Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Too hot to Handel

A couple of weeks ago Serdic said to me, "You like Handel, right?" When I answered in the affirmative he said "there's some kind of Handel recital or something going on in a couple of weeks ... would you like me to get tickets?" I needed a bit more information than that so we turned to my trusty friend Google, and with the information Serdic had we were able to figure out that one of the Anglican churches downtown was presenting Handel's Messiah. So the answer to "would you like me to get tickets" was a most definite "yes!" Messiah is, for me, one of the most glorious works ever written, and it has been years since I've heard the whole thing performed live.

So Sunday night, we went. And I am still speechless, and riding the high that only such glorious and well performed music can give me (see the quotation from Plato that sits at the top of this page -- the man was smart). It was breathtakingly beautiful from beginning to end, the soloists were all in top form and the chorus had a full, rich sound that just soared. And that music! There is a reason the Hallelujah Chorus still brings people to their feet, no matter what their faith or belief system, 250 years after it was written. It is quite simply one of the most incredible pieces of choral music ever written.

As the daughter of a church organist and choir director, music has always been a huge part of worship for me. My favourite part of all the different seasons (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.) is the hymns and music, and I feel closest to God when I am lifting my voice in praise. So this performance of Messiah was also a very moving experience for me, as the glorious music told the story and made it fresh and new again. It was a great way to prepare my heart and soul for Advent, which is just around the corner.

And, you know, it was just some kick ass music. I'm always in favour of some kick ass music.

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