"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Monday, December 08, 2008

Music by Handel

My favourite tree-decorating music is Messiah. The version I keep on hand--meticulously chosen--is by The English Concert and Trevor Pinnock.

I hadn't seen a live performance for several years, not since this one. When I appear to have had a weekend identical to this one: snow, church, tree, concert!

The Chap and I both attended the Historical Association Christmas Fete late yesterday, going in separate cars. People were surprised to see us there--because my newspaper article was published yesterday they assumed we were still in London! After an hour I drove on to Capitol city for the concert.

It's a free performance, very popular, and a long line forms outside the church. The next people in line after me were our former Rector and his wife and son, so I sat with them when we went inside.

The soloists are professionals, extremely experienced and greatly renowned and perform this concert annually. The music director changed a couple of years ago. This year he added more orchestration--and it was truly outstanding. What a privilege--and a blessing--having this high-calibre production in our remote region! I'm so glad I went, it was the best-ever Messiah, and the trumpet soloist was jaw-droppingly good.

A lot of the time I was reflecting that exactly a week prior, I was standing in the very room in London at the Handel House Museum in which the oratorio was composed. And gazing upon the original score written by Handel, as well as Mozart's own revisions of the music. However, Messiah-lovers will know that it was first performed in Dublin, not London.

I taped the "Hallelujah" chorus. The blonde in red wearing specs is the soprano solist Peggo. Her husband is our US Congressman, recently re-elected. He's a musician and singer also. And he was there last night.

My arm went wobbly towards the end from holding up the camera! Sorry about that.

The temperature was in the single digits this morning and much of the day. Seems way to early for that sort of thing.

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