Hands up, what did Handel write besides the Messiah? Who has heard more than the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah or more than the highlights? Oh, yes, there’s The Water Music – those were the days, when one would commission a composer to write music for your collection of water fountains, or for your private fireworks display.
Being the music compulsive I tend to be I came across his Masterworks at a good price – over 36 hours! Spread over 5 cds it includes 01: Water Music/Solomon/Organ Concertos 4 5 6 7/Dixit Dominus/Trio Sonatas/Salve Regina. 02: Concerto Grosso/ Hercules/ Organ Concertos 8 9 20 11 12/ Concerto Due Cori/ Dittingen/ Flute Sonatas/ Nisi Dominus/ Trio Sonata. 03: Organ Concerto 13 14 15 16/ Messiah/ Trio Sonta/ Sontata for 2 Violins/ Israel in Egypt/ St Cecilia’s Day. 04: Concerto Grosso/ Judas Maccabaeus. 05: Royal Fireworks/ Organ Concerto 1 2 3/ Giulio Cesare/ Coronation Anthems/Flute Sonata. Whew 🙂
He deserves his reputation as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era. I used ‘includes’ to describe this collection, as it doesn’t represent everything he wrote. When did he sleep? He once stated that he had no time for marriage. Was he ‘gay’? Well, he did start out as church organist. He was never involved romantically with women. Personal papers are non-existent.
The music is as Baroque should be. Fussy at times, emotional at others. He could write anything expect a drunken barroom ditty. His oratories are marvellous, the chamber music a delight – often quite soothing. The organ music sonorous. If you are unfamiliar with him skip the big hits & try some of his charming Concerto Grosso or any of his many trio sonatas.
From were he stood on the crest of a small hill Tom could only hear fragmentary phrases. A group of voices chanting in the night. The wind broke up the chant, as did the trees between him and the sounds. The voices rose and fell almost with the rise and fall of the waves that crashed at the base of the cliffs. The timing had to deliberate yet how could it be?
‘What are you listening to?’ Steve asked.
‘Can’t you hear it?’
‘Sounds like the wind in the trees.’
‘No. It’s more than that. Voices.’ Tom said
‘More like some drunken kids howling at the moon.’
The wind dropped suddenly. There was a cool stillness around them. A figure stepped out ten feet in front of them A teenage boy with a sloppy smile and even sloppier clothes.
‘Yo, watcha gawkin’ man. Take a good look while you can. There’ll be nothing other than the moon and you between the snake and its skin soon soon.’
Several other teens stepped out around them. Each repeating the same phrases.
‘We seem to have …’
‘Yo, man, no say anything. We protect. You be needin’ protection.’
The circle of teens pressed closer. All boys, about fifteen or sixteen years old.
‘We should be getting back to our hotel.’ Steve said.
‘You be stain’ at Casa Trib’mana?’
‘Yes.’ Tom flexed his hands, ready.
‘Not to worry, man, we’ll not harm you. Others would be doing that, but we aren’t like that. We protect. Protect the foolish likes of you.’
In the dim light Tom couldn’t make out the faces of these teens clearly, but as they came closer, he saw streaks of scarlet had been drawn around the eyes, several short dashes of green along the chin.
‘You look at our whiskers.’ the first teen said. ‘We make our selves fit the world. You see this world.’
The boys spread out and vanished except for the first boy.
‘You better be head, back. A night like this isn’t one for strangers. You know my meaning. Not for strangers who have no idea where the world is headin’. You need help ask for Rumba. I be Rumba.’
‘Thanks.’ Frank turned around. They headed back up the path.
‘Did you get all that?’ he asked Tom.
‘I think so.’ he tapped the bag that held the video camera. ‘That was best we’ve gotten so far.’
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