qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

, etc.

Programmes for concerts with operatic or choral pieces by Handel often list a libretto which just says ", etc." after a line or verse, which generally means one can look forward to repetition of the same lines many times over. This was missing in the programme for Prom 26, Bach's Mass in B Minor, but the same principle applied. It took an hour to get through two pages of text in the first half.

There are those who regard this as "the greatest choral music ever written" and this was a very well attended Prom. It wasn't a piece I knew and I'm not sure on a single listening I could give it that accolade, though I wouldn't question placing it as one of the greatest pieces of choral music ever written. It's too difficult to compare to works such as, say, Verdi's Requiem or even Monteverdi's Vespers, let alone a wider range of works which might qualify as choral. The vocal soloists - Joélle Harvey, Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies, Ed Lyon and Matthew Rose - all did a good job, as did the orchestra and choir of The English Concert and Harry Bicket. The highlights for me were the fiendish horn solo in the Gloria and some particularly stirring sections in the Symbolum Nicenum (Credo).

The train on the way back confirmed that London is busy, but at unusual times rather than normal peak hours. This was not helped by First Great Western running shorter trains and putting on additional stops at Slough.
Tags: music
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