Worship Moments November 18

Dear Friends,

Today I thought I would take a break from philosophy and make a purely musical post (especially since I've grown bored of Plotinus the past few weeks and moved on to bad British TV. "Taskmaster" is an excellent pastime, which you would all do well to check out.)

The piece to which I would draw your attention today is Handel's setting of Psalm 110 (Vulgate 109) - "Dixit Dominus". I will spare you the full translation, but those who are interested can find it here:

https://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Psalm_110

This is Handel's first autograph composition, completed shortly after his arrival to Italy in 1707. Most likely, the work was first performed on July 16th, 1707, at the church of Santa Maria of Montesanto, after which it remained unpublished for 160 years. It is a very complex and ambitious work (especially for the 21 year-old student that Handel was at the time), scored for five soloists (SSATB), a five-part chorus, strings and continuo.

Today's recording, to me, is a masterwork of chorus preparation. This 2014 recording by John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir, features probably the greatest degree of control and the widest spectrum of dynamics I've ever heard in an early music ensemble. It is possible to hear every detail as if under a microscope. Despite the relatively poor performance from the soloists, this remains my favourite recording of this piece.

I hope you like it! And as always, hope you are well these days! Vlad S.




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