Discussion:
Ask EU: How long is Handel's Messiah?
Add Reply
Nick Odell
2019-12-01 21:06:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
We went to the candlelight Handel's Messiah at St Martin in The Fields
on Thursday. A very enjoyable experience with added bonus of mulled
wine and mince pies in the crypt beforehand. If I want to niggle, It
felt to me that the performance rattled through rather quickly and
that some of the twiddly-bits by some of the soloists were a bit
blurred. Of course if they were being asked to sing a bit on the fast
side it would explain the blurring so I just wondered how long umra
thinks a typical performance should last. This one was 2hrs 10mts
including a 20mt interval but excluding the final applause and curtain
calls.

Nick
Paul Herber
2019-12-01 21:47:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Nick Odell
We went to the candlelight Handel's Messiah at St Martin in The Fields
on Thursday. A very enjoyable experience with added bonus of mulled
wine and mince pies in the crypt beforehand. If I want to niggle, It
felt to me that the performance rattled through rather quickly and
that some of the twiddly-bits by some of the soloists were a bit
blurred. Of course if they were being asked to sing a bit on the fast
side it would explain the blurring so I just wondered how long umra
thinks a typical performance should last. This one was 2hrs 10mts
including a 20mt interval but excluding the final applause and curtain
calls.
I thought there were 3 Handel's Messiahs, The long fat one balances the 2 short skinny
ones.
--
Regards, Paul Herber
https://www.paulherber.co.uk/
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2019-12-02 02:12:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
In message
On Sun, 01 Dec 2019 21:06:19 +0000, Nick Odell
Post by Nick Odell
We went to the candlelight Handel's Messiah at St Martin in The Fields
on Thursday. A very enjoyable experience with added bonus of mulled
wine and mince pies in the crypt beforehand. If I want to niggle, It
felt to me that the performance rattled through rather quickly and
that some of the twiddly-bits by some of the soloists were a bit
blurred. Of course if they were being asked to sing a bit on the fast
side it would explain the blurring so I just wondered how long umra
thinks a typical performance should last. This one was 2hrs 10mts
including a 20mt interval but excluding the final applause and curtain
calls.
I thought there were 3 Handel's Messiahs, The long fat one balances the 2 short skinny
ones.
And then there's this Trappist one, which is only 3'41, but rather fun
...
(and others similar)
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

<This space unintentionally left blank>.
Sid Nuncius
2019-12-02 06:25:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Nick Odell
We went to the candlelight Handel's Messiah at St Martin in The Fields
on Thursday. A very enjoyable experience with added bonus of mulled
wine and mince pies in the crypt beforehand. If I want to niggle, It
felt to me that the performance rattled through rather quickly and
that some of the twiddly-bits by some of the soloists were a bit
blurred. Of course if they were being asked to sing a bit on the fast
side it would explain the blurring so I just wondered how long umra
thinks a typical performance should last. This one was 2hrs 10mts
including a 20mt interval but excluding the final applause and curtain
calls.
Kate will doubtless be along shortly to give an authoritative view, but
that does seem a little quick to me. I usually listen to the Trevor
Pinnock/English Consort version while preparing and cooking the
Christmas dinner, which lasts just under 2hrs 30 mins (without an interval):
https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/gb/cat/4775904
and I have a couple of other versions by The Dunedin Consort/Butt (2hrs
18 mins) and The Taverner Choir & Players/Parrott (2hrs 26 min). Less
than 2 hours does seem a bit rapid.

