Nigra Sum

Conductor Notes:

This is a very challenging and exquisitely beautiful composition for SSSSAAAA choir. The singers need excellent vocal technique due to long, sustained notes. Demands solid ability dealing with complex harmonic language, enharmonic interval-reading, and rhythmic independence. I feel the texture takes much inspiration from Monteverdi, with frequently florid upper lines over sustained chords in the (frequently very low) alto parts. I discovered this work when a friend sent me the link to a fantastic performance by the women of the Latvian Radio Choir. I chose to take the overall tempo about 20% faster than indicated and than their recording, to instill a sense of flow to the lines. Will be curious next to see if we can slow it down and maintain pitch while getting closer to the composer’s intended tempo. Highly recommended but only for a very advanced choir.

Vivancos was reachable through his website, where he distributes a pdf score for free, with the understanding that the user will not sell it. He mentioned to me in the correspondence that this is one of his most challenging choral compositions.


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