyable. I should have thought of that a lot earlier.
wiseheart: (Merlin magic)
... has played me a cruel joke. Dratted story started to develop a life of its own, going in a direction where I never intended it to do. So I had to cut four pages from Chapter 3 (still hoping I'll be able to use it in some later adventure, when the boys are already on the Quest) and rewrite the second half of the chapter. Now it is, hopefully, back on the right track.

I've also discovered some continuity errors in the already existing few parts - oh, joy! Fortunately, it only means small modifications. I'm actually glad I've realized the errors right now, before I'd have to go back and rewrite, say, sixteen chapters or so.

Due to the Royal Wedding (TM), the only programme I usually watch in the afternoon (once a week out of five times, as in other times I'm usually at work) were cancelled today. Instead, it was Kate and William all day. Now, I have nothing against them, but I was so looking forward to see my favourite, carrot-headed lady judge... :(

Choir qualification went well yesterday. I hope we get the golden qualification again. We worked so damn hard on those pieces. Now the annual concert on the end of the term will be a piece of cake.
wiseheart: (radek_working)
This is that infamous Wednesday every other week when I spend eleven (!) grueling hours at work. But today was a fruitious one nevertheless.
Read more... )
wiseheart: (benedictine)
Sooo... it's that time again. We've dug up the Adventskranz - I must ruefully admit that I no longer make them myself, which is a shame, but there you are. *is ashamed* At least we have a pretty and simple artificial one. It's easier to handle, and you don't have pine needles in the wall-to-wall carpet during the entire winter. Well, save from the ones coming from the Christmas tree. But we keep that one on the balcony, so...

Anyway, I watched Adventsfest von den 100,000 Lichtern on ARD last night, moderated by Florian Silbereisen. It was really stimmungsvoll, as the Germans would say (I don't know the proper English word, sorry), even though they had to invite some so-called superstars who can't sing. (Michelle, anyone?) The music wasn't necessarily always my cup of tea, and the kissing up to the Princess and her guardian angel silliness tasted of saccharine, but it got me into the Advent mood nicely.

I need to start baking Christmas cookies, soon. Usually, I'm knee-deep into Christmas baking at this time of the year, but yesterday I had to make an apple cake (too many apples I didn't want to waste), and that was quite enough. And I've all but finished packing the Christmas presents that go to foreign countries, to my online friends. Wrote most of the Christmas cards, too. All in all, a very productive weekend.

Have a blessed pre-Christmas time, all of you!
wiseheart: (Centaurus)
I felt a bit down due to yesterday's news, plus I had two hours between the end of work and the teachers' conference that ruined my otherwise half-free afternoon (and I only have two of those in the entire week!), so I decided to spend some money. It always helps.

So I treated myself to a decent meal in a nearby self-selving restaurant ([livejournal.com profile] the_wild_iris and [livejournal.com profile] rcfinch could give testimony that it's a good place indeed), and then I hit the bookshop next to it.
Read more... )

Our choir is also starting to rise from the ashes. We've got quite a few new pieces this year, some of them very loverly.
wiseheart: (Default)
I was really ready to stay in bed today and quit the concert in the evening. Felt horribly tired and drained and depressed all morning - then it slowly faded away.

Of course, the fact that I was watching the new Merlin episodes all morning - courtesy of the wonderful and generous [livejournal.com profile] the_wild_iris whose kindness I'll never be able to repay - might have had something to do with it. In any case, after six episodes and the extras I felt I'll be able to face the outside world again, despite the bitter cold.

And boy, was it cold today! Mum and I were wearing at least four layers each - I tried to talk her out of coming with me in this weather, but she was adamant. She meant I needed moral support, in which she was right, I guess. Well, we managed not to fall and not to break any bones, *g*

The concert went surprisingly well. I managed to deliver all three of my solo parts without screwing up, and generally, the whole choir sounded great. One full day at school tomorrow, and then I can collapse.

Christmas break, I'm coming!
wiseheart: (Default)
Entry behind a cut for swearing and general bad words.
Read more... )

Oh, and tomorrow we're gonna have our annual Christmas concert. At 18.50, in a church that - while not particularly far from the place where I live - is a bit complicated to reach. Even without the snow storm of the decade going on. I just hope I won't lose my voice till tomorrow; in theory, I'm gonna have three contralto solo parts, unless plans change in the last minute, which is known to have happened.
wiseheart: (Default)
No, I'm not dead yet, just insanely busy. School's being, well... time-consuming at the moment, we are busily preparing for our Christmas concert, and in case I might have an afternoon free, I'm baking like crazy.

Thursday's production included:
1) Kokos-Butter-Plätzchen
2) Schoko-Kekse (mit Mandeln)
3) Maronistangerln
4) Zimtsterne
5) Schoko-Sterne (also mit Mandeln)

It was a bit much for one afternoon, even though Mum helped putting the crushed nuts and whatnot on the cookies, so we finished half of the decorating today. I took some cookies to school for the choir members, and so we had a really delightful choir practice. Singing is hard physical labour, after all, one needs to replenish one's energy. *g*
wiseheart: (Alagos)
Alagos icon today, because I'm seriously working on finishing The Web of Darkness. The fact that I've finally figured out how the story is gonna end helps enormously. *g*
Read more... )
wiseheart: (gold dragon)
Was a wonderful one. We happened to go there on the weekend of the town festival, complete with market and clowns and stuff. The concert in the evening was beautiful, too; it's amazing what such young children are capable of.
Moderate picspam behind the tag.
Read more... )
The rest of the pics - 71 in number - is stored in the Photos section of this group, where I have got lots of storage space. Which is, essentially, what the group is for: fic storage, databases, pics and the likes.

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