Chorus to orchestra: do as we say

The Australian composer Gordon Hamilton has composed a piece in which the chorus take over the conductor’s job and give instructions to the orchestra. Watch.

 
gordon hamilton ghosts

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  • Sounds like an interesting and fun piece. It put me in mind of another work, which I have sung, in which the chorus gives instructions to the orchestra: Fauré’s Pavane with its optional choral part. Within the poem being sung by the chorus are lines like “Pay attention! Follow the tempo! … The pace is less slow!” Whether the orchestra pays attention is another matter, of course….

    • Are not Robert Montesquiou’s lyrics to Fauré’s ‘Pavane’ conceived as a flirtatious dialogue between male and female dancers? The suggestion they are addressed to the orchestra is new to me.

      It is, of course, a well-known principle that orchestras never pay the slightest attention to choruses. The conductor who was once heard to remark “They stand at the back yet still manage to get in the way” shall remain nameless.

      • On reflection, a more telling precedent for a singer addressing orchestra might be Beethoven’s addition to Schiller’s ‘An die Freude’: “O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!”

  • On reflection, a more telling precedent for a singer addressing orchestra might be Beethoven’s addition to Schiller’s ‘An die Freude’: “O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!”

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