On the journey to The Lydians performance of Handel's Messiah - rehearsal notes (Monday 30th November 2009, BAHS Hall Port of Spain)

The Lydians - Handel's Messiah,
December 10th - 13th 2009
Rehearsal - Bishop Anstey High School Hall

9 Days to Opening Night...

Handel is no stranger to the Lydians. Our rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah is often a piece that is done in jubilant celebration at the end of every concert we perform. This jubilation is heightened by Dr. Bishop's incorporation of rhythm and percussion, with thundering African drums and the rippling accompaniment of indigenous Tassa drums. The overall effect is a heavenly and joyful noise, a signature sound that is synonymous with the Lydians.

At Monday evening's rehearsal, Dr. Bishop revealed that people have asked why she intends to make rhythm and percussion instruments such an integral part of the upcoming performance of Handel's Messiah. She relayed that often times in paintings from that period of musicians, the percussionist would wear garments inclusive of a tiger skin. She told the group of gathered singers and instrumentalists that in the baroque period, there was an appreciation for rhythmic instruments, such as the Turkish drums. This she felt spoke to an attention to percussion nuance in baroque music, which she intended to make use of in the Lydians interpretation of the Messiah this Christmas.

The Lydians and Lydians Steel were joined by the Soogrim-Ram Tassa drummers at Bishop Anstey High School Hall, where several rhythms from the combination of instruments were tried, both with the Hallelujah Chorus as well as an experiment using drums and rhythm with the final chorus of the Messiah, Worthy is the Lamb!

More from our next rehearsal, Wednesday 2nd December 2009 as we countdown the final days before the performance of Handel's Messiah!


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