Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
With Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra
Marshall Ramirez, conductor
Jamie Chamberlin, soprano
Eddie Sayles, tenor
Ralph Cato, bass
G.F. HANDEL MESSIAH
Messiah is by far the most widely known and beloved work of George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). And while it did not enjoy the status of many of his other works during his lifetime, the overwhelming popularity of Messiah eventually eclipse almost every other Handel composition, remaining among the most popular works in Western choral literature.
The name of the oratorio is taken from the scriptural promise of the Messiah (The Anointed One). The work is a presentation of Christ’s life and its significance according to scripture.
In the summer of 1741, Handel, at the peak of his musical prowess, but depressed and deeply in debt began setting the biblical libretto of his friend Charles Jennens, to music at his usual breakneck speed. Handel completed Messiah in an astonishing 23 days. The complete work consists of 53 movements, and is scored for SATB soloists, SATB chorus, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings, and basso continuo.
The premiere performance of Messiah was given in Dublin in the spring of 1742 to benefit several of Handel’s favorite charities. The concert was met with considerable success. However, it was only through Handel’s annual Eastertide performance to benefit these charities that Messiah was heard at all. The work was not originally viewed as a Christian tradition, rather with tis emphasis on Christian doctrine and faith, it was seen more as a timely spiritual observance for Lent and Easter.
What Handel achieved in Messiah is a wonderful blend of elegant melody, alternating with virtuosity for the soloists, and for the chorus, unmatched choral vibrancy. After more than 250 years, Messiah still holds its grip on musicians and audiences alike. It reaches to us with its beauty of expression and its ability to bestow on us a sense of spiritual renewal each time we experience it,
Handel died on April 14, 1759 and is buried in Westminster Abbey, London.
The Chorus features members who have sung for almost forty years as well as brand new singers and is made up of members from the following churches:
American Martyrs Catholic Church, Manhattan Beach; Bethel Lutheran, Los Angeles; Central Lutheran, Van Nuys; Christ Church of the Valley; The Christian Institute, Santa Monica; Crescent Heights United Methodist; Faith Lutheran, Huntington Beach; First Baptist, Westchester; Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church; Knox Presbyterian, Los Angeles; Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, Claremont; Resurrection Lutheran Church, Redondo Beach; Riviera United Methodist, Redondo Beach; Sinai Temple; St. Anastasia Catholic Church, Playa del Rey; St. Jerome Catholic Church, Westchester; St. John Presbyterian; St. Luke’s Lutheran, Long Beach; St. Pancratius, Lakewood; Trinity Baptist, Santa Monica; Trinity Lutheran, Manhattan Beach; Vipassana Support Institute; Visitation Catholic Church, Westchester; Westchester Lutheran; Westside Singers; Westwood Hills Congregational
For more information contact us at 310.670.5422