Posted by Karen Hadalski at 8 December 2012

Category: Uncategorized

If you’ve never been a fan of classical music, I beg you to give it a chance.  And, there is no better season than now; nor a better introduction to the experience of beauty, harmony, and peace that orchestral music imparts, than Handel’s Messiah.

For decades, we have been fortunate to have lived in or near cities possessing first-class orchestras and choral groups by which we could , during the Season (September to April), enjoy magnificent music several times each month: Boston, Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia, and now, Virginia Beach–one of the cities in the Commonwealth where the Virginia Symphony Orchestra performs, in a state-of-the- art concert hall completed just before we moved to the area.

Last night we treated ourselves to the yearly delight of hearing Messiah, this time performed by the VSO, its Chorus, and four extraordinary soloists. When we recounted how many magnificent performances of Handel’s masterpiece we have enjoyed throughout the years, we marveled at the fact that we have never left a concert hall in anything but a state of bliss.  Each year it feels brand new.  Each year the experience transports.

JoAnn Falletta, Music Director and Conductor of the VSO (as well as the Buffalo Philharmonic and Ulster {Ireland} Orchestras) wrote the Foreword to my book, Ten Difficult Women.  In this, she shares how, from age eleven, when sitting in Carnegie Hall listening to a performance of Beethoven, she became fascinated with the symphony orchestra “as a microcosm of excellence, beauty, and wonder” and, from that age foreword, could not imagine herself  “not being at the center of that magical ensemble” as a conductor.

Even if you’ve never played a musical instrument, sung in a choir, or attended a symphony orchestra concert, I guarantee you will be enthralled–maybe even converted–if you buy a ticket to a professional performance of this sacred oratorio during the Christmas season.  (It is also performed by some orchestras during the Easter season). An amateur ensemble, or a local choir leading the audience in a Hallelujah Chorus sing-along, just can’t impart the same exquisite grandeur or do this brilliant composition justice.

Really, treat yourself!

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