Tag: Handel

The Passion reimagined

This post, for Maundy Thursday, is in a series for Lent to Easter, 2021 Passion dramas in the Lutheran tradition, designed for performance in church during Holy Week, generally adhere to the Biblical text of one of the four Gospels, much of it sung by a narrator: in this method, actual persons (Judas, Caiphas, Pilate, […]

Grand concertos, grand venues

The fashion for concertos in the Corellian tradition, reaching its height with the publications of Geminiani in the 1730s, was not something that Handel could ignore, for it challenged the prospects in London of his own public performances. It led to the publication, in April 1740, of his twelve ‘Grand Concertos’ (an anglicized form of […]

A precarious new dawn

Handel’s metaphysical sunrise, ‘Eternal source of light divine’, with its shimmering, breathtaking beauty, is my best choice of music for today, 20 January 2021, when the USA wakes to the new dawn of the beginning of the new presidential term. People of goodwill throughout the world are welcoming the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala […]

Love in the depths of despair

Opera is often about love — its pleasures, its pain and its predicaments. Some of the most special moments are the rare duet-arias, where the solo honours are shared equally between two virtuoso singers. Typically the two characters, having fallen in love (at first sight, of course), express their happiness together and/or desire for each […]

Crucified (Holy Week, Good Friday)

For Good Friday. This is the sixth post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. In Messiah, the significance of the crucifixion — from the ‘us’ perspective, for all people — is anticipated in powerful, anthem-like choruses using Isaiah’s words: Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows … and […]

Jesus alone (Holy Week, Wednesday)

For Wednesday of Holy Week. This is the fourth post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. Isaiah 53:3: He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.Isaiah 50:6: He gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: […]

Behold the Lamb (Holy Week, Sunday)

For Palm Sunday. This is the first post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. Palm Sunday, when we remember Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, is commonly celebrated with joyful praise, in emulation of how Jesus was welcomed with palms and loud cheers of ‘Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is He […]