MUSIC CRITIQUE HANDEL'S MESSIAH A SOULFUL CELEBRATION
Producers Qunicy Jones and Mervyn Warren took George Frederic Handel's Messiah for a spin and did a wonderful job with it. They took a classical masterpiece and funk-defied it. This was one of the most important pieces of music to come across in decades, taking Handel's Messiah to the masses of R & B lovers. In true style, the composer re-arranged Handel's Messiah, to produce a classic collection of black music, while at the same time, carrying a European and Western tradition that is opposing to African origins of Black American music. History and music are combined in this project that celebrates G.F. Handel's original Messiah, an oratorio for four-part chorus of mixed voices, soprano, alto tenor and bass solo and piano.
Jones and Warren combines the black R & B tradition, heavily saturated in gospel and making a joyful noise, gospel based religious overtones and impose them on a European musical masterpiece. In 1741, Handel was in Dublin Ireland, when he composed the masterpiece in twenty-four days. The Schirmer introduction to the oratorio cites that: "in his choruses (Handel) did not go beyond four-part writing, and kept his orchestra within the most modest limits, so that no instrument except violin and trumpet plays a solo part, and oboe and bassoon do not appear at all in the score." Jones and Warren steered clear of the supposed limitations of Handel's original work. They brought synthesized music, marimbas, tambourines, and the music of rhythm and blues, to lift Handel's Messiah to soulful sounds. Even though they enhanced this piece, they were still in keeping with the original music. These gentlemen produced one of the most revolutionary adaptations of a classical piece that I'm aware of and not likely possible of imitation.
Handel's Messiah is a boastful yet contemplative piece of masterful proportions. It is one of the great musical wonders of the world. The composer,...
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