The Genius of Handel, interpreted by the O.C.O. Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

Saturday evening was two hours of Handel, what a treat! This genius learned at a very young age to compose, play violin, oboe, organ & harpsichord. If being successful at his music endeavours wasn’t enough, his pushy father insisted he study law at University. After one year of law school- against his father’s wishes he accepted a position as violinist & harpsichordist at the Hamburg Opera House. When Prinz Georg of Germany became King George II of England, he took Handel to Britain where he became a citizen in 1727 and a celebrated composer. He was so admired in his adopted country that on his death (April 14th, 1759) he was given a state funeral, and buried in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey.

The thirty-piece orchestra under Charles Demuynck’s very talented hands began the evening with Water Music-suite no. 2 which was beautifully played, sounding wonderful to our ears.

Next on the programme was concerto grosso with 5 movements that one could almost visualize dancers doing their interpretations. They were accompanied by Aleksandar Gajic & Alain Bouvier on violins; and Beata Csuks on cello.

After intermission we were treated to the very talented soprano voice of Janet Obermeyer who sang three arias from Handel’s operas. The third libretto was my favourite, ‘Va godendo’ from “Xerxes”. Janet was assisted by David Klausner on the recorder. The audience loved her interpretation of these works.

The final work of the evening was “Music for the Royal Fireworks” (how fitting!) that was originally performed in London’s Green Park, too bad our performance wasn’t performed in Coronation Park…maybe Sunday afternoon’s presentation. The music was wonderful; however, Central Baptist’s sanctuary is too small for this particular piece. My companion for the evening was impressed by the venue as he felt that the audience and orchestra were as one.

This is the last concert until the fall…the new line-up looks terrific.

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