BY G.F. HANDEL
The single performance is set for 8 p.m. next Friday in Tilson Music Hall at Indiana State University.
The chorus, conducted by interim director Marika Kuzma, will perform section one, which tells of the birth of Christ, and portions of section two, which tells of the death and resurrection of Christ and includes the "Hallelujah Chorus."
Kuzma is a doctoral student in choral conducting at Indiana University with a master's degree in music from Stanford University. She has conducted such major choral works as Mozart's "Great Mass in C Minor," Faure's "Requiem," and Messaien's "Cinq Rechants."
George Frideric Handel, a : German-English composer produced his epic work in 1741 in less than a month. It's a story in three parts told with more than 50 arias, recitatives.and solos. Rarely is the entire work performed at one time.
It is widely accepted that the composer intended the work to be performed during Easter and by small ensembles, but the majesty of his music has inspired performances by huge choirs and orchestras around the world during Christmas time as well as Easter.
Tickets for the performance are $7.50 for adults and $5 for students, senior citizens and chidren. They are available at Paiges Music or the Conservatory of Music and at the door.
PART I RECITATIVE, accompanied (Tenor) Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God; speak ye comfortable to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. The voice at him that crieth in the wilderness: prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God Isaiah XL,1-3 SONG (Tenor) Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low: the crooked made straight and the rough places plain. Isaiah XL, 4 CHORUS And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Isaiah XL, 5 RECITATIVE, accompanied (Bass) Thus saith the Lord of hosts: vet once a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land, and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come. Haggai II, 6,7 The Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in, behold he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. Malachi lll, 1 SONG (Bass) But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire. Malachi lll, 2 RECITATIVE (Alto) Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel: GOD WITH US. Isaiah Vll, 14 SONG (Alto) AND CHORUS O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, Set thee up into the high mountain, O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem lift up thy mice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah: behold your God. Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Isaiah LX, 1 RECITATIVE, accompanied (Bass) For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee, and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Isaiah LX,2,3 SONG, (Bass) The people that walked in darkness haDe seen a great light, and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, umn them hath the light shined. Isaiah IX, 6 CHORUS For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty Cod, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Isaiah IX, 6 RECITATIVE (Soprano) There were shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke II, 8 RECITATIVE, accompanied (Soprano) And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. Luke II, 9 RECITATIVE (Soprano) And the angel said unto them, fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people: for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke II, 10, 11 RECITATIVE, accompanied (Soprano) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Luke II,13 CHORUS Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men. Luke II, 14 SONG (Soprano) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout O daughter of Jerusalem, behold thy king cometh unto thee. He is the righteous Savior and he shall speak peace unto the heathen. Rejoice greatly. Zechariah IX, 9,10 RECITATIVE (Soprano) Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. Isaiah XXXV, 5,6 SONG (Soprano l) He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: and he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom and gently lead those that are with young. Come unto him all ye that labour, and are heavv laden, and he will give you rest. Take his yoke upon you, and learn of him, for he is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew Xl, 28, 29 CHORUS His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. Matthew XI, 30 PART II CHORUS Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. John I, 29 SONG (Alto) He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief He gave his back to the smiters and his cheeks to them that plucked off his hair; he hid not his face from shame and spitting. He was despised. Isaiah LIII, 3 Isaiah L, 6 CHORUS Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him. And with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah LIII, 4,5 CHORUS All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way. And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah LIII, 6 RECITATIVE, accompanied (Tenor) Thy rebuke hath broken his heart, he is full of heaviness: he looked for some to have pity on him, but there was no man, neither found he any to comfort him. Psalm LXIX, 21 SONG (Tenor) Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto his sorrow. Lamentations I, 12 RECITATIVE, accompanied (Tenor) He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of thy people was he stricken. Isaiah LIII, 8 SONG (Tenor) But thou didst not leave his soul in hell, nor didst thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption. Psalm XVI, 10 SONG (Alto) Thou art gone up on high, thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men, yea even for thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them. Psalm LVIII, 18 CHORUS Hallelujah for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. King of kings, and Lord of Lords, Hallelujah. Revelation Xl, 15 Revelation XIX, 6, 16 PART III SONG (Soprano) I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep. Job XIX, 25, 26 I Corinthians XV, 20 CHORUS Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead, For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. I Corinthians XV, 21, 22 RECITATIVE, accompanied (Bass) Behold I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. I Corinthians XV, 51, 52 SONG (Bass) The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. The trumpet shall sound. I Corinthians XV, 52, 53 SONG (Tenor) If God be for us, who can be against us? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemmeth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us. Romans Vlll, 31, 33, 34 CHORUS Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by his blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb,for ever and ever, Amen. Revelation V, 9,12,14
Alan Bennett (tenor) is a native of North Carolina and has received degrees in vocal performance and choral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. For the past two summers, he has toured southwest France as a soloist and member of a select chamber chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw. Mr. Bennett is currently pursuing a D.M.A. in choral conducting at Indiana University.
