Come Sing the Messiah – and so we did (on Saturday 23rd May)
Some had sung the Messiah before and some had no experience of this type of music. Luckily for us Organist Peter Dollimore had connections and this enabled us to use as our Conductor the skills of Chris Green. These connections also extended to the Soloists Sue Davies (Soprano) Katy Bingham-Best (Contralto) and Andy Heard (Bass).
And so the audience were treated to some wonderful singing accompanied by superb organ music. After an interval during which wine and refreshments were served all settled into the second half, to include the very famous Hallelujah Chorus and the audience joined in. Mozart is reputed to have said of Handel “When he chooses he strikes like a thunderbolt.” Was this us on Saturday evening!
A bit about Chris Green
Professor Chris Green was awarded a Choral Scholarship to Cambridge but decided instead to opt to do a degree in Psychology and Sociology. Having started training as a Clinical Psychologist he was awarded a Research Fellowship to undertake a Doctorate in the Psychology of Music. Trianon Music Group was founded by Chris and two friends and is now in its 56th year and is one of the largest musical organisations in the East of England. Chris also conducts the choir of the Anglian Ruskin University. He writes for a number of newspapers and magazines and is a member of the National Critics Circle. He has been awarded the OBE for services to the Arts and Mental Health in the Queen’s New Year Honours List and Honorary Doctorates by the Universities of Essex and East Anglia.
A bit about Frederick Handel
Born Georg Friedrich Handel in Halle, Germany on the 23rd February 1685 Handel was a German born, British Baroque composer who spent most of his career in London from 1712. He was well known for his operas ,oratorios, anthems and organ concertos.
He started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian operas but after his success with the Messiah (first performed in Dublin in 1742) made a transition to English choral works and never performed an Italian opera again. Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era with works including Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah. Zadoc the Priest has been performed at every British coronation since it was composed for George II (1727). In 1723 Handel moved to 25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London. This is now the Handel House Museum. He never married and kept his personal life private. He died a wealthy man in 1759 at his house in Brook Street. The Messiah is among the most popular of his works and was the last performance he attended. The centenary of his death in 1859 was celebrated by a performance of this at The Crystal Palace involving 2,765 singers and 460 instrumentalists who played to an audience of 10,000 people! He was buried in Westminster Abbey with more than 3,000 mourners at his funeral.
Reviewed by Marion Harding