We performed two pieces. One is "Cosmic Flames" by Chinese composer Zhou Long, commissioned by the conductor of the Stanford Symphony specifically for this group -- symphony orchestra, large choir, and Japanese taiko drums. It was, like most modern pieces, a challenge: not straightforwardly melodic, big, loud, not at all suited to the space. But parts of it were great fun to sing. And I always love a good drum piece, and this was definitely that. (Hmm, why do I have no taiko recordings?) I don't usually order concert CDs, but this one I think I'll pick up, if nothing else so I can get an idea of how it really sounded out in the audience.
The second was the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. What more is there to say, really? One of the most perfect pieces of music ever written, from the cellos and their argument with the rest of the orchestra, to the melody everyone knows, to the lovely balanced solo quartet, the ringing choral cadences and one of my favorite fugues ever. It makes me sad, when I think of it, to know that Beethoven only ever heard it in his head.
So overall a satisfying experience. Now I get my summer off to rest up for the next time. (Bernstein, Chichester Psalms. Which I have done, but a long time ago. Relearning that one should be fun.)