Thursday 25 February 2010

To St. George's Church, Hanover Square on Tuesday for the opening concert of this year's London Handel Festival. We were treated to Belshazzar with Andrew Kennedy in the title role. As usual sitting on the hard pews for the length of an entire oratorio was a strain, even though we had a brilliant view perched in front of the organ.

Length considerations meant that we were given a version of the oratorio based on what Handel planned to perform in 1745. It struck me that it was a shame that the festival doesn't seem to perform these big works at weekends. Then we could hear oratorios in a more leisurely fashion without either having to cut them or to worry about getting to the start of the concert straight after work. Festival conditions should surely be the ideal time to experiment with performing everything that Handel wrote for the première of Belshazzar

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