Monday, 19 December 2011

Handel: Messiah. Stockholm.


Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Swedish Radio Choir
Ida Falk Winland soprano
Ann Hallenberg mezzosoprano
Andrew Staples tenor
Matthew Rose base
Daniel Harding conductor
Christmas is here and all that comes with it. The stress of christmas shopping and cooking is just murder and the need to relax is very important. Classicalify noticed that the Swedish concert hall Berwaldhallen would have a performance of Georg Friedrich Handels famous choral work the Messiah this weekend and desided to go. An unknown singer to us at Classicalify named Adriana Kucerova from the agency of Askonas Holt was announced to sing after Kate Royal cancelled. Unfortunatly miss Kucerova cancelled as well. Due to illness is always the reason given to the public. We can only imagine what the real reason was.
Shooting star Ida Falk Winland sang instead.
Handel had very little money when he wrote the music for Messiah in 1740. The audience didn't care for his operas about gods and divas. He wanted to leave England and move to Germany but fortunatly his friend Charles Jennens suggested the Messiah as a new project.
Handel was delighted and was invited to Dublin were Messiah was first performed.
Since then the piece is performed everywhere but not only for christmas but also for easter.
The perfomance given a few days ago in Stockholm was just magnificent.
The Swedish Radio Symphony orchestra and choir has one of the best music directors in the world right know. Daniel Harding is a perfectionist and rightly so. We at classicalify has enjoyed many performances by Harding in Lucerne and this was no exception. It's a long piece almost three hours in length and a lot of recitals. It didn't feel to long at all. It was almost like watching a play. The orchestra and choir worked so well together in terms of playing each word together and listening to each other all the time. Every sentence had meaning and each word had it's own colour and texture. Particulary the finaly of the second part. The hallelujah chorus. Soft as a gentle sunbeam in the beginning and powerfull in the middle towards the end as the gates of heaven opens. Ida Falk Winland sang just like an angel with perfect pronounciation and clarity. Ann Hallenberg didn't save her energi in the aria "He was despised" and portrayed the suffering of jesus with heartbreak in her voice. Andrew Staples is perfect for this peace and he realy delivered a marvelous perfomance, and Matthew Rose had just the right power without going to deep in his voice. To hear him sing "For behold, darkness shall cover the world" gave you chills down your spine. Last but not least Daniel Harding showed the audience that the more you give to music the more you shall recieve.

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