For centuries, people have loved Handel’s “Messiah,” and for good reason. In fact, a reviewer of the first performance of this piece wrote, “The sublime, the grand, and the tender, adapted to the most elevated, majestic and moving words, conspired to transport and charm the ravished heart and ear.” The El Dorado Chorale continues their tradition of performing Handel’s masterpiece, under the direction of Dr. David DeSeguirant, on Sunday, November 22 at 4pm at the First Presbyterian Church in El Dorado. The concert is free and open to the public.
Dr. DeSeguirant recently spoke of his experience working with the community choir as they prepare for the concert. “Our rehearsals this fall have been among some of the most productive and musical I have had with the El Dorado Chorale. The singers are very knowledgeable and talented, and have exhibited a high level of flexibility as they have worked to recreate this music. Sometimes, familiarity with a work can breed complacency for an ensemble; however, the singers have been able to capture the essence of Handel’s composition such that our upcoming performance will seem fresh to our listeners, even though many will be well-acquainted with some of the music they will hear. It is always a pleasure to work with the El Dorado Chorale, and that has been especially true this season. We have shared many musical and deeply enriching moments during rehearsals; our audience will hear the results of those efforts in a fine performance of the Christmas portion of ‘Messiah’ on the 22nd.”
DeSeguirant continued, “Messiah is an oratorio (a Biblical story composed for chorus, orchestra, and soloists), and has three parts labeled by Handel as ‘Part the First,’ ‘Part the Second,’and ‘Part the Third.’ Descriptive terms were ascribed to each (Christmas, Passion, the Triumphant Savior, respectively) by later performers. It is the ‘Christmas’ portion that contains the music with which most listeners are familiar: ‘For Unto Us a Child Is Born,’ ‘Glory to God,’’Every Valley,’ and ‘O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion,’ are just a few of the numbers. Traditionally, Chorus No. 44—‘Hallelujah’—is included in a concert performance, even though it appears as the final chorus of Part 2.”
“Oratorios share some similarities with opera, although they are not staged dramatic events. The various recitatives, arias, and choruses follow the same general structural purposes found in opera: the recitative provides narrative (most often from the Biblical text), the aria often represents the human response to the narrative (although in ‘Messiah,’ the arias are settings of the Biblical texts), and the choruses comment on the story. For ‘Messiah,’ the text is entirely drawn from the Biblical ‘libretto’ provided to Handel by Charles Jennens (1700-1773) who excerpted and assembled the Biblical passages for Handel’s setting,” explained DeSeguirant.
Experience the power of music as the El Dorado Chorale ushers in the Christmas season with their 2015 production of G.F. Handel’s “Messiah.”
For more information about the concert, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474