Well, I suspect that my fellow Mountain T.O.P. board member Sally Chambers has summed it up far better than I can hope to do. (I didn’t know Sally was going to be there, and I’m sorry I missed seeing her.)
What can I say about Handel’s “Messiah” that hasn’t been said by so many others over the years? It’s a glorious, reverent retelling of the Gospel story, with music and art equal to the truth of the tale.
Thursday night was my first “Messiah,” so I have nothing to compare it to, but I thought it was a fabulous performance. All four soloists were great, but soprano Awet Andemicael was particularly so, at once precise and emotional. Even when she wasn’t singing, she seemed not like she was waiting for a cue but like she was lost in the music herself.
I’ve blogged on previous occasions about Schermerhorn Symphony Center’s wonderful acoustics, and they certainly enhanced this experience. If you hear something like the “Hallelujah” chorus through the little speakers in your TV, you’ve not really heard it. In a live performance, especially in this venue, the sound is so much brighter and there are so many different layers to it. If you think you don’t like classical music, you’ve never heard it performed live.
I am no musician, and am very uninformed about composers and styles and what have you. I don’t know what I’m listening to without reading the program notes. But I know the joy of sound that a concert like this one can create.
Some people look at the Grand Canyon or the vastness of space and find proof of a Creator in their beauty, which is quite appropriate. I think that a work like “Messiah” functions the same way. Mrs. Rittenberry, the fourth member of our party Thursday night, is a math teacher, and technically the score to a musical composition can be expressed as just a series of formulae. But to hear something like this in its majesty, it just gives me the awesome sense of God giving one human being the ability to compose it, giving others the ability to perform it, and giving us all the ability to hear it and be moved.