John's carries the day with the new orchestration - their playing is light and cheerful, the flutes and woodwinds perfectly balanced and unified. Tenor Christopher Turner is very good - heroic and brightly-toned. The OSJ Voices are not as unified in sound - individual voices tear out of the fabric of sound, especially one startlingly bright tenor who appears to think he's the soloist. But other issues, such as clashing vibratos are omnipresent. Some dialogue went back and forth, other tunes were offered up, pretty soon it was just a train car of frightened men rolling through the bleakness of a snowy night in the middle of a war all working through their individual fears by reaching out to whatever they could touch via the media music.
Started out with hymns at first and then other songs once the common works were used up. Messiah came up at the end of the process and Hallelujah was the last song that they all mostly knew. It just happened to come to mind about the time the train pulled into its final destination. The music ended, the train stopped, the doors opened, the cold and snow poured in, everyone went back to their respective roles in that hideous act, the wire suddenly became a fence, and the gun a deadly presence. Thus goes the world. This story is from Handel himself.
He wrote the entire Messiah over an intense period of composition from August 22 to September 14, From the program notes written in by Bob Arentz, "He [Handel] worked long hours, sometimes an entire day, with little food or water. He wrote that after completing the Hallelujah chorus he fell asleep, head upon the table, and had a vision where 'he saw God and the Heavens and the Angels arrayed before him. My first sing along Messiah was in Boulder, and it brought back to me some of my favorite memories of my Father singing parts from the Messiah during the Christmas Season, but my greatest treat from Handel's Messiah was to come in the Winter of Six months of only Danish and little hope of even a simple Child's Christmas Carol in one's mother tongue, leaves one resigned to accept the consolation of the Jule-Tide season's imbibitions, listening and drinking in, but not satisfied by the strange words being sung to some of the familiar melodies.
An invitation extended to a fellow lost soul, a Dutch friend, to attend a Handel's Messiah performance was heartily accepted, although the Dutch friend did well to dampen one's spirit by insisting, with glee, that Handel was German and the performance that night would surely be in German.
Certainly one might be called a fool or a novice to believe that somehow the Glorious King James Text of Handel's Messiah could be reproduced and sung in a language other than English, but when one is presented with the Danish Text of Handel's Messiah, as one is seated for the performance, the last month's disorientation, caused by the familiar Christmas tunes sung in unfamiliar languages, might indeed haunt the expectations for the evening's performance.
The Overture beautifully played, the moment of truth approached. Would Handel's Messiah be just as sweet if sung in any other language, who knows; but that night the performance was a special gift, in English, for the one native English speaker in the audience, who savored every word, as much as anybody, anywhere, who has ever been far away from home at Christmas. I am very proud to say that I once played for Arthur Fiedler.
He was quite a character. Many books have been written about him, but none of them include the following, which is my favorite Arthur Fiedler story:. The Boston Pops plays concerts in Symphony Hall almost every night in May and June, and it sells lots of individual tickets to those concerts.
It also does a brisk business selling large blocks of seats each night to various groups. Sometimes those group sales are so large they take up every seat in Symphony Hall. To give you an example, on one night a local university might buy out every seat in the hall for their 25th reunion.
Hдndel [Handel], Friedrich Georg
On another night a local corporation might buy every seat for a concert and give them to their customers or employees. Some nights a convention would be in town and they will buy out every seat for their attendees. Whenever the audience was made up of one group like that, Arthur always tried to come up with a piece of music that was appropriate for them in some way. One night, the American Guild of Organists was in town for their convention, and they had bought out the Hall. This meant that every single person in the audience that night was a professional organist.
For this crowd, it was obvious that the "concerto" portion of the concert should be an organ concerto.
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To play the concerto, our guest soloist was E. Power Biggs. I suppose most people don't remember this any more, but in the midth century, E. Power Biggs was the most famous organist in the USA. What a fabulous name for an organ player. It was a fairly short little concerto, though, so we needed to stretch that part of the concert with an encore. But there aren't that many short pieces for organ and orchestra, so coming up with an encore took a little imagination.
What to do? Well, the members of the American Guild of Organists are all organists, of course. But by and large almost all of them are church organists, which means that almost all of them are also church choir directors. And we had of them out there in the audience. So what did Fiedler do for an encore? He pulled out the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. There was no chorus on the stage, but, as I said, we had choir directors out there in the audience.
So Fiedler turned to the audience and, in his aging, gruff voice, said: "We have an encore for you. We're going to play the Hallelujah Chorus. And we need you to be the chorus. This got a chuckle from the audience. Since they were all church choir directors, every single one of them had conducted that piece hundreds of times, which meant that every one of them had the vocal parts memorized.
Power Biggs on the organ, and a voice choir, made up of professional choir directors. All this, in Symphony Hall, one of the finest acoustic spaces in the world. As is tradition whenever the Hallelujah Chorus is played, everyone in the audience stood up. What was not tradition was that they all started to sing. Oh boy, did they sing.
This gigantic chorus included at least slightly inebriated bass-baritone singers, and when we got to the "King of kings". They just tore the roof off the joint. I played over 2, concerts in my professional bass playing career, and due to the zen of concentration that professional playing requires, I have few memories of specific moments in specific pieces on specific days. But that one, I remember. I still get chills when I think about it. It was totally unrehearsed, there was no audience to hear it, and it was one of the most remarkable performances I have ever been involved with in my entire life.
The above excerpt is Copyright by Justin Locke. Reprinted by permission given October , to be renewed annually. Did I ever tell you my story from a Boulder Messiah sing-along years ago? I'm not a sight-reader, but I'm good at pattern recognition. I figured out someone in the choir who sang the part I could sing, and kept my eyes riveted on him. When he sang, I sang. This went on for the whole performance. Near the end, though, when we were eye-to-eye getting ready to sing, he winked at me!
Only then did I realize what it must have looked like to him: the whole churchful looking down at their scores and singing, and this one guy on the left who just kept looking up at him! Put that in your list of "Messiah Moments". It is not some shepherd boy, it is not an earthly king, it is not a prophet, nor even a chorus of angels. That entrance is supposed to be LOUD!!! But we were all afraid to come in. Bob Arentz had always given us a clear downbeat and a great cue.
Yet - amidst all that silence and the audience looking at us and the vast open space of the Episcopal church, we were all afraid of committing vocal suicide by coming in a beat ahead of everyone else. And there one of us would be, hanging out all alone in the utter vacuum of empty musical space, there to endure several seconds of terrifying embarrassment until the vocal offender could crawl under his chair and die.
Finally, one of the Basses could take it no longer. We all know right where to come in!
Just sing out as strong as you can, from the very first note! If someone commits vocal suicide - comes in early - the Basses will all promise to buy that person a beer at the bar afterwards! Do we have a deal, guys? You've got a deal! Let's do this entrance right! You can drown your sorrows and embarrassment in the frothy brew.wikbud.eu/wp-content/2019-11-30/962.php
BBC Singers Season Come and Sing Messiah - BBC Singers - BBC
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Oratorio by George Frideric Handel. Title page of Handel's autograph score. S A T B soloists and choir; instruments. Isaiah —3. Isaiah Haggai —7 Malachi Haggai, splendor of the temple Malachi, the coming messenger. Malachi Isaiah Matthew Isaiah, virgin birth , quoted by Matthew. Isaiah Isaiah Luke Gospel of Luke , Annunciation to the shepherds. Luke — Zechariah — Zechariah, God's providential dealings. Isaiah —6.