Author Topic: Handel  (Read 2232 times)

Offline strinasacchi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1496
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2009, 12:16:19 pm »
It's nice to see Messiah being regarded as not exclusively a Christmas thing.

What's the acoustic like in the Abbey?  Such a narrow and tall building it must be a bit odd.

The AAM/Kings one was in Kings College Chapel - a very generous acoustic (to put it flatteringly) that worked well for the Messiah but not so well for the Haydn programme we did the following weekend.  I have a few friends who played in the one at Westminster Abbey - if I remember I'll ask them how it felt (I've never played in there).

Last night I played a Messiah in a tiny Georgian church in Petersham.  We must have broken every fire regulation.  The orchestra and choir were squeezed into the aisles (we had to wait until the audience was in to take our seats), the soloists were in two pews, and the audience was pretty much on top of us.  The acoustic was dry as a bone.  I doubt I'll ever do such an intimate Messiah again (intimate with the audience - the orchestra was actually pretty big for the space, 4/4/2/2/1)!  I think the audience found it very exciting being so close to the action - one of them said to me at the bus stop afterwards they could really feel the energy of all the performers.

Offline Brassbandmaestro

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4096
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2009, 12:27:02 pm »
I am not surprised with that reaction, strina. I have heard two Messiah's in two days as well. The one on R3 and my own recording. What did people think of the solists in the R3 performance?
I believe in the power of music. It makes life more exciting. Valery Gergiev.

Offline Don Basilio

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5277
  • era solo un mio sospetto
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2009, 01:40:57 pm »
Gosh, that performance at Petersham sounds wonderful.  Record covers and the like so often associate Messiah with Gothic art, it would be good to associate it with sober Georgian Anglicanism, which was its original context.  Although I doubt Mr Handel would care for such a small audience - he wanted to make a healthy profit, which is why Messiah was played at first in theatres.
We can exercise compassion, compassion born of empathy.  Both words are synonyms for love, by which I don’t mean a romantic feeling but the readiness to give proper attention to whoever or whatever is before our eyes.  Michael Mayne

Offline David Underdown

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2009, 02:28:55 pm »
Wish investigated the option of singing in Petersham more now - sounds fun - I seem to remember some flyers about it at Twickenham rehearsals.

Don B, I'll be singing for service at the Abbey 25/26 July (and legging it to the organ recital and Holst, Elgar, Delius proms after each evensong in all likelihood) I'll let you know about the acoustic afterwards.  We won't have an orchestra of course, and I assume they were in front of the screen last night, not in the quire.

Offline Don Basilio

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5277
  • era solo un mio sospetto
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2009, 02:35:33 pm »
Now the acoustic at WA for Choral Evensong is fine, at least if you get there early enough to sit in the choir.  I was wondering about it as a concert venue.
We can exercise compassion, compassion born of empathy.  Both words are synonyms for love, by which I don’t mean a romantic feeling but the readiness to give proper attention to whoever or whatever is before our eyes.  Michael Mayne

Offline David Underdown

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2009, 02:48:46 pm »
The perception of the choir and the congregation isn't always the same.

In my previous post I had meant to mention Sir David Willcocks's comment about the acuostic of King's "It makes even a fart sound like a seven-fold Amen".

Antheil

  • Guest
Re: Handel
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2009, 03:06:06 pm »
I do not have a lot of Handel, like Purcell he is someone I have come to rather late.

I do have (recommended by Don Basilio) Semele, John Nelson/Kathleen Battle/Marilyn Horne/Samuel Ramey and the ECO, I should investigate further.  Suggestions?

Offline Brassbandmaestro

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4096
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2009, 03:10:08 pm »
The list is endless, Anty. Saul, Joshua, Jeptha.
I believe in the power of music. It makes life more exciting. Valery Gergiev.

Offline Don Basilio

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5277
  • era solo un mio sospetto
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2009, 03:26:45 pm »
The list is endless.  If you don't care for Mr H, you might well say he wrote too damn much.

You ought to pick up Messiah.  I don't have it, and some here are suffering from advanced Messiah fatigue, and it is not his most typical work.

But it is an important cultural item in any case.  The music is wonderful (although no more so than many of his others) and strina has played more Messiahs than many have had hot dinners and likes it still.

Click on pw's link for Scherza infida from Ariodante.  (Although one distinguished poster here told me he/she thought it was the best bit in Ariodante, otherwise too much dancing for her/his taste.)