BIMBAM.
--
Sid (Make sure Matron is away when you reply)
Kate B
2019-12-02 23:25:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by Nick Odell
We went to the candlelight Handel's Messiah at St Martin in The Fields
on Thursday. A very enjoyable experience with added bonus of mulled
wine and mince pies in the crypt beforehand. If I want to niggle, It
felt to me that the performance rattled through rather quickly and
that some of the twiddly-bits by some of the soloists were a bit
blurred. Of course if they were being asked to sing a bit on the fast
side it would explain the blurring so I just wondered how long umra
thinks a typical performance should last.  This one was 2hrs 10mts
including a 20mt interval but excluding the final applause and curtain
calls.
Kate will doubtless be along shortly to give an authoritative view, but
that does seem a little quick to me.  I usually listen to the Trevor
Pinnock/English Consort version while preparing and cooking the
https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/gb/cat/4775904
and I have a couple of other versions by The Dunedin Consort/Butt (2hrs
18 mins) and The Taverner Choir & Players/Parrott (2hrs 26 min).  Less
than 2 hours does seem a bit rapid.
BIMBAM.
The trouble is that there is no one canonical edition of Messiah, as
Handel tended to muck about with it and re-do bits for whichever singers
he had available. There are a few customary cuts and some alternative
versions of arias, so it can be difficult to say what the 'right'
duration should be. I'd back John Butt and Andrew Parrott against
anybody as for authenticity, though, so somewhere between two and a half
and three hours including a bit of coming, going, applauding and an
interval would seem about right. A normal gig is three hours from baton
up to baton down, you don't want to run over that.

However, Butt and Parrott may well have been blessed with an ensemble of
more agile voices than you had in St Martin's - and the recordings may
well have been made in less reverberant surroundings. Heavier voices or
a cavernous acoustic will blur the twiddly bits no end. A more agile
voice (not necessarily lighter) will be able to sing coloratura with
nuance and colour at a speed that in a less flexible voice would sound
rushed and heavy. And there are cloth-eared conductors out there who
simply want to show that they know it shouldn't be slow and monumental
but have not worked with the singers enough to find a speed they can
manage.

Also I bet there were some cuts. Did they do all the third section
(beginning with 'I know that my redeemer liveth'), including arias like
'If God be for us'?
--
Kate B
London
BrritSki
2019-12-03 08:56:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kate B
The trouble is that there is no one canonical edition of Messiah, as
Handel tended to muck about with it...
"Mucking about with the Messiah" would be a great book title, but who
would write it ? An autobio by Kate B ? A bio of the composer ? A
priest ? A nun (sorry Matron) ? A Roman centurion ?

I hope such suggestions won't Trigger anyone - his brush had several new
Handel's as well as heads.
Jim Easterbrook
2019-12-03 09:27:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by BrritSki
Post by Kate B
The trouble is that there is no one canonical edition of Messiah, as
Handel tended to muck about with it...
"Mucking about with the Messiah" would be a great book title
Sequels might include "Messing up masses" and "Ruining requiems". A
complete history of the Stoneleigh Choral Society[1] in three volumes.

