Tuesday night was a rehearsal for the Messiah. Handel's greatest work as far as I'm concerned – Handel's only great work, actually, as far as I'm concerned. Yes, there are moments of gorgeousness in the Fireworks and the Waterworks suites and Zadok the Priest is wonderfully stirring, I know, but everything else I've played of his seems to have been a study in tedium. And yet he has put together this wonderful work where every chorus, every recit and every aria is ravishingly beautiful, cleverly witty, or simply sublime. Sometimes I wonder whether there were two G.F. Handels - or maybe he just had a split personality? Anyway, we had our first run through with the soloists on Tuesday night. I am leading the seconds again, which is trickier than you might think - I've played first at leat 52 times, so unless I concentrate hard - and concentration is not my forte at the moment - it goes a bit like this: tum te tum tum - must find Lydia's glasses before we go, tum te tum tum - and buy more dog food and clean the library so that if we're burgled while we're away away, the police won't think the burglurs have wrecked the place - ta-ta tum tum - and got to see if I can find my old winter hats and gloves for the girls and persuade Sam that he wont want to wear shorts in the snow -ta-ta tum tum whoops, I'm playng first violin again, ahhhhh!!!!
Tonight we have a run-through with choir before two performances over the weekend, in the Baptist Tabernacle, which, as I think I may have said before, is also known as The Hottest Place on Earth.
Wednesday night, in contrast, was a performance of The Classical Mystery Tour at the Lyric Theatre QPAC. The CMT is a Beatles tribute band from the US who seem to tour all over the world giving performances with orchestras. They came a couple of years ago and it was pretty good, but this year was possibly even better. We get to play all the original orchestrations and, looking out at the shaggy headed group on stage, if one half closes ones eyes and pretends that they are about twenty years younger, one can really pretend that one is back in the 60's – minus the hysterical fans. This is Brisbane after all, and though the audience ended the show on their feet, cheering and yelling, Twisting and Shouting, there was none of the hair tearing and high pitched screaming that you see on the old pictures of said pop group. Still, the whole night almost made me proud to be British – and I don't believe in National Pride. Yeah, I know it's a bit rich to be proud of belonging to a nation that produced a pop group thirty years before I was born in an entirely different country, but one has to take ones pride where one can, doesn't one? And you see, these guys really were something special: Penny Lane, A Day in the Life, Something, The Long and Winding Road, Yesterday, Golden Slumbers, Here Comes the Sun etc etc, song after song, all beautiful, heart rending, funny, groovy, clever. Maybe not that different to The Messiah after all eh?