Handel Israel in Egypt at the Proms with the OAE and William Christie
First, I need to start rating concerts. Everyone is about seeing the rating and don’t reading much more about it. Instead of using the classic 5 star rating system I am gonna use a 10 skateboard system because, you know, skateboards rock. I just need to figure out how to put that on this blog thing. In the mean time let’s say it: this concert was a 7 out of 10 skateboards.
Skateboards rock, but Handel rocks a lot too. The drama his oratorios deliver still needs to be matched by any composer. Been said that, the original version of Israel in Egypt is problematic because it is made up from very different sources with different styles, approaches and even orchestration. While Handel usually solved well this problem in his operatic pasticcios here is still a problem.
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is cool. You can see that on the picture above this. Graphic design, “corporate” image, website, social media… everything is extremely cool on them. They are from the second wage of British HIP orchestras but they feel like from really today. Not only that, of course, they are fucking awesome playing this kind of music.
Monsieur Christie (even if he is American he should be called always monsieur) is a guarantee for any choral baroque work. His Handel mixes delicacy on the most intimate parts with splendor on the big orchestral sections. The music evolves and grows very organically so you always get the sense of unity instead of a sequence of separate number. He did an almost gap-less performance that benefited the overall story a lot. You can only do this when you have a very perfect set of musicians, and oh my God, the OAE members really are. Expressibility of the strings section was superb and metals amazing perfect.
Choir and soloist here were a single whole. Because the choir is another character like a soloist and soloists came from the choir. All very accurate and very expressive.
In conclusion, a wonderful concert and see you there next autumn in Semele, dear @TheAOE