Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Handel's Messiah" Dec. 18 at Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Casper

"Handel's Messiah"
December 18, 2011 • 4:00 p.m.
Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church, Casper

The Casper Chamber Society and ARTCORE will present the Christmas section of Messiah by George Frideric Handel. The performance will feature a Casper select chorus, soloists, and orchestra under the direction of Frederick Taylor. Although written to be performed during the Lent and Easter seasons, Messiah is most often heard during the Christmas season. Its first performance was in Dublin in1742, with Handel himself at the harpsichord. The libretto was designed and organized by Charles Jennens from both Old and New Testaments.

The work was well received in Dublin but did not become popular for another decade. Handel revised sections of the work for many subsequent performances based on the availability of soloists. During the nineteenth century, and especially during Victorian times, it became fashionable to perform Messiah with huge choruses and orchestras. The style of Messiah is essentially that of Italian Baroque opera requiring a certain virtuosity in solo arias.

The nature of most baroque music is that it was done with small ensembles and small choirs. Today we would call it chamber music. There is a brilliance, pungency, and intimacy with smaller ensembles that is often lost with larger organizations, yet is the essence of Handel’s music.

This will be the first Casper performance of Handel’s Messiah in several years.
Casper Chamber Music Society members will be admitted by their season tickets.

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