If anyone reading this lives in New York City, I’m singing in a performance of the Brahms Requiem at Symphony Space on Friday night. Please come hear me sing!
I first learned the Requiem my senior year of college. Indeed, it was exactly 10 years ago that we started rehearsing it. I devoted a lot of time to learning the often chromatic fugues, listening to the recording, etc. When you get to know a piece of music that well, you begin to truly appreciate certain moments. Powerful moments. Moments when the orchestra hushes and the chorus comes in, or in the second movement when the strings crescendo and the chorus sings in unison, full-throated, “Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras.” (Behold, all flesh is as grass). We’ve been talking about good ideas lately. How did Brahms get that one?
Anyway, now I am singing the Requiem as a grown-up, appreciating these moments again, as when you see an old friend after an absence. The rehearsal schedule this week has been brutal. Any soprano who has sung the Requiem knows what I am talking about. But as I wrote in 168 Hours, I believe that the best way to ensure that you don’t lose your time to work (past the point of diminishing returns), to chores that fill all available space, or to meaningless hours of TV, is to give your leisure hours purpose. If anything, I need my singing more now that I have a busier life than I did in those college days.
Of course, making it to rehearsals is a bit more complicated than it was back then. Here are a few ways to make a regular volunteer or hobby commitment work:
How have you made time for a personal pursuit?