Orlando came very high for the operas in a poll I did on the other board.  Giulio Cesare is probably his best known opera now.

Joshua is a bit of a bore, to my mind.  I like Athalia.
We can exercise compassion, compassion born of empathy.  Both words are synonyms for love, by which I don’t mean a romantic feeling but the readiness to give proper attention to whoever or whatever is before our eyes.  Michael Mayne

Reiner Torheit

  • Guest
Re: Handel
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2009, 03:44:00 pm »
With the operas, it would be worth considering getting DVD, to see the staging (and also have the subtitles in front of you, rather than be sat with them in a book).

The Glyndebourne production of RODELINDA is something of a "classic", and extremely well-cast too.  The ENO productions of XERXES (properly SERSE in Italian), and ARIODANTE are worth catching, although sung in English translations - the former is a sunny romantic comedy, the latter an intense drama of treachery and revenge.  The David McVicar staging of GIULIO CESARE - despite its strange period resetting - is also highly thought of by many...  I find he camps it up rather too much for an ostensibly "heroic" work, but that's merely my personal view  ;)

Offline Mary Chambers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2935
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2009, 04:09:00 pm »
I saw the very odd WNO production of Jephtha (Katie Mitchell?) a few years ago, and was quite enchanted by the music. The performance was so good that the hotel setting and suit-wearing characters seemed almost likely. Mark Padmore was Jephtha, and Iestyn Davies did whatever-the-counter-tenor-role-is (Hamor, I think). Marvellous.

Messiah I have sung in so often that I did tire of it eventually, but I have been re-converted to it. It does have a stamp of genius, I think.

Offline Kittybriton

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 740
  • Thank you for the music
    • View Profile
    • The Kat Basket
Re: Handel
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2009, 07:11:13 pm »
I've been trying not to contribute because it isn't really relevant, and anyway I haven't played any G.F. Handel for a long while, but one of the things I love about his music is that it is so playable. You don't have to put weeks of effort into working out how to make sense of it.
We Are The Music while the music lasts ... epub by Kitty

Offline Don Basilio

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5277
  • era solo un mio sospetto
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2009, 05:57:15 pm »
I went to the Baroque exhibition at the Victoria and Albert today.  OK, but concentrating on the decorative arts.  It had a room dedicated to the theatre with some clips of reconstructed baroque opera performances at some theatre in the Czech Republic (or Bohemia, as Syd Grew might call it.)  Some of you Handel buffs will know it, which is why I am posting this here.

Opera is the most typical baroque art they said.  There are music downloads from the webpage, I believe, but I haven't checked them out.

http://www.vam.ac.uk/microsites/baroque/
We can exercise compassion, compassion born of empathy.  Both words are synonyms for love, by which I don’t mean a romantic feeling but the readiness to give proper attention to whoever or whatever is before our eyes.  Michael Mayne

Offline Don Basilio

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5277
  • era solo un mio sospetto
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2009, 05:58:58 pm »
Just googled  - CESKY KRUMLOV  is the castle with the theatre.
We can exercise compassion, compassion born of empathy.  Both words are synonyms for love, by which I don’t mean a romantic feeling but the readiness to give proper attention to whoever or whatever is before our eyes.  Michael Mayne

Offline Don Basilio

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5277
  • era solo un mio sospetto
    • View Profile
Re: Handel
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2009, 09:47:05 pm »
I listened to a rather good podcast from Music Matters with that very nice Petroc Trelawney, which made me think there is far more to Handel operas than I was prepared to admit.

A There was a rather nice comparison to Broadway Musicals, at least pre Sondheim.  The solos, it was said, follow a set pattern just as much as Handel's Da Capo arias.  What wasn't said, but strikes me as bearing in mind, is that in classic Broadway Musicals (musical comedies as my mum calls them, but she is the same age as the Queen and saw a matinee of the London opening of Oklamhoma!) the plot is never advcanced during the melodic numbers, and indeed they are effectively solos ( if there are two voices, they both sing the same melodic material).

B Now all the Handel operas have been recorded, we can work out which are dramatically worthwhile and which are just nice music.  Yes please.
We can exercise compassion, compassion born of empathy.  Both words are synonyms for love, by which I don’t mean a romantic feeling but the readiness to give proper attention to whoever or whatever is before our eyes.  Michael Mayne