Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Music!!!

The last month has been filled with the sounds of Christmas music from the lonely pleading melody of O Come O Come Emanuel played on a cello to the reverberant sounds of joy and gladness.

We enjoyed playing for the Festival of Trees (pictured above) as well as several other services and just recently our brothers, Charlie, oboist and Benjamin, violinist have joined us for arrangements from Handel's Messiah and other Christmas arrangements.

It is easy for a musician to remember what we are celebrating when the music we play is reflective, serving as a constant reminder of the reason we play music at all!

Here are some of the words to Handel's Messiah. If you click on the links below you can hear a version recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra. The tempos are slower than usual for emphasis but if you have not heard the creativity and genius of Handel's interpretation of the Scriptures I encourage you to listen.  The word picture is especially obvious in the tenor's AIR, Every Valley!
RECITATIVE. (Accompanied - Tenor) Comfort ye, comfort ye My people,
AIR (Tenor) Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight and the rough places plain.
RECITATIVE. (Alto)Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, God with us.
AIR (Alto)and CHORUS O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain: O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold you God! Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
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 God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
RECITATIVE. (Soprano) There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo! the angel of the Lord cam upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto the, 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 Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying:-
CHORUS Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
AIR. (Soprano)Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! behold, thy King cometh unto thee! He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen.
AIR (Alto) 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 heavy 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.
CHORUS His yoke is easy and His burthen is light.