Tag Archives: George Frederick) Handel

drinking is one of life’s pleasures (Handel) … I second that

 

 

 

 

 

Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain;
Bacchus’ blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier’s pleasure:
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
CHORUS
Bacchus’ blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier’s pleasure:
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.

 
— Handel, Alexander’s Feast (1736; the libretto of this choral work is based on an ode by Dryden)

 

 

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DRUNKEN POET:
Fill up the Bowl, then, &c.

1ST FAIRY, CHORUS :
Trip it, trip it in a Ring;
Around this Mortal Dance, and Sing.

POET:
Enough, enough,
We must play at Blind Man’s Bluff.
Turn me round, and stand away,
I’ll catch whom I may.

1ST FAIRY, CHORUS:
About him go, so, so, so,
Pinch the Wretch, from Top to Toe;
Pinch him forty, forty times,
Pinch till he confess his Crimes.

POET:
Hold you damn’d tormenting Punk,
I do confess ?

BOTH FAIRIES:
What, what, &c.

POET:
I’m Drunk, as I live Boys, Drunk.

BOTH FAIRIES:
What art thou, speak?

POET:
If you will know it,
I am a scurvy Poet.

CHORUS:
Pinch him, pinch him for his Crimes,
His Nonsense, and his Dogrel Rhymes.

POET:
Hold! Oh! Oh! Oh!

BOTH FAIRIES:
Confess more, more.

POET:
I confess, I’m very poor.
Nay prithee do not pinch me so,
Good dear Devil, let me go;
And as I hope to wear the Bays,
I’ll write a Sonnet in thy Praise.

CHORUS:
Drive ‘em hence, away, away
Let ‘em sleep till break of Day.

 

 

— Purcell, “The Fairy-Queen” (1692; this masque — aka semi-opera — is a musical setting of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

 

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

   February 2019

Handel’s “Samson”

 

 

Overture

 

 

 

 

ACT THREE, Scene 3

84. Solo and Chorus (“Glorious hero”)

 

 

 

 

 

Israelites
Glorious hero, may thy grave
Peace and honour ever have,
After all thy pains and woes,
Rest etemal, sweet repose!

 

 

ACT ONE, Scene 2

12. Air (“Total eclipse!”)

 

 

 

Samson

Total eclipse! No sun, no moon!
All dark amidst the blaze of noon!
Oh, glorious light! No cheering ray
To glad my eyes with welcome day!
Why thus depriv’d Thy prime decree?
Sun, moon, and stars are dark to me!

 

 

For the complete oratorio, see

https://rogersgleanings.com/2016/01/21/handel-samson/

 

 

 

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I have been listening to some music today, mostly Handel, including a bit of “Samson,” an oratorio.

Handel composed “Samson” right after “Messiah.” He wrote “Messiah” in 24 days! He wrote “Samson” in about a month!

The libretto of “Samson” was based on John Milton’s “Samson Agonistes.”

It is my opinion – perhaps a minority one – that “Samson” is just about equal to “Messiah,” if not in fact equal.

It evokes such an emotional response. Raises goose bumps.

Listen to “Glorious Hero,” for example.

My mother majored in Fine Arts at Radcliffe College. She had quite a few art books from her college days that my siblings and I used to peruse.

There was a reproduction of a painting in one of her art books: “Samson and the Philistines” by Carl Heinrich Bloch, which was painted in Rome in 1863. It made such an impression on me. The painting shows Samson, in captivity, grinding grain on a treadmill. I couldn’t stop looking at it.

So did the Biblical story of Samson itself, which I knew from Sunday school.

 

 

— Roger  W. Smith

     May 4, 2016

 

 

 

 

'Samson and the Philistines'.JPG