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Letter to the Editor: the Messiah

By AL GRAY
Carbonville

Editor:

The annual Messiah Oratorio was performed in the civic auditorium early in December before a near capacity audience.

I have written comments about this annual highlight of the Christmas season for many of the 30 or so annual performances, and each year the choir, soloists and orchestra seem to get better.

This year for the first time a performance was given in Emery County. Many of the choir members and soloist live in Emery County, and it was appropriate and fitting that it should have been held in Emery County as well as in Price.

Maestro Russell Wilson, as always, did a very capable job of directing and conducting this very complex masterpiece. It was written in 4 weeks in 1741 and has enjoyed a world popularity as no other Oratorio have seen. There are hundreds of oratorio's out there composed by such musical greats as Mendelsohn, Bach and Mozart but none have seen the popularity of the Messiah.

The coordination with the chorus, soloist, orchestra and the harpsicord, the musical score was executed with perfect timing by Mr. Wilson. One look at the score shows the variety of music dynamics and variations in orchestral structure. No less than seven key signatures were employed by Handel in the Christmas portion of the Messiah which was heard in this performance. The dramatic key of D, and the noble keys D, E flat and B flat were heavily used. This may have influenced the use of these keys by Beethoven and Mozart, composers who came along later.

Musicologists rank Handel slightly below these music greats and some even above on the scale of musical greatness. Handel was a prolific composer who wrote in about every musical form and as frequently happens, one work stands out among all the others, in this case the Messiah.

The usual striking ovation followed the Hallelujah Chorus - the same that King George rose to his feet upon hearing this spectacular finale.

We look forward to this event every year and have never been disappointed.





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