Tuesday, 13 December 2011

We've Got Rhythm (We English Speakers, That Is)

Just an addenda to the previous post about Handel's Messiah:

Listening to the great performance on Sunday and to the way the continuo led the way, I was stuck by the way a strong rhythmic beat is so appropriate to English lyrics. Unlike French or Italian (and perhaps other Romance languages) English words are strongly accented, and the basis for English poetry is the various kinds of stressed "feet." It may be harder to find rhymes in English or to sing it with the mouth open widely to let the sound soar (it doesn't have all those words ending in 'o' or 'a'), but it certainly must be easier to play with the rhythms.

Again, what a grand peformance by The Violons du Roy! Great present from Lukas and Sophie, who gave us the tickets for our birthdays this fall, and who attended with us!

And here's a flashmob that is a pale comparison to Les Violons, mais quand même is a lot of fun. I must admit that this old atheist always sings along (or at least mouths the words). It is one of the few pieces I know all the way through, having sung alto in my seventh grade music class. But I don't stand up--So what if the king did a long time ago!

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