5 christmas queries

question: what’s just as exciting as a gargantuan 110-piece mahlerian orchestra bursting at the seams?

answer: last night’s impeccable 37-strong oregon chamber symphony – a lean, mean, baroque-spewin’ machine.

question: what looks like a man, sounds like a woman, and insists on drinking racer 5 i.p.a.?

answer: countertenor matthew white.  i haven’t witnessed this much gender-bending at the schnitz since antony hegarty joined forces with the symphony back in 2008.  the ironic (and angelic) highlight of this supposed holiday show had to have been matthew singing over and over again about the decidedly not-so-baby jesus: he was despised and rejected.

question: best place to re-live your junior high winter formal dance?

answer: the schnitzer lobby during the intermission of handel’s messiah.

question: how many syllables does the word “born” have?

answer: 57 if you happen to be handel.  long before lil’ stevie wonder and mimi carey were crowned melismatic monarchs, george frideric had it goin’ on – stretching out simple verbiage into gorgeous strings of melodic phrasing.  and last night, the portland symphonic choir beautifully showcased these passages in overlapping 4-part harmony!

question: why the hell did we all stand up during the hallelujah chorus?

answer: because in 1742 king george the second experienced a moment of religious conviction… or confusion… or hemorrhoids, perhaps?  no one really knows.  it’s like the seventh inning stretch of classical music.  just do it.

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1 Response to “5 christmas queries”


  1. 1 Katharine Quince December 20, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for addressing the issue of standing during the Hallelujah Chorus. Actually, I never experienced that until moving to Oregon. Is it a regional tradition, perhaps? We don’t stand in NC, but maybe us Southerners are just as lazy as they say 🙂


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