Hearing Handel's Messiah with Eighteenth-Century Ears
Monday, December 3, 10, & 17
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lecturer: Dr. Sterling E. Murray, Professor Emeritus of Music History, West Chester University
Messiah (1744), is Handel’s best-known composition. While frequently heard in performance today, the rich musical and texted references of Handel’s oratorio—although well known to eighteenth-century audiences—often escape modern-day listeners. This series of talks will employ directed listening and discussion to unlock some of these secrets to better experience how this work might have been heard and understood by Handel’s eighteenth-century audiences. The composer and work itself will be placed in their musical and social context with emphasis on developing skills that will enhance the listening pleasure through greater understanding of form, style, and meaning. Concepts will be illustrated with recorded musical examples.
This presentation is designed to occur on successive Mondays in December, 2018 (December 3, 10, and 17). Each session will last two hours, beginning at 10:00 and including a mid-time break. Although the format follows that of a lecture, questions and observations from the audience will be most welcome.
Dr. Murray is also founding president of The Society for Eighteenth-Century Music and a fellow of the Rockefeller Library of Colonial Williamsburg. He holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Michigan (1972) and has published and lectured widely on eighteenth-century music both in Europe and this country.