Handel’s Messiah at the NY Philharmonic

Concert, Events, Lily's notes

This is a performance of Handel’s Messiah, not a sing-along, and the soloists, chorus and musicians made it all truly worthwhile. The countertenor, Daniel Taylor was stunning, a clear beautiful voice with such clear diction that one could understand the words as they were sung. The Bass is a singer originally from China with just one name, Shenyang , and he was excellent as was the James Taylor (not THAT tenor named James Taylor, silly), the soprano, Annette Dasch was very fine. We all loved the trumpets featuring Philip Smith, one of our favorite NY Phil musicians. The chorus is the Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart and they were an excellent chorus, blending as one voice and forming clear sectional parts.  This runs through Saturday, December 19, 2009.

It is most interesting to examine the text of the oratorio, just like a cut and paste, a line from here and a line from there from Isaiah, the psalms, and the Christian bible, which has been interpreted and arranged  to “tell”  the story of  the nativity, suffering  and crucifixion.  How different these lines sound when they are sung or chanted in Hebrew with the traditional Jewish cantilation. There are no trumpets in my synagogue.

And then there is the question of whether the audience should stand, supposedly as did the King of England for reasons unknown, or should remain seated for the splendid Hallelujah chorus. I sat, my friend was the first in the audience to stand.

There are so many seasonal music events in New York City and last week we were at  another holiday concert: A Twisted Christmas at the Nokia theater on Times Square, by our favorite metal band, Twisted Sister. This was a lot, lot, lot of fun.  They performed old and new songs and their metal versions of Christmas songs, and the stage show was a riot. This is not at all the Radio City version of Christmas. They have done a Christmas show each year for the last four or five years. Look for it next year.

It is tremendous fun to take in a wide sample of musical styles, so break out of your rut and see something very different.

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