December 14, 2003 |
German composer George Frideric Handel found great success as a writer of operas in his early years, but the work that truly elevated his fortunes was Messiah. Written in 1742 when Handel was 57, ill and considering retirement, Messiah "was a hit right from the beginning," said Kile Smith, curator of the Fleisher music collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Today, Messiah remains Handel's most celebrated work, and at no time is it more performed than at Christmas.
December 12, 2003 |
T HE OPENING of the Pennsylvania Ballet's "Nutcracker," plus the Philadelphia Orchestra's annual "Winter Wonderland" and "Messiah" programs, signal that the holiday season is in full swing. Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" has been a favorite for 35 years, as its sumptuous sets and Balanchine's stunning choreography melt the hardest heart. This superb company's 28 scheduled performances are a testament to its success (7 tonight, 3 and 7 p.m. tomorrow, noon and 4 p.m. Sunday, plus 23 more through Dec. 31, Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, $19-$96, 215-893-1999)
March 20, 2003 |
Antiwar preachers must continue to speak out even as American bombs fall on Baghdad, a conference of like-minded Protestant clergy agreed this week. Called a workshop on "Prophetic Biblical Preaching," the daylong session was a kind of theological pep rally for pastors convinced they must denounce a U.S. invasion of Iraq on moral grounds. "This is a crisis of theology. You need to speak it that way," the Rev. Robert Robinson advised the 30 Protestant ministers gathered Tuesday at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Germantown.
December 18, 2002 |
Frequently, Handel's Messiah is more about ritual than anything artistic. The Philadelphia Orchestra, at least this year, broke itself of that habit. The usual scenario goes like this: Singers make a good deal of their year's income by loading up their schedules with one Messiah after another. The performance is assembled in a few hours, and the hall sells out, often with once-in-a-while concertgoers who may not be consciously aware that the performance is about not missing notes rather than projecting what the music says.
December 14, 2002 |
Nobody is saying Handel's Messiah is broken, worn out or in need of an update. But tomorrow and Monday at the Kimmel Center, it's being put on a diet, in a performance using a fraction of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Philadelphia Singers Chorale - about 35 of each. I'm ready for it. But is the rest of this town? Philadelphia is the capital of Cadillac-size Messiahs. Eugene Ormandy's recording with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Wagnerian soprano Eileen Farrell sold so well, it was certified "gold" (selling 500,000 units)
November 23, 2002 |
Mary Schaefer and Timarie Legel scored goals less than two minutes apart in the second half yesterday to spark Penn State (20-4) to a 3-2 win over Old Dominion to gain a berth in the NCAA Division I field hockey championship game. Legel, a senior from Twin Valley High in Berks County, also had scored the Lions' first goal. Jammie Hicks scored the winning goal in overtime as Rowan defeated Salisbury University, 3-2, to advance to the NCAA Division III field hockey final in Springfield, Mass.
July 11, 2002 |
In a stunning display of triumphalism, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, is taking out ads in major newspapers proclaiming that Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha - even God - have told him he is now "the Savior, Messiah and King of Kings of all of humanity!" The ad, which appeared in yesterday's Inquirer, is part of a $720,000 effort to place the treatise in papers in all 50 states, a church official said. Forty-seven papers, including the Los Angeles Times and Houston Chronicle, have accepted thus far, he said.
April 24, 2002 |
Chris Boyles left Franklin Field yesterday with two good legs and an even better feeling about the future. He could not have asked for much more. Boyles, a senior from Messiah College, an NCAA Division III school just south of Harrisburg in Grantham, Pa., finished the first day of the decathlon at the Penn Relays in first place with 3,629 points. In second is Mount St. Mary's David Hinton, who has 3,572 points. The event concludes today with the 110-meter hurdles, discus and javelin throws, the pole vault, and the 1,500-meter run. In the heptathlon, Se'verine Tanic of Morgan State (3,050 points)
January 25, 2002 |
Worried about a lack of religious vocations among young people, the Lilly Endowment has taken the highly unusual step of awarding $93 million in grants to 48 colleges across the nation, hoping they can challenge students to weave Christian values into their everyday lives. The two-pronged effort is intended not only to increase formal vocations, but also to send a message that any career path can be a vocation and a vehicle for practicing one's faith. "Ministry currently ranks so low when students think about careers that it hardly registers," said Lilly spokeswoman Gretchan Wolfram.
December 13, 2001 |
Time for some good old-fashioned holiday music, songs about Bethlehem and verses about Saint Nick. Old-fashioned is the operating word, for this weekend's Saint Nick music comes from between 1200 and 1350, and the Bethlehem hymn comes from 1618 - making even Handel's 1741 "Messiah" newfangled. The "Legends of St. Nicholas" anthems will be sung by the mistresses of medieval chant and polyphony, the remarkably successful female vocal quartet known as Anonymous 4. Their many CDs draw choral music lovers as well as fans who revel in their rainwater-clear harmony.