Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Callipygian Players: Handel’s Messiah

Date and Time: 
Sunday, December 4, 2016 - 7:30pm
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall

Donald Nally, conductor

The Callipygian Players, Chicago’s premier baroque music ensemble—featuring violinist Martin Davids and cellist–violist da gamba Craig Trompeter—join the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble in two memorable weekend performances. From the selection of the performing ensembles to the crafting of the concert programs, every detail of this Messiah has been carefully conceived to offer a historically authentic experience. Enjoy Handel’s iconic and beloved oratorio the way audiences of his time heard the work, performed with period instruments and a modestly-sized, nimble group of singers.

A note from conductor Donald Nally:

"BCE's Messiah pays close attention to the dramatic structure devised by Handel and his librettist [Charles] Jennens. They created scenes of enormous power, fast paced and dramatic, owing largely to Handel's theatrical genius and the message that Jennens was determined to convey. We present it as a dramatic whole: a community of players and singers, many taking a solo turn, assuming a character, and then returning to the choir for the many beloved choruses. In this way, we explore the relationship of soloist to choir--individual to community--and how this shapes Handel's compositional choices. With the Callipygian Players' great skill and knowledge of Baroque style and our collective attention to rhetoric, we aim to find the color, tone, and textures that capture the astonishing intimacy of the airs, juxtaposed with the fiery violence and joyful exuberance of the choruses. It's a labor of love."

The Callipygian Players residency at the Bienen School of Music is supported by the Evelyn Dunbar Memorial Early Music Festival Fund.

Tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students.

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December 2 Performance