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2010 January 09 | Cultured Views Cultured Views


Jan 09 2010

Here’s a treat for Handel fans…

Tag: Culture,Musicwendy @ 9:57 pm

I just love this – I don’t trust anyone who does not find something, even minutely, fascinating about Handel’s Messiah. It is a work that continues to both delight and perplex listeners through the ages – let’s see a Madonna song do that in 300 years time…

The British Library have made available – for free – the chance to view selections of the Messiah composition complete with Handel’s markings, crossings out, etc, on their online gallery.


Handel composed this mammoth piece in just 24 days during the summer of 1741 which is in keeping with his working practices – incredible – and to top it off he completed his other huge oratorio Samson in October that year. What you will notice about this display is how many corrections Handel made to the work as he went along, unlike Mozart who literally copied  down what was already completed in his brain and corrections and erasings on the originals were practically nil. Two ultimate composers, two completely different styles. Also have a look at the 1540 production notes of Henry VIII’s Psalter complete with his original markings – you need to download Page Turnings 2.0 to do this but have a look and enjoy.

Copyright © 2007-2015 Cultured Views. All rights reserved.


Jan 09 2010

How just £50,000 could have made a huge difference to young musicians

Tag: Culture,Musicwendy @ 1:52 pm

youthorchOne issue I will always wave the flag for is that of youth music and the opportunity for young musicians to play and experience the international stage. I have known many kids, and adults as well, whose lives have been transformed by having an instrument put in their hands and I would so love to see a national scheme where the youth on the UK’s sink estates could have the opportunity to learn and play an instrument. Kids need a violin or clarinet in their hands – not guns or knives.

Which is why I am so enraged at the news of the wonderful Festival of British Youth Orchestras becoming the first economic casualty of the arts in 2010. Govt’s have their priorities so straight – hit the arts and hit it where the kids benefit most. This festival, which took place every year in August in Edinburgh and Glasgow, gave youth orchestras from around the UK the platform to perform alongside international youth orchestras from nations like South Korea. Experience such as this is invaluable to young musicians and just £50,000 was needed to ensure this valuable event’s future. It was not forthcoming and now we have lost it.

If you love your Berlin Philharmonics, your London Symphony or your Vienna Philharmonic orchestras you need to support and fund youth orchestras – they are the breeding ground for these world famous outfits. Pulling the rug out from beneath the feet of young musicians for a few mere thousand pounds is just crazy – youth music matters very much, and when you hear an ensemble like the Youth Orchestra of Venezuela you know what I mean. Incredible.

In a country like the UK with multi-millionaire footballer players and weekly lotto winners surely one of them can cough up a paltry fifty grand…? Save the Festival of British Youth Orchestras!

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