Jan 26

Händel SersesHändel- Serse, performed by the Dresden Opera ??

Reviewers on Amazon.com gave the opera performance 4-1/2 stars, with the lowest rating a 3-star. Much was commented on the brilliant performance and sumptuous arias.  I found none of this to be true. First, Händel is a very monotonous composer, and there is minimal brilliance in his operatic style. Why the English loved Händel eludes me, save that their taste is food is equally dismal. Secondly, I am continually annoyed by his staging of males with females, but to stage Serse as a female with a soprano role really seemed to go a bit too far. In fact, there were only two male roles in the entire opera. I agree that the performance itself was rather faultless, and soloists quite talented, but even their skills could not make up for an otherwise dreadful opera.

Tagged with:
No Comments »
Nov 26

The Messiah

By Kenneth Feucht Media, Music No Comments »

The Messiah, by Georg Fredrick Händel, Conducted/Performed by Vienna Boys Choir  ??, Solti/CSO?????, Richter ????, Marriner????, Klemperer?????, Higginbottom???, Davis????, Bonynge???, Bernstein????, Alldis????. OK, that’s one lot of Messiah’s to be listening to in the season. I omitted the “doctored” version of the Messiah by Mozart, who translated the Messiah into German. It doesn’t sound bad. The Messiah is a theatrical piece written by a person whose claim to fame was the writing of opera. Thus, rather than a church-type feel, this piece has an auditorium type feel to it. The low rating of the Vienna Boys Choir has nothing to do with their technical skills, but only with their boyish voices, which doesn’t suit me well. The Higginbottom piece was on original instruments, and did not sound bad at all, with a more chamber-sound to the piece. In general, most of the pieces had minimal qualitative differences, though there were differences in the version of the Messiah that they chose to perform. My two favorites remain the Solti and Klemperer performances, which excel.

Note my comments on the Weihnachtsoratorium, which is also used as a Christmas concert piece, though rarely in the US. It is a pity since, though the Messiah is a work of genius, the Weihnachtsoratorium even excels the Messiah. Perhaps someday it will measure more prominently in American church performances.

Tagged with:
No Comments »
preload preload preload