I like things at their proper time. No Christmas decorations before Hallowe’en. I would heartily support Nordstroms in their dedication to support one holiday at a time if I could afford to shop at Nordstroms. Although, I should confess that I have been eyeing the Christmas decorations at Target for a few weeks.
Christmas music is even worse. Luckily, I’m pretty devoted to NPR’s Morning Edition for the drive to work and PRI’s The World on the way home. But I have one weakness…Messiah.
I have loved the “Hallelujah Chorus” since I first heard it on a Twila Paris tape as a little girl. Who doesn’t love the Hallelujah Chorus, I would like to know? Is it possible to dislike it? I have always loved the story (apocryphal or not) of King George (not such a bad egg after all) rising to his feet when he heard the chorus. For those of you who aren’t as familiar with Messiah, the entire work spans the life of Christ. The first recitative is taken straight from Isaiah “‘Comfort ye my people’ saith your God. ‘Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardon’d.’” Such words of hope, and of course it only gets better. The Hallelujah Chorus comes after the crucifixion and resurrection, and anyone who can carry a tune (even those who can’t!) better be singing and standing when it starts playing.
Grumpy old woman note: Why don’t we sing HC every Easter? There are always enough people in the congregation to make it worth doing. It never gets old!
So yes, I’ve been listening to Messiah since September. I prefer to listen to it with my score handy, in case I need to sing along and can’t find my part.
If you haven’t listened to Messiah in its entirety, it’s one for the bucket list. It’s even better if you can sing it with a choir.
And if you haven’t seen this video, watch it! It will probably make you a little teary.