Handel's Messiah!

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by J.D., Mar 28, 2008.

  1. J.D.

    J.D.
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    No debate here. I just wanted to share a wonderful experience with you folks. I just finished listening to Handel's Messiah all the way through. Took about three hours counting breaks. I've heard the Hallelujah Chorus many times but never the entire symphony.

    I can't describe the range of emotion I felt as I listened. At times I was crying like an italian mother and at other times I was raising my hands and shouting like a hyper charismatic. During the finale I almost fainted.

    If you get a CD of it, don't let the first few minutes of it discourage you. It takes a little patience. But make sure you get the words and follow the story line. It's not an opera - it's more like a scripture recitation. Operatic singing can be hard to listen to when you're not used to it. Personally, I find soprano solos to be downright painful. But the good parts make it a big return on the investment.

    Feel the excitement of opus 12 "Unto us A Child Is Born" (Wonderful, Counselor, The Everlasting Father)

    Feel the sorrow of opus 23 "He Was Despised"

    Behold our Lord's heartbreak in opus 29 "Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart"

    Experience the victory of the resurrection in opus 33 "Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates"

    Worship the Lord God Omnipotent in opus 44 "Hallelujah"

    Listen to the comforting beauty of opus 45 "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth"

    Feel the power in the Bass voice of opus 48 "The Trumpet Shall Sound"

    And rise to your feet for the glorious anthem in the grand finale, opus 53 "Worthy Is The Lamb"!

    Sorry if this post sound like a commercial.

    Soli Deo Gloria!
     
    #1 J.D., Mar 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2008
  2. TCGreek

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    Baptists live for debating! Do you want us to become extinct? :laugh:
     
  3. J.D.

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    Don't worry, it won't be long till Handel's Messiah gets added to the list of things that Baptists will argue over. Just watch.

    In fact, I'll go ahead and get it started.

    Nope, never mind. I just want to bask in the moment. :)
     
  4. The Archangel

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    Ok...so I hate to break the "no debate here" thing....but The Messiah is not a "Symphony," it is an Oratorio.

    I have had the chance to play this piece a couple of times (I play trumpet...thus "The Archangel"). I've played the solo part in "The Trumpet Shall Sound" four or five times in various places and circumstances and it never ceases to amaze me how much Handel's music gets to me.

    The entirety of The Messiah is wonderful in its musical form. I really like the peaks of grandeur and the valleys too. But, I'd have to say the Hallelujah Chorus is probably still my favorite...the trumpet part rocks!

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  5. TaterTot

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    :eek: (GASP!!!) I have sung some of the soprano solos from the Messiah and maybe you heard a bad rendition (or ya dont know a good soprano when ya hear one). lol

    I love this oratorio too!
     
  6. SBCPreacher

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    I've sung the tenor solos a number of times.

    I had he privilege of directing the Christmas portion for a community choir a couple of times. The most frightening was the first. I was right out of college, and the organist was the chairman of the music department where I went to college (and got my BME in voice). He was a perfectionist. I was more afraid of directing him than the rest of the choir!

    I do agree, the Messiah is a great work.
     
  7. ktn4eg

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    Messiah is by far my #1 classical favorite! :applause:

    Although I've never participated in any performance of it [can't play any instrument & certainly can't sing very well (those seated next to me at worship services will attest to that!)], I thoroughly enjoy listening to it.

    My favorite recording of it is a somewhat dated one [1960's] by Sir Colin Davis with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. It may still be available as a 2 CD release by Philips Classics Productions 438 356-2.

    And, of course, there was somewhat of a controversy over it, mainly by those of the more Puritanical persuasion when it first began to be performed back in England back in the middle 1700's.

    Seems that those folks were critical of Handel for employing professional opera singers to sing the scriptures that it contains. Apparently these singers were not (shall we say) the most morally upright people in the society of that day.

    I don't guess things have changed that much from Handel's day to these current times.
     
  8. Joseph M. Smith

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    Good to see that there are classical musicians -- or at least those who perform classical music on occasion -- on this board. I agree with all that has been said about the magnificence of this oratorio. Years ago, when I was in high school and attended performances at Southern Baptist Seminary (long before I ever imagined I would attend), I found myself thinking that if anyone who is not a believer were to hear this, s/he would just have to believe. It goes to the heart and the mind so wonderfully.

