A quick entry to say that I saw the Boston Secession perform last Saturday. They sang Bach's Lobet den Herrn, Brahms' O Heiland, reiss die Himmel auf, and Schnittke's Requiem. The Bach was good and the Brahms was great, but the Schnittke was out of this world. If you are not familiar with that piece, I highly recommend getting a recording (and preferably listening to it lying on your bed in the dark, which is how I first listened to it, and which is well worth doing.) Anyways, it was my first Boston Secession concert (I know, I know, but they kept scheduling concerts when I had other concerts) and it was great.
My one quibble shall take the form of a public service announcement. Dear conductors, please don't read your program notes for 15 min. at the beginning of the concert unless you have specifically advertised the concert as a concert plus lecture. Your audience's eyes will unfocus, and we will all assume the only reason you are doing this is that you didn't get your program notes in by the deadline and the program went to the printer without them. (Regardless of whether or not this is true.) We don't mind that the first half is short when it features such an exquisite choir as yours. And after we have been subjected to 10 min. of talk already from your staff about fund-raising, it's too much. We want the singing!