Peggy Stephenson (mezzo soprano) joined the ISU Department of Music faculty this fall. Originally from Wisconsin, she considers herself an "honorary Hoosier," having spent over a decade at Indiana University pursuing her Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees.
G. Bradley Garvin (bass) is a resident of River Forest, Illinois, a small suburb of Chicago. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Olivet Nazarene University in 1987 where he performed variousoratoriosincludingHandel's Messiah, and Faure's Requiem. Mr. Garvin currently isenrolled at the Indiana University School of Music where he received his Master's of Music in May and is pursuing his Doctorate of Music in Voice Performance.
It was only after Handel's death that huge choirs and orchestras assembled to perform Messiah. The small size of his own choir and orchestra allowed for greater clarity of sound and flexibility to the conditions of each performance. Typically, Handel would adapt his composition to the performers at hand, transposing arias to suit different soloists and using reduced ensembles to accompany some arias. In the spirit of that earlier tradition, our performance today is also on a more intimate scale and features different combinations of voices and instruments.
In Handel's day, Messiah traditionally was performed during the Lenton not the Christmas season. When we examine the texts Handel and his librettist Charles Jennens compiled, we find that this three-part oratorio does not focus exclusively on the event of Christ's birth at all; only the first part mentions the nativity. Rather, Messiah surveys scriptures from the Old Testament to Revelation--from the prophets to the apostles. It contemplates not Christ's life as much as his impact on humanity: on "the people who walked in darkness," the "shepherds abiding in the field," those who rejected Christ, and those redeemed by the risen Christ. In the course of the oratorio, the texts portray Christ as Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, savior, shepherd, Lamb of God, a man of sorrows, the redeemer. Handel's musical treatment of the scriptures is as colorful and varied as these images.
Ironically, the very word "Messiah" never once appears in the oratorio. It is as though the object of Handel's work is not sim ply to call Christ the Messiah outright and praise him as such, but to trace hi s coming and confirm that he was and is the Messiah. Perhaps the oratorio is suited ideally to the Christmas season after all. In preparation for this season, Messiah offers its listeners the opportunity more fully to acquaint themselves with this Christ whose birth Christmas celebrates. Whatever the season, in times of strife as in peace, they indeed can be "comforted" at the thought that if this Prince of Peace "be for us, who can be against us."
Did Handel find the Messiah easy to write? In a sense, yes; he completed it in 24 days. But Handel has left little in the way of letters, diaries; he was unmarried and had few close friends, and the documents that have come forth today deal mainly with his professional life. Thus, his motivation and energies can only be conjectured .
Handel was one of three future musicians born in 1685; Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti were the others. But the latter came from musical families; Handel was born in Halle, Germany, the eighth child of his barber-surgeon father and second wife. Although intended to be a lawyer , Handel's musical gifts were difficult to ignore, and he studied music from the age of seven, becoming a church organist at seventeen. While he was working for the Elector of Hanover he visited England for a short time, then returning for what turned out to be the rest of his life. Handel arrived around 1709; there had been no native composers of note in residence since the death of Henry Purcel (1695). The first work he composed there, Rinaldo. immediately caught on with the public. This was followed closely by the Birthdav Ode for Queen Anne, and a Te Deum marking the Peace of Utrech. George I, Anne's successor and Handel's long-distance employer in his role as the Elector of Hanover, also found Handel's music to his liking, especially after hearing the Water Music.
