In these first quiet days of a brand-new year, I’m listening to two certifiably great long classical pieces. The first, up top, is the Netherlands Bach Society performing J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor. This is a perfect recording of a group of performers who are in complete communion. They play on Baroque instruments, with the tunings of the day—it’s aural time travel. As one commenter said, “How is this free?” The video is part of Netherlands Bach Society’s All of Bach project, a tremendous gift to the world.
For something possibly even more seasonal, I’m also listening to Handel’s Messiah. If you’ve never sung this piece, or at least the Hallelujah chorus, adding your little voice to the wall of sound of a big choral group, put that on your bucket list. It’s thrilling no matter how many times you’ve heard it or sung it. As soon as Covid is over, go to a Messiah singalong. Lincoln Center does a nice one, but they are all over. Afterwards, the audience walks out together, high on brotherhood and bonhomie. It will feel really good when we can do things like that again.
And good news: Tafelmusik has extended their fantastic Singalong Messiah through January 4, so if you’re quick about it, you can join me in shrieking my little heart out.
Here’s the sheet music for the choruses. C’mon altos! We got this!
Happy first weekend of the year to all.