Thursday, April 2, 2009

Too hot to Handel


Today is all about Handel! That is the hand dealt me today.

I know, that means we won't have a sexy picture the way we had yesterday. But we will still have some good listening. That is for sure. And we do have a pretty good picture today, admit it. It is of Handel without his wig!

The first thing that happened today Handel-wise was my friend Larry emailed me with this story about Handel. Larry is my Internet friend who posts all those exciting Leonard Pennario performances on You Tube. He got onto Pennario because he was researching the recordings of the conductor and composer Rene Leibowitz, and he happened on the magnificent recordings of Liszt's Piano Concertos No. 1 and 2 that Leibowitz and Pennario made together. Now we are a You Tube team, Larry and I.

Larry found this story about Handel that suggests that Handel was a glutton who died of lead poisoning.

Didn't they say the same thing about Beethoven? I know lead poisoning was supposed to have had something to do with his death. Last time I checked, anyway. These things change.

I wrote back to Larry saying that the sour humorless comments on the story cracked me up, and that if we ran this story in Buffalo everyone would be weighing in identifying with Handel and cracking jokes about wings and beer. Even with the sour comments, though, it makes for an interesting read. Poor Handel. Who can blame him for liking his food? Imagine living in the inhospitable early 18th century, with horse do in the streets and sewage everywhere and probably fear of getting your head chopped off for God knows what. You would have to take your pleasure where you found it. That is for sure.

Oh wait. We worry these days about getting our heads chopped off too! Or sawed off, anyway. Well, still.

The other Handel happening was the video that was sent to my Leonard Pennario blog by my erudite and generous friend Ward. It is of the "Hallelujah Chorus."

This makes for fine listening but you cannot cheat, you have to watch it at the same time. Access it here. I was wondering at first if it was from Buffalo's St. Paul's Cathedral because that is where Ward is from but Ward said darkly that no, he had the suspicion it was cribbed from Boston's Gay Men's Chorus.

Wherever it comes from, it is a hoot. The best part is how you can hear the people laughing as they are filming it.

Hallelujah!

2 comments:

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