Gloria III: Domine Deus
If you’re a betting person, you may bet that the third movement of Poulenc’s Gloria won’t actually be an audition cut since there are other songs with more difficult challenges, and more singing in general! However, you never know what your region chair has up his sleeve when selecting the cuts for your region, so don’t let this short little piece slip by you!
The tempo of this one is slow…really slow, but stays constant throughout. You still have to stay on top of the beat and precisely with the piano track. I suggest tapping the beat lightly on the sternum to internalize the beat, as opposed to trying to externalize it with arm movement.
Rhythm and counting is important! Similar to the other movements, write in all of your counting, but also know the words/rhythm to the soprano solo so you can rely on that if counting fails.
Eighth note followed by an eighth rest should be a lift and have a silence. Poulenc uses this figure to encourage the natural word stress. Example: Pater (Pa= quarter note, -ter=eighth note). If this eighth note/eighth rest figure occurs (or even dotted eighth sixteenth rest) and the word ends with a consonant, place the consonant on the rest, and do not breathe unless you have time.
The most difficult aspect of this movement is finding your pitch after a long section of resting through the soprano solo. While generally solfege is more confusing than helpful on the Gloria, I do suggest assigning a solfege syllable on your last note before a solo section, and relating that to the first note of your next entrance.
Lastly, we generally don’t say this either, but with all of the waiting and having to pick your pitch out of thin air, you may want to utilize a full performance recording and the Mixdown track to learn the other parts, including the solo, to help fill those rests with notes that may help you stay on track.
Sopranos: The two measures at the top of page 14 are NOT identical!
Sopranos: Make sure you catch the conductor’s notes regarding the top of page 15.
Alto 2’s: The measure before 32, the Eb on “Pa-“ is enharmonic with the D# on “De-”
Sopranos and Altos: Be aware of voice crossing on the last page.
Basses: Page 15 first system, careful that your G-flat matches on the ascending and descending notes “-mi-” and “-de-.”
Basses: Rehearsal 35, careful that seven quarter notes happen on the “oh” vowel. It is easy to anticipate and “ri” and change the syllable early!
Happy practicing and don’t forget about movement three!