Andrew Abbott's Blog

Monday, 21 November 2011

A realisation that we are privileged indeed

To Lincoln Cathedral last Saturday for a performance by the Lincoln Choral Society of Messiah by G. F. Handel. That’s the one with the Halleluiah chorus and as I listened to the choir’s beautiful performance of that particular segment I couldn’t help thinking old Handel must have realised when he wrote the music he’d really cracked it. George Frideric was of course a German but by the time he wrote Messiah he was in England and I had this thought of the composer putting down his quill pen, headed straight for the pub and said to his mates “ lads, I’ve just written a chorus and I don’t think I’ll better it if I live to be a hundred.” The truth is probably nothing like that, maybe he just went to church.

As I sat in our fabulous cathedral I was struck by several thoughts, not least when the cathedral was built it was probably the most important building project in Europe at that time, probably the world, here in Lincoln, a city that is no longer a major one but it was then and nothing but the best would do. I think it’s the best but then I would. It was certainly the tallest building in the world until the central spire collapsed. I’d almost forgotten what a marvellous building it is from the inside.

The music, the light against the mellow limestone it was a wonderful setting for the soaring beauty of the music that traditionally heralds the coming Christmas season. For a local production, the music was provided by the Lincolnshire Chamber Orchestra, the singers are all local apart from the soloists who are professional musicians the performance was exceptional, here in Lincoln. We are indeed lucky to be where we are, something I think we don’t always appreciate.

Talking of soloists, and of soaring beauty Nicki Kennedy, soprano, was a musical and visual treat, other soloists available. You can keep your X factor!

                                         Handel and Lincoln Cathedral. A great combination.

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