Conductor: Jon Washburn
Featured Performers: Colin Balzer (tenor), Anita Krause
(alto), Mark Pedrotti (bass), Henriette Schellenberg (soprano)
Orpheum Date: 13 December 2002
Reviewer: John Jane
Frideric Handel created his now famous oratorio in the middle of the
eighteenth century, when it became an immediate success, and is now
regarded as a brilliant example of early western music. Despite the
work being synonymous with Christmas, it was originally associated more
with Easter. This due in part to the timing of its premier performance
in Dublin, Ireland during Holy week, and also perhaps because traditionally
proceeds from concerts were donated to charity. Thus Messiah was performed
often during the Christmas season.
The version of Messiah
that we hear today is much different from Handel’s original composition.
The most notable revision of the work was completed by none other than
W. A. Mozart barely a quarter of a century later. This variation adapted
for baroque orchestra no doubt helped popularize Messiah beyond Handel’s
adopted homeland of England.
In presenting this
exalted oratorio in such a splendid venue as the Orpheum, the Vancouver
Chamber Choir have given themselves a hard act to follow for the balance
of their season. Having seen and heard them a number of times, I don’t
believe they will disappoint.