Monday, December 12, 2011

Handel's Messiah

Yesterday, the honey and I ventured into Orange County to see George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah”, live and in person, complete with solo singers and a full choir. It was really something else. Words cannot convey how happy I am that we were able to see that.

With concert tickets soaring into the stratosphere, it’s nice to know that we still have options. We paid $25 a ticket to see a wonderful performance and hear music that has been loved by people for almost three centuries. If I want to see a new rock group, the tickets start somewhere around $65 and go way, way up from there. Thanks, pop-culture, but I’ll stick with symphonies and plays from now on.

The performance was given without having used a single microphone. I’m sure when many of us think “concert”, we think of stacks and stacks of speakers, amplifiers, and more speakers. It was a refreshing change to hear natural music in its natural form. There were no explosions, no light shows, no gimmicks; the music spoke for itself.

Also, unlike many of today’s artists who somehow get away with performing a hack tune with a half-assed voice, the performers in Messiah were very, very talented. The notes those singers can hit are staggering, and the dynamics were nothing short of awe-inspiring. Sorry, Avenged Sevenfold, you can’t touch that one.

I was also surprised and pleased to randomly recognize many, many popular Christmas songs in Handel’s mix. I have an odd ear for that kind of thing, and I could find them immediately, even though the lyrics and music in general were different. It was definitely a cool history lesson.

I liked last night’s performance so much, in fact, that we are going back to the venue to hear classical piano for my birthday in January. Do you think Tchaikovsky’s Fifth will feature a mosh pit and security guards who make you throw out lighters, pens, and pocket knives before they let you in?

Me either.

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