Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Two Reviews

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Two Reviews

Article excerpt

Much music of George Frideric Handel is being heard in this, the 300th year of his birthday, but the German-born composer, adopted by England, wrote no more beautiful music than in his rarely-heard "Ode to St. Cecelia's Day."

This was the work chosen by conductor John Blackwell and his "Master Chorale" to close the season of this very fine small choral group. No composer of any age has written more moving music than this, and Blackwell made of it a performance of perfection and great beauty.

Members of the Oklahoma Symphony and organist Fred Haley participated in the concert, and Haley was heard in Handel's great organ concerto No. 2 in B minor. This is elegant, graceful music in the grand style, and called for the full resources of the organ and orchestra.

But it was the "Ode" that was the highlight of this unusually fine concert by a choral group that grows in stature each season. Linda Woody, soprano, and James Brown, tenor, were the soloists.

The Master Chorale is powerful and extremely well balanced. Blackwell knows how to "play" this group as if it were an instrument, and the results are outstanding.

In his "Ode" Handel used the "cello in an aria with the soprano, and Dan Watters did a superb job of blending with the voice in a melody that was celestial and moving. Trumpet players Don Hood and James Larsen were heard in another aria with the tenor, and flutist Barbara Davis blended beautifully with the soprano in another aria.

John Blackwell does everything well, and his choice of this marvelous music for the last concert could not have been better. It was a performance that will long be remembered.

* * *

A brilliant production of Franz Lehar's popular operetta, "The Merry Widow," brought to a close the Tulsa Opera Co. season, and the performance was featured by stunning stage sets, colorful costumes and superb singing and acting. …

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