King of Kings, and Lord of Lords
When the Family P gathers ’round the Christmas tree to partake of the spiked eggnog, there’s always music in the air. (And no, it’s not James Brown’s Funky Christmas.)
On the days leading up to Christmas, Handel is in the house… cranked to 11. Messiah rules, for Hours and Hours. For Ever and Ever. You wouldn’t think you could vibrate walls with an oratorio from 1741, but you would be wrong.
Ever the agnostic, I’ve not been particularly interested in the “story” of Messiah (the three parts address specific events in the life of Christ), but I’ve always loved the music, and have performed in the chorus a couple of times. (The P sings is the topic for a future time.)
One of my favorite versions of Messiah is performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Growing up listening to WQXR (also turned up to 11), I got special joy every time the announcers referenced the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Why in the fields? Why weren’t they inside?! As a seven-year-old, I had a vision of Sir Neville Marriner with a big long white wizard beard standing on a stump and surrounded by butterflies, conducting his chamber orchestra, yes, in the fields. (In actuality, they are named after the church they first performed in, at Trafalgar Square, but I like my world better.)
Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Surely you know the chorus?