The Occasional Oratorio (HWV 62) was pulled together in short order by George Frederic Handel to rally the English troops to stave off a threatened invasion by the Scots in 1746. This is the “Occasion” which prompted the work. The Occasional Oratorio could be described as a secular Messiah with the King and military success replacing the second coming. In order to craft the piece quickly the composer pulled out some great choruses that had not yet made their way into larger works, and also repurposed some of his earlier religious pieces by changing the words to fit the more secular purpose.
The Occasional Oratorio contains some terrific choral pieces – both for single and double choirs – along with stirring arias and recitatives and will be presented with orchestral accompaniment. The Bach Choir performances will cleverly use the entirety of the space in East Liberty Presbyterian Church to demonstrate the scope of the Oratorio.
Speaking about these concerts to be presented to kick off the Bach Choir’s 80th season, Artistic Director Thomas W. Douglas says:
“This grand work received only six original performances, and has had too few presentations since. In addition to some familiar choruses drawn from other pieces, you will hear some wonderful new Handel in these pages. We are very excited to bring it to our western Pennsylvania audiences for the first time.”
East Liberty Presbyterian Church
116 South Highland Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Saturday, November 15 @ 8:00 pm and on Sunday, November 16 @ 4:00 pm.
$9.95-$30.00 sold @ Showclix and on the day of the performance
More info at www.BachChoirPittsburgh.org
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