[1] I'm a member, and I'm pretty sure no other umrat is.
--
Jim <http://www.jim-easterbrook.me.uk/>
1959/1985? M B+ G+ A L- I- S- P-- CH0(p) Ar++ T+ H0 Q--- Sh0
BrritSki
2019-12-03 09:51:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jim Easterbrook
Post by BrritSki
Post by Kate B
The trouble is that there is no one canonical edition of Messiah, as
Handel tended to muck about with it...
"Mucking about with the Messiah" would be a great book title
Sequels might include "Messing up masses" and "Ruining requiems". A
complete history of the Stoneleigh Choral Society[1] in three volumes.
[1] I'm a member, and I'm pretty sure no other umrat is.
:)
Nick Odell
2019-12-03 11:43:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kate B
Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by Nick Odell
We went to the candlelight Handel's Messiah at St Martin in The Fields
on Thursday. A very enjoyable experience with added bonus of mulled
wine and mince pies in the crypt beforehand. If I want to niggle, It
felt to me that the performance rattled through rather quickly and
that some of the twiddly-bits by some of the soloists were a bit
blurred. Of course if they were being asked to sing a bit on the fast
side it would explain the blurring so I just wondered how long umra
thinks a typical performance should last.  This one was 2hrs 10mts
including a 20mt interval but excluding the final applause and curtain
calls.
Kate will doubtless be along shortly to give an authoritative view, but
that does seem a little quick to me.  I usually listen to the Trevor
Pinnock/English Consort version while preparing and cooking the
https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/gb/cat/4775904
and I have a couple of other versions by The Dunedin Consort/Butt (2hrs
18 mins) and The Taverner Choir & Players/Parrott (2hrs 26 min).  Less
than 2 hours does seem a bit rapid.
BIMBAM.
The trouble is that there is no one canonical edition of Messiah, as
Handel tended to muck about with it and re-do bits for whichever singers
he had available. There are a few customary cuts and some alternative
versions of arias, so it can be difficult to say what the 'right'
duration should be. I'd back John Butt and Andrew Parrott against
anybody as for authenticity, though, so somewhere between two and a half
and three hours including a bit of coming, going, applauding and an
interval would seem about right. A normal gig is three hours from baton
up to baton down, you don't want to run over that.
However, Butt and Parrott may well have been blessed with an ensemble of
more agile voices than you had in St Martin's - and the recordings may
well have been made in less reverberant surroundings. Heavier voices or
a cavernous acoustic will blur the twiddly bits no end. A more agile
voice (not necessarily lighter) will be able to sing coloratura with
nuance and colour at a speed that in a less flexible voice would sound
rushed and heavy. And there are cloth-eared conductors out there who
simply want to show that they know it shouldn't be slow and monumental
but have not worked with the singers enough to find a speed they can
manage.
Also I bet there were some cuts. Did they do all the third section
(beginning with 'I know that my redeemer liveth'), including arias like
'If God be for us'?
Ah well, obviously not the whole third section since that particular
one was not included and presumably others that I didn't miss. I've
emailed you a pdf of the programme, Kate. Sorry, others, but it seems
my linky de jour, tinypic, doesn't work any more.

Nick
Sid Nuncius
2019-12-03 18:57:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Nick Odell
Post by Kate B
Also I bet there were some cuts. Did they do all the third section
(beginning with 'I know that my redeemer liveth'), including arias like
'If God be for us'?
Ah well, obviously not the whole third section since that particular
one was not included and presumably others that I didn't miss. I've
emailed you a pdf of the programme, Kate. Sorry, others, but it seems
my linky de jour, tinypic, doesn't work any more.
Butbutbut...I Know That My Redeemer Liveth is one of Messiah's great
highlights for me, and always leaves me slightly damp of eye. How could
anyone possibly leave it out? "Mucking about with the Messiah" is
putting it mildly, IMO.
--
Sid (Make sure Matron is away when you reply)
Nick Odell
2019-12-03 22:32:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 3 Dec 2019 18:57:31 +0000, Sid Nuncius
Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by Nick Odell
Post by Kate B
Also I bet there were some cuts. Did they do all the third section
(beginning with 'I know that my redeemer liveth'), including arias like
'If God be for us'?
Ah well, obviously not the whole third section since that particular
one was not included and presumably others that I didn't miss. I've
emailed you a pdf of the programme, Kate. Sorry, others, but it seems
my linky de jour, tinypic, doesn't work any more.
Butbutbut...I Know That My Redeemer Liveth is one of Messiah's great
highlights for me, and always leaves me slightly damp of eye. How could
anyone possibly leave it out? "Mucking about with the Messiah" is
putting it mildly, IMO.
Nononono.. We had I know that my redeemer liveth. Of course: you can't
really leave that out. But we didn't have If God be for us. And to be
honest, I have no recollection of ever hearing If God be for us and
have no idea what it sounds like.

Nick
Sid Nuncius
2019-12-04 06:00:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Nick Odell
On Tue, 3 Dec 2019 18:57:31 +0000, Sid Nuncius
Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by Nick Odell
Post by Kate B
Also I bet there were some cuts. Did they do all the third section
(beginning with 'I know that my redeemer liveth'), including arias like
'If God be for us'?
Ah well, obviously not the whole third section since that particular
one was not included and presumably others that I didn't miss. I've
emailed you a pdf of the programme, Kate. Sorry, others, but it seems
my linky de jour, tinypic, doesn't work any more.
Butbutbut...I Know That My Redeemer Liveth is one of Messiah's great
highlights for me, and always leaves me slightly damp of eye. How could
anyone possibly leave it out? "Mucking about with the Messiah" is
putting it mildly, IMO.
Nononono.. We had I know that my redeemer liveth. Of course: you can't
really leave that out. But we didn't have If God be for us. And to be
honest, I have no recollection of ever hearing If God be for us and
have no idea what it sounds like.
Ah. Sorry. Being dim. Again.

