February 23, 2005

Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)

(Image courtesy of The Classical Music Pages)

Today is the birthday of Georg Frideric Handel, born in Halle, Germany in 1685 (making him just under a month older than Johann Sebastian Bach).

It's ridiculous to say that I love Handel's music. I mean, of course I do. It is not nearly as intellectual as Bach's, but it makes up for this in being more theatrical. Compare Handel's Opus 3 and 6 Concerti Grossi with Bach's Brandenburg Concerti, for instance. I don't say one is better than the other. Rather, I am glad to have the choice.

One thing I've noticed about Handel's music that I don't like is his occasional practice of not finishing out a phrase properly, squandering the last few notes as he goes on to another idea. (By way of metaphor, I equate this with the practice of some horses of economizing on their jumps, landing short over their fences instead of getting in a good, long "fly".) Not having any theoretical training, I don't think I could describe this practice properly, but I can hear it. It's a small distraction, but a distraction nonetheless.

Oh, one other thing. Everyone loves the "Hallelujah" Chorus from the Messiah. But I'm not sure many people realize these days that this music is meant to be a coronation anthem celebrating Christ's ascendancy to the Throne of Heaven. (In fact, it sounds very much like a number of such anthems written to celebrate the crowning of George III.) Given my recent concerns about residual feudalism in Christian worship, I wonder if we shouldn't be reexamining the appropriateness of this piece of music. I mean, it's like so hierarchical.

Posted by Robert at February 23, 2005 11:21 AM

But the really cool part of Classical music is that it gets chicks "in the mood". Knowwhatimsayin?

Posted by: Gordon at February 23, 2005 01:21 PM

Laugh it up, monkey boy. It's certainly always worked for me.

Posted by: Robert the LB at February 23, 2005 01:26 PM

It works...especially when you can perform some classical music. Me? I'm a trumpet player (and teacher) myself...I love playing with those CD accomp. tracks they have out these days...great stuff. I'm working on the Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah at the moment...that's tough playing all those woodwind parts on a brass intrument, let me tell ya...

Posted by: Matt Hurley at February 23, 2005 02:33 PM

Back in the day I was in a couple of plays at the Missus' school (an all-girls college). Loitering around in the green room before rehearsals, I would sometimes amuse myself by playing some Beethoven on a beat up old piano. Used to melt 'em like glaciers in global warming.

'Course, I was dating the Butcher's Wife at the time, so my eyes were always strictly front. But still.....

Posted by: Robert the LB at February 23, 2005 04:17 PM
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