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Monthly Archives: December 2011
If you were able to make it to last month’s ACCESS concert, you were introduced to the series’s host, Miles Hoffman of NPR’s Morning Edition. Ahead of this weekend’s performances of Handel’s Messiah, Miles took the time to write up a little “tidbit” about the great German composer.
Well, it’s that time of year again. Choral groups all over the country are gearing up for performances of Handel’s Messiah.
Or is it “Haen-del’s” Messiah?
Maybe we should clear this up.
Handel was born in Germany, where his family name was pronounced “Haendel,” and where he was baptized Georg Friederich. If you prefer to stick with that original pronunciation, “Haendel” – especially if you happen to be in Germany – you’re definitely on safe grounds.
In his twenties Handel moved to England, where he remained for the rest of his long life. He changed his name from Georg Friederich to George Frideric, hung on to “Hendel” for awhile… but eventually made the switch to “Handel.” And Handel it remained.
So… if it was good enough for George himself, it certainly seems to me that it’s good enough for the rest of us… and I cast my vote for Handel.
But do you know what I really think? I think that however we pronounce the composer’s name, it’s pretty amazing that 270 years later his Messiah remains one of the most beloved pieces of music ever written.
For more information on this weekend’s concert, Handel’s Messiah, please click here to visit houstonsymphony.org.
This week’s Family concert The Night Before Christmas has turned out to be quite the complex process to put together – and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it!
First, I had to go for my costume fitting. Actually, it was just the first of two fittings before Saturday morning! Last year as I exited the stage as the walking Christmas tree, I turned to our education staff and said next year I want to be _______. We looked high and low for this costume, and couldn’t find one, so we have a brand new one being built just for our concert!
After my costume fitting I visited the talented violinists and cellists at Parker Elementary School. There are close to 50 young musicians from Parker that will be playing Corelli Christmas Concerto with the Houston Symphony this weekend. Those young people were so inspiring! They were not only completely prepared for their appearance with us, but they were flexible and there was a real sense of joy in their faces as they played. I can’t wait to see them on the stage of Jones Hall.
Next up was my visit to the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. The HSPVA chorus will be joining us for 4 pieces at the concert. I love the fact that the harder I pushed them to reach higher, they did. Some of the songs they are singing are new to them, and I have to say that I left thinking that they really owned the music. They are fun, talented and serious about what they do. The musicians at HSPVA are my peeps, and I love making music with them!
The truth is that I started the day with a bit of a cold. Moving between climates on a regular basis sometimes catches up with me. After working with all of the talented young musicians I can say that I can’t even remember feeling tired. They inspired me! Next up is our actual rehearsal on the stage of Jones Hall with the Houston Symphony and each of these groups. I am definitely in the Holiday spirit now. I hope you feel the same way after Saturday morning’s concerts!
Video: Back in October, Robert visited with two of the students from HSPVA about their experience singing with the Houston Symphony. Watch the video below!
Associate Conductor Robert Franz conducts The Night Before Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011, at 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.