« Darkness covers the world - but the people who wander in the darkness see a great light. »
This theme, based on Isaiah, was paramount in Handel's time and runs like a red thread through his oratorio.
In this virtuoso baroque programme, the bass arias from the Messiah build the framework within which works by Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Bach and Handel form a compendium of a baroque search for meaning. The sometimes extravagant coloraturas are used in a wide variety of contexts - from the warlike cry of battle to the rocking sea voyage of the Ship of Hope; from the vivid depiction of stormy weather to the exuberant fanfare of the Resurrection.
The variety of instrumental possibilities of the voice within the coloraturas (= colourations) is contrasted with the vocal possibilities of the baroque trumpet, which is played without valves only through varied lip tension, and is very similar in character to the voice. The two soloists are carried by the string apparatus with basso continuo, which is equally as virtuous.
The programme concludes with the question, which has remained relevant since the Baroque period and which is also addressed in the Messiah: Why do the nations so furiously rage together?
First Performance: 21. December, 2018