Friday, December 21, 2012

Comfort Ye

I figure we could all use a lttle of this.
This is my mother's music score of the Messiah.  It's always a special experience to open it up and see her notes.  She conducted a community choir in New Castle, PA every year for a good part of her life.  She was an amazing conductor.  I usually get this out to play on the piano every year at Christmas.  Not that I'm great at it- much of it is too difficult for my level of playing.  All those years seeing her direct this, I tend to associate it more with Christmas than the usual Christmas carols.
My mother wrote the highlighted phrase from this review in the inside jacket of her book which pretty well sums up the piece, I think:
Mr. Handel's Sacred Grand Oratorio, the MESSIAH, was performed at the New Musick-Hall in Fishamble-street; the best Judges allowed it to be the most finished piece of Musick. Words are wanting to express the exquisite Delight it afforded to the admiring crouded Audience. The Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender, adapted to the most elevated, majestick and moving Words composed to transport and charm the ravished Heart and Ear.
“It is but justice to Mr. Handel that the World should know, he generously gave the Money arising from this Grand Performance to be shared by the Society for relieving Prisoners, the Charitable Infirmary, and Mercer's Hospital, for which they will ever gratefully remember his Name.... There were about 700 people in the Room [built for 600] and the sum collected for that Noble and Pious Charity amounted to about 400l. out of which 127l. goes to each of the three great and pious Chairities."
— Dublin Journal, 17 April, 1742


  1. one of my favorites from 'Handel's Messiah'. tend to listen to the whole thing when I load and unload kilns-- not sure why; just peaceful.
    happy holidays!

    1. Happy holidays to you too, Amy. One of these days I'm going to pick up a recording for myself.


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