As you were.
--
Sid (Make sure Matron is away when you reply)
Kate B
2019-12-04 09:35:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Nick Odell
Post by Kate B
Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by Nick Odell
We went to the candlelight Handel's Messiah at St Martin in The Fields
on Thursday. A very enjoyable experience with added bonus of mulled
wine and mince pies in the crypt beforehand. If I want to niggle, It
felt to me that the performance rattled through rather quickly and
that some of the twiddly-bits by some of the soloists were a bit
blurred. Of course if they were being asked to sing a bit on the fast
side it would explain the blurring so I just wondered how long umra
thinks a typical performance should last.  This one was 2hrs 10mts
including a 20mt interval but excluding the final applause and curtain
calls.
Kate will doubtless be along shortly to give an authoritative view, but
that does seem a little quick to me.  I usually listen to the Trevor
Pinnock/English Consort version while preparing and cooking the
https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/gb/cat/4775904
and I have a couple of other versions by The Dunedin Consort/Butt (2hrs
18 mins) and The Taverner Choir & Players/Parrott (2hrs 26 min).  Less
than 2 hours does seem a bit rapid.
BIMBAM.
The trouble is that there is no one canonical edition of Messiah, as
Handel tended to muck about with it and re-do bits for whichever singers
he had available. There are a few customary cuts and some alternative
versions of arias, so it can be difficult to say what the 'right'
duration should be. I'd back John Butt and Andrew Parrott against
anybody as for authenticity, though, so somewhere between two and a half
and three hours including a bit of coming, going, applauding and an
interval would seem about right. A normal gig is three hours from baton
up to baton down, you don't want to run over that.
However, Butt and Parrott may well have been blessed with an ensemble of
more agile voices than you had in St Martin's - and the recordings may
well have been made in less reverberant surroundings. Heavier voices or
a cavernous acoustic will blur the twiddly bits no end. A more agile
voice (not necessarily lighter) will be able to sing coloratura with
nuance and colour at a speed that in a less flexible voice would sound
rushed and heavy. And there are cloth-eared conductors out there who
simply want to show that they know it shouldn't be slow and monumental
but have not worked with the singers enough to find a speed they can
manage.
Also I bet there were some cuts. Did they do all the third section
(beginning with 'I know that my redeemer liveth'), including arias like
'If God be for us'?
Ah well, obviously not the whole third section since that particular
one was not included and presumably others that I didn't miss. I've
emailed you a pdf of the programme, Kate. Sorry, others, but it seems
my linky de jour, tinypic, doesn't work any more.
The programme was very illuminating! Indeed they cut large chunks from
the second and third parts, mostly some rather tricky choruses such as
Lift up your heads o ye gates, Let us break their bonds asunder, But
thanks be to God; also And he shall purify from part one. If the
conductor favoured really fast tempi then those choruses may have been
impossible. They also cut the jolly alto-tenor duet O death where is thy
sting. These are however fairly usual cuts for performance, especially
with amateurs, and certainly account for the short duration.
--
Kate B
London
Chris McMillan
2019-12-03 13:54:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Nick Odell
We went to the candlelight Handel's Messiah at St Martin in The Fields
on Thursday. A very enjoyable experience with added bonus of mulled
wine and mince pies in the crypt beforehand. If I want to niggle, It
felt to me that the performance rattled through rather quickly and
that some of the twiddly-bits by some of the soloists were a bit
blurred. Of course if they were being asked to sing a bit on the fast
side it would explain the blurring so I just wondered how long umra
thinks a typical performance should last. This one was 2hrs 10mts
including a 20mt interval but excluding the final applause and curtain
calls.
Nick
Have sung it ‘from scratch’ but have no recollection now. Kate?

Sincerely Chris
Loading...