|Julia Lorraine Gavigan 1955-1998|
I have been doing so much knitting. And working. And getting precious little finished. And that's ok. I should be at choir practice this evening, but after eating dinner, my silly old guts got stupid on me and I figured I'd better stay close to home. 'Nuff said. Right now it's what's euphemistically referred to as The Holiday Season here in the US of A - and other "western countries." For me, that means Georg Friedrich Handel's Messiah. Handel used to have two dots over the "a" in his name (that's what they call an umlaut - pron. "oomlowt" in Germany). He indeed had been German, but upon his arrival at the court of King George III of England, he soon dropped the umlaut and embraced his status as an English composer. Messiah is a classic example of Baroque music, with its word painting (Wortmalerei), sequences, virtuosity, and encouragement of bel canto improvisation. In other words, my heart:).
I usually start playing Messiah as soon as Thanksgiving is over, but for some reason this year I started early this morning - already two weeks later. I know most of it by heart, having sung so many of the choruses and listened to it year after year. I have sung alto, soprano and even on occasion, tenor parts. I just love this piece of music. For the past seven years or so, I've played tympani to its Halleluja Chorus. It's probably my absolute favorite - and yes, I hear the eyes of "real" musicians rolllllling and I. don't. CARE!
One of my favorite performances is that of the Concert Artists of Baltimore. I bought the CD and will be playing it in the car as I drive to work/drive to and from visits and, well, drive.