On Saturday night, my wife and I were guests of our friends Jim and Betsy Easton, at a performance of Handel’s Messiah. The concert was a joint production of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Club chorus. The four professional soloists from out of town sang beautifully, but it was the orchestra and chorus that made greatest impression made on us. I congratulate RSO conductor Steven Larsen for a fine performance but even more for making great strides in improving the quality of the ensemble. The playing was tight, and Larsen kept up a sprightly tempo appropriate for Baroque music. The Chorus (directed ably by Marti Bein) were impressive both for their power (when it was called for) and for their controlled restraint.
Siracusa: Sunday, 25 September 2011
We’ve been in Siracusa since Friday evening. My wife, Christopher Check, and I, accompanied by our young friend and board member Mark Atkins, are checking out the site of our next Winter School, and there is so much to do: so many ancient ruins to check out, so many medieval churches to visit, so many dishes and wines to try out to see if they will be suitable for our guests.
September 11, the other Haydn, Wodehouse, and tamales: Read Dr. Fleming’s latest entry on Idling.