    The stories about Handel's composing this are also wonderful. True, he did borrow from his own already prepared material. But he did it all in a very short time and is said to have reported (paraphrasing now), "I thought I did see the very heavens open and the angelic chorus singing/revealing this to me."

    Do folks still stand when "Hallelujah" is being sung? When I am listening to Messiah alone, I still feel I should stand then! The king of England and all ...
     
  9. LeBuick

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    I know this feeling, if you ask anyone what part I sing all they can agree on is LOUD!
     
  10. Benjamin

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    Just how coultured are some of you guys in this opera stuff? :smilewinkgrin:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. SBCPreacher

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    Hate to break it to you, but Messiah ain't opera!
     
  12. The Archangel

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    The Messiah is an Oratorio, not a Symphony, not an Opera. Certainly there are similar elements, so confusion is very easy--don't feel bad.

    As for how cultured am I? I am the son of a French Horn player and an Oboist--both world-class musicians. All three of us studied our instruments at The Manhattan School of Music in New York City (Although, none of us graduated from there; we all graduated from The University of Maryland). If you visit my blog, you can see some of my trumpet teachers.

    Overall, I was listening to Classical Music--Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, etc. before I could talk. But, I have everything from Bach to Bon Jovi on my iPod.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  13. Joshua Rhodes

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    Thinking about doing a "Sing-A-Long" Messiah (Christmas portion) at my church next Christmas. Did one of these in college and it was amazing!
     
  14. Hopeful

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    I was privileged to hear The Messiah performed in its entirety when I was a teenager--I still remember how amazing it was and that's been 30+ years ago!
     
  15. Purple Lady

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    Oh I LOVE it. The WHOLE thing!
    I bought a 2-cd set a few years ago and listen to it often.
     
  16. Deacon

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    How cultured am I?
    I love the classics! The Beatles, The Stones.... :thumbs:

    Handel... I'm asleep in ten minutes.
    My wife nudges me awake when we have to stand. :eek:

    There's not a musical bone in my body.

    Rob
     
  17. rbell

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    You know, when the "Hallelujah chorus" is played, I don't think anyone would have to tell me to stand...It just seems right that one should.

    I had a music professor friend who swore up and down that the reason that King George stood for the Hallelujah Chorus is because his gout was acting up. :D That kind of "wet blankets" the story if you ask me....(I personally think he stood because he was moved by it...how could you not be?)

    Years ago, I had access to a harpsichord. I learned some of the Messiah. A neat instrument...

    A "Messiah" story: On December 31, 1999...our city I lived in had a city-wide Millenium Service. Precisely when the clock struck twelve, we went into Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. I can't think of a better way to ring in the new millenium than that!
     
  18. chuck2336

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    I am not sure what the difference is between an Oratoris, or Symphiny or an opera, I just know it is good stuff!
     
  19. swaimj

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    I sang in a Messiah choir at Christmas several years ago. That same church performed it each Christmas for about 10-12 years in a row and I got to hear it several times. One of these years I want to go hear the Philadelphia choir and orchestra perform it at Verizon Hall. Just haven't made it yet. If you read a little about it and understand what Handel is communicating, the piece opens up and is very moving. And hey, Archangel, that trumpet solo in "The Trumpet Shall Sound" seems like a tough piece requiring nerves of steel. I love to hear it.
     
  20. The Archangel

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    The trumpet solo is certainly not easy. I play it on a Shilke Bb/A piccolo trumpet (playing it in the key of A)--most of this is technical, shop-talk, mumbo jumbo.

    If you heard it in Philly with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the trumpet player was probably David Bilger. He is one of the premier trumpet players in American Orchestras today (Philly is considered one of the big-five).

    Most people play the solo on a G piccolo which helps for tone and range. Anyway, because of the time period, it is thought--to properly perform the style--a smaller trumpet, like a piccolo, is necessary. If I was still pursuing trumpet professionally, I'd try to play it on a G piccolo as well.

    I wish I could say that I've played it perfectly. I think the best I ever did was to chip only one note. Oh well, maybe in the eternal kingdom I'll be granted the opportunity to play and not miss a note.

    Many Blessings,

    The Archangel
     

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