G F Handel
An English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer (which are worded slightly differently from their King James counterparts). It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premier nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
Huddersfield Choral Society have performed this oratorio for enumerable decades at the Royal Albert Hall in London and other venues, but principally in Huddersfield Town Hall. This week we have performed the piece with the Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Martyn Brabbins and with four professional soloists.
A visible sign of things to come
left at the foot of the bed.
Hope the red suited angel has some
gifts like Mum and Dad said.
Some folk leave pillow cases, some sacks,
mine was a red net stocking.
Cars, dolls, sweets in packs,
oranges, nuts, and chocolate money glittering.
The night disturbed by unexpected weight
pressing down on winter chilled feet.
To open the eyes or just anticipate
the glories contained – the Christmas treats.
Daylight at last and unalloyed pleasure in
unwrapping the gifts of wonderful variety.
Every item an indescribable pleasure
food for the blossoming capitalistic capacity!
The birth of a male child in humble conditions
sparked this glorious season of caring.
Hope that the messages from different positions
gives rise to a higher degree of sharing.
©David L Atkinson December 2012