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21.12.12

The M-Word

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Charles T. Downey, Rolf Beck leads NSO, soloists in a workmanlike version of Handel’s ‘Messiah’
Washington Post, December 21, 2012

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T. F. Kelly, First Nights: Five Musical Premiers (including Messiah)
(2001)
Handel’s “Messiah” is a remarkably sturdy piece of music. How many other works could stand up so well to so many years of far too many performances?

The National Symphony Orchestra, for its annual performances of the work, has the admirable tradition of assigning it to a new conductor and new performers each year — a practice that helps to avoid monotony. This year’s “Messiah,” heard Thursday night in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, was led by German conductor Rolf Beck, director of the Bamberg Symphony and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. An oratorio specialist in the vein of Helmuth Rilling, Beck did not do anything particularly new or interesting with this most timeworn of scores, but he kept the tempos moving in places where the momentum often stalls. [Continue reading]
Handel, Messiah
National Symphony Orchestra
University of Maryland Concert Choir
Rolf Beck, conductor
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

NSO Messiah:
2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2007

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