Operas and oratorios filled his years as first director of the Royal Academy of Music. Although not without his critics and enemies, the general populace and his noble benefactors were enough to keep his works popular. But towards the end of the 1730's, interest in Italian opera waned. He responded by writing a comedic opera, Xerxes, the six organ concertos, seven trio sonatas and many concerti grossi, and the oratorios, Saul and Israel in Egypt. Saul, written in collaboration with Charles Jennens, lasted only six performances, and Israel in Egvpt, written in twenty-seven days, was performed only three times. Jacobi deemed it a work of "glorious choruses and imaginative instrumentation."
His collaborator, Jennens, was encouraging Handel to write a work based on the life of Christ and had provided him with265pagesbased onOld and NewTestament passages, mostly based onthel611 KingJames version of the English Bible. Handel began writing on August 22, finishing on September 14. Most of it was original, although he borrowed from some of his own previous arias and duets. The Messiah was the last of a series of his works, performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742. Handel played the harpsichord and the choir was all male; he brought his soloists from London. Seven hundred people attended this charitable event, for the "relief of the prisoners" in several jails, and two hospitals (142 debtors were freed as a result of the profits).
At first there was some worry among London listeners that Handel's secular soloists were not suitable singers for so sacred a subject. The general public didn't like it because there wasn't much of a storyline, and they felt that the soloists were featured too much. Handel revived the work in 1745, but, having other problems with his general popularity, ended up giving only sixteen of his projected twenty-four performances. In 1750, after regaining his standing with Music for the Roval Fireworks, Handel's Sacred Oratorio, now permanently known as the Messiah, was again brought forth as the basis for a charity concert for the Foundling Hospital. This time he had to add a performance. Handel continued to work steadily until he was seventy-four. During an April 6, 1759 performanceof Messiah. he fainted, and died on Holy Saturday, April 14,1759and isburied in Westmenster Abbey. The complete score was not published until 1767, and this posthumous publication helped create the problems that exist even today, with multiple versions.
Why do audiences stand during the Hallelujah Chorus? One corresponden t indicated that the entire audience became so taken with the music that they spontaneously stood up; the more favorite anecdote is that the king stood, followed, of course, by everyone else.
Although first performances weresmall, most peopletodayexpecta sizablechoir .This tradition began with a 1784 gala commemoration concert, featuring 500 performers (253 players and 257singers). In addition, few concerts today feature the complete work and these early concerts must have seemed interminable. Although Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach produced the work in Hamburg in 1772, Handel's birthplace, Halle, didn't see a performance until 1803. Jacobi conjectures that this would have been the Mozart version. Halle again received attention with a 1857 rendition, featuring the Swedish Nightingale, J enny Lind. the proceeds went to build a statue of Handel for the marketplace, still there today.
Violin I o John Baldwin, Concertmaster o Ingrid Matthews, Principal + o Gesa Kordes Violin II + o Christopher Verrette o Jennifer Wyon o David Hays Viola + o Marika Fischer-Hoyt, Principal + Daniel Powers Cello o Adrienne Grossman, Principal + Stephanie Vial Bass Bradley Anis, Principal Harpsichord Dennis Dieken, Principal Oboe + William Denton, Principal + Tom O'Bannon Bassoon + David Sarachene, Principal + Anne Bauserman Trumpet I Jonathan Fields, Principal Stanley Curtis Timpani + Douglas Walter, Principal + Member of Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra o Present or former member of Indiana University Baroque Orchestra
Member of Arts Illiana
Presenting the "Messiah" for the eighth time, in its sixteenth season
To order tapes of today's concert of the "Messiah": Mail check made out to Kenneth Bandy, $10.00 per tape, and your name and return address, to: Kenneth Bandy Recording Services 1405 South Bridgeport Road Indianapolis, IN 46231