Monday, September 12, 2016

Technically O/T: 275 Years Ago, This Week... G. F. Handel

[But first, I should mention that -- as expected -- nothing of any real note was said by Mr. Frazier in New York this afternoon. Now that that's out of the way. . . ]

Here, we are regularly captivated by outsized achievements in the sciences. And, more than occasionally the same, in the arts. So it is, that for at least this one time, we will unabashedly-celebrate a dead white guy. Smile.

It seems fitting tonight -- to mark perhaps the most enduring achievement of what was an unparalleled musical composing career. The career: G. F. Handel -- the most enduring of his oratorios: "Messiah".

That he wrote the whole thing in barely more than a month, in Dublin, Ireland, and presciently set the registers well inside the range of most average vocalists, while making a truly transformative piece of liturgical art -- renders the work (in my opinion) beyond the ken of any ordinary musical composing genius -- in the cleverness employed to deliver pieces so pleasing to the ear, while keeping it simple enough that my progenitors, average Irish vocalists of even modest training, might perform it -- and perform it well, come the following Easter season, that of 1742. Most of us know the rest of the history, here -- of one of the most often performed works in the history of classical music. But let's hear just a bit, via YouTube:

Even Kings are known to rise to stand for this section -- as we all know. . . and that -- in an excellent acoustical hall -- is a moment that always send chills down my spine. Every time. It never gets old. Never. Smile.


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