Posts Tagged 'concerts'

Music Monday: The 100,000th!

After just over 8 years on, I finally hit my 100,000 scrobble last Friday, and a fine bit of concert magic it is, too.


Music Monday: Vehicle of Spirit

Music Monday: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is, by a landslide, my favourite Christmas music; that is no secret, especially to people who have been visiting here for more than one December past. I pull out their albums as soon as Advent kicks in (15 November, for us Orthodox weirdos) and play them on a loop until the New Year. Which makes for some phenomenal scrobble counts – you’ll see next week, in the roundup.

Which was why I was overjoyed at the release of The Ghosts of Christmas Eve a few weeks ago. Nothing new on there, but hey, another lineup for (some of) the old favourites. The album deviates in a couple of points from the set played in the film: I assume that contractual obstacles forced TSO to omit Jewel’s rendition of ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ and Michael Crawford’s ‘O Holy Night’, replacing them with ‘Christmas Dreams’ and ‘What Child Is This?’, both from The Lost Christmas Eve, which hadn’t come out at the time of the original film. So the playlist is a tad more balanced, which is good news.

The film, in its entirety, is below. Do save up 46 minutes for it. It’s a misty-eyed affair from start to finish, at least for the fanboy and fangirl in this household.

Music Monday: Showtime, Storytime

Handel’s Missing Audience

With dozens of Handel’s operas being recovered, what are his legions of fans missing today? Michael Oliver travels back in time and discovers less may be more.

Let’s take a walk through Georgian London. We’ll get lost, of course – so many new roads have been built since then, so many others have disappeared – but enough buildings survive of that period and earlier to help us find our bearings. We could start at Covent Garden: here indeed is the theatre, on the same site as the present opera house, but occupying less than a quarter of its space. We’d be amazed to learn that it seated almost as many people as it does now – about 1800 – but some would be standing, others crowded very close on narrow benches, even the wealthy in their boxes barely had room to move.

Should we ask a member of the audience where we might hear a concert rather than an opera, he’d probably suggest – if we’re visiting London in 1720 or thereabouts – the Great Room in York Buildings, Villiers Street, right down by the River Thames. This was the first purpose-built public concert hall in London, dating from 1680. It seated just 200: when it was demolished in the mid-eighteenth century it was replaced by ‘two small houses’. Concerts were occasionally given elsewhere, in city livery halls or large rooms attached to inns. But it was in the 200-seater Great Room that London got its first taste of oratorio, when Handel’s Esther was performed there in 1732.

Continue reading ‘Handel’s Missing Audience’

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