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4.12.07

Someone Please Stop the Messiah Performances

Round about this time of year, singers everywhere are slogging through that holiday favorite, Handel's Messiah (see my roundup of local performances for DCist). I get flack for being so grumpy about my Messiah fatigue, but I wish we could have a moratorium on that work for ten years or so. Whenever I get into this mood, it makes me laugh to listen to this recording of a hometown rendition of the famous chorus Hallelujah with a colossal, brain-splitting error in it (presented by Tim Rutherford-Johnson and first brought to my attention by Alex Ross). My guess is that it involves a transposition knob on an electronic organ. Whatever it is, I never tire of listening to it.

As part of the Stop Messiah Campaign™, here is a video of the Northwestern University Kazoo Choir in a spirited rendition of the same hallowed work:


Also, Hallelujah lip-synched by a Nutcracker:


Happy Holidays!

8 comments:

Brian Hinrichs said...

I'm in Bangkok and, low and behold, was able to catch a Messiah last night, though I think it will be the only one this city has to offer...
-Brian

jfl said...

What I like the most about it [the last video] is that BOTH, the Messiah (chorus) *and* the Nutcracker meet their end. It's a perfect musical world.

Charles T. Downey said...

MWUAHAHAHAHAA! ;-)

fredösphere said...

Dude, you forgot I made a similar modest proposal just 6 months ago--but I suggested a 20 year moritorium, not your more timid 10 year span. Also, "Stop Messiah Campaign" ain't gonna cut it--I suggested a better slogan: "G'bye-ah to the Messiah."

Elaine Fine said...

The Mozart orchestration of the Messiah is like medicine (we're playing it out here in Urbana, Illinois this weekend). Besides the addition of new, and liberation of existing wind parts, it has a wonderful viola part, that even branches into two viola parts once in a while.

I'm actually looking forward to playing this Messiah. Thank you Mozart!

Anonymous said...

Congregation Or Chadash in Damascus is advertising a sing-along of Handel's Judas Maccabeus on Dec. 8. How's that for a new tradition.

Thomas said...

The audio recording of the train wreck Messiah was hilarious. My question is why it took the organist so long to realize the mistake. He/she would have been better off letting the choir go solo.

Totally agree about the ban on Messiah. I vote that we take a cue from the Brits and perform Dream of Gerontius every year for the decade that we don't have Messiah. I would happily go hear that once a year.

Anonymous said...

Just this weekend I was speaking to a friend who works for an artists management firm. She was complaining about the fact that many of the firm's clients sing this piece all over the country... she can't keep track of who and where but she'll never forget the what.