Sunday, December 07, 2008

High on Haydn

It snowed over night. Not enough to get excited about. Not even enough to cover the ground. Just enough to tease you, to let you know winter is on its way. Another sign that winter is on its way is the proliferation of Christmas concerts, both amateur and professional. I enjoyed one of Boston's oldest traditions: the Handel and Haydn Society's annual weekend of Messiah performances. I went on Saturday afternoon with my high school piano teacher who came to town just for that.

The concert took place in Boston's Symphony Hall, one of the finest concert halls in the world. It was, as you might expect, wonderful. This was the full Messiah, all 2 hours and 45 minutes of it. Truly inspiring. The soloists were quite good. We liked the men especially. The conductor, a guest from England, was beyond interesting to watch. He literally shaped the sound we heard, using every part of his body to do so. It was a riveting performance in every way.

Photos from the Handel and Haydn Society's website

10 comments:

sunny said...

Ooooh, that sounds WONDERFUL!

Beth said...

That sounds like a wonderful start to the season. I wish that Boston wasn't such a drive, I would enjoy partaking in some of its culture from time to time.

lacey said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Kate
http://educationonline-101.com

Morning's Minion said...

I especially enjoy your posts regarding music. Our brief years in So Lancaster were a joy in the sense of so many fine programs to attend. The Christmas vespers at the very old church are a favorite memory. The day that you posted re In the Bleak Midwinter, I had been humming that as I worked--one of those mindless things where I suddenly realized I must have been through the tune dozens of times. I'm interested in which melody setting you refer to--I don't care for the one in the SDA hymnal--"Cranham" by Holst is my favorite. Each year I also bring out a faded mimeographed copy of a setting by Harold Darke. The music landed on the piano rack in front of me as I was playing a prelude--Glee Charlestream and family were softly tuning up behind me and Glee was whispering cues in my ear.

Rondi said...

Sunny--it truly was wonderful.

Beth--That's the one drawback to where you live, in my opinion. It's so beautiful there, but a little far to go for other beauty like this.

Kate--thanks for stopping by! It's nice to make new friends.

Morning's Minion--do I know you??? Seems like I must. I've lived in the AUC/Boston area for most of the past 37 years. I like the Harold Darke version of In the Bleak MidWinter best... Come back often to visit!

Morning's Minion said...

I don't suppose we ever met when I lived in So Lancaster--1977-1980--but likely knew some of the same people. Your Dad was principal at SLA when my son was a freshman there. My husband's aunt and uncle [Dorothy and Ed Johnson] lived in SL--his sister, Bertha, sang in the college choir. When Norman and Shirley Charlestream moved to VT they attended the same church we did. I often was involved in their impromptu musical performances ["stand here, sing alto on this!"]
We have lived in WY for 10 years--definitely a culture and climate shock!
Sharon Whitehurst

Morning's Minion said...

The scrapbag of memory is an odd rummage: since leaving my comment last evening, I've been trying to remember the name of the church on the town green where the vesper service was held--"Bullfinch Church" has surfaced suddenly from the bits and pieces--is that correct?

Rondi said...

Yes, that's it, the
Bulfinch Church. I used to love those Midnight Christmas Eve services.

I was in college, AUC, when you lived in So. Lancaster. Funny, what a small world it is...

Morning's Minion said...

It is a small world--I think especially in the SDA community. Just another coincidence: this morning in looking through an old [1932] Methodist Hymnal I came across another Rossetti poem for Christmas set to a "tradtitional English carol". Doing an on-line search for a copy/paste version I got an impression that Harold Darke may also have composed music for it, although I couldn't acess a score. I'm always pleasantly surprised when I find something of this sort--no one here who is interested in a musical tidbit--so I'm cluttering up your comment space to share it, as I didn't see an e-mail contact.
Since you are have been invovled in the SL music scene, likely the second poem/carol is familiar to you.

Rondi said...

Thanks for sharing that! I don't mind at all! Nice to find another kindred spirit. Music means so much to me...has gotten me through tough times and taken me all over the world.

Enjoy the carol season!

rondi2655@yahoo.com