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Exploring the legend of King George and Messiah (week of Dec 19th @ 7pm)

The Florida Orchestra, Masterworks

Legend has it that, during the singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” King George II stood when he heard the words “King of kings…” to honor Jesus, the Messiah, and that that audience followed out of respect for King George. Scholars say there is no viable research to show that this actually happened.

Week of December 5, 2022 - Yin and Yang, the Play of Opposites, Part 2 This week we continue to hold on to the dragon’s tail listening to the pull of musical opposites. Starting with Samuel Barber and Francisco Tárrega, only Bill knows where this week's musical yin and yang will end! Heaven, Earth, or the abyss!

Week of December 12, 2022 - Haydn and Mozart Quartets Mozart's six "Haydn" Quartets were dedicated and lovingly handed to Joseph Haydn, like a father entrusting his sons to a friend to protect and guide them. When Haydn first started composing for the string quartet, the first violinist was the star, actually standing in front of the other three players. Ninety-nine Haydn string quartets later, the form had evolved into four equal voices. Bill will share with us the brief time in history when Mozart and Haydn enjoyed each other’s company, playing and composing string quartets together.

Week of December 19, 2022 - Fit for a King “We’re going to have a ball this week,” Bill says, “listening to some glorious music and, in most cases, giving credit where credit is due, to the people that commissioned these pieces.” Bill ushers in George I in England, whose favorite composer was Handel— both men were German born, and it’s George I who started the tradition that continues today of standing during the “Hallelujah” Chorus of Messiah. Bill also connects Haydn, Scarlatti, and Walton to their savvy patrons, confirming that if you want to command the finest musicians, it’s good to be the king.

Week of December 26, 2022 - Bach’s Christmas Oratorio An exploration of the six cantatas performed in Leipzig’s St. Thomas and St. Nicholas churches in December 1734. These six Bach cantatas were written to correspond with the days of the Lutheran church year and are collectively referred to as the "Christmas Oratorio.” We start the week with Cantata No. 1 (For the First Day of Christmas) and we will end with Cantata No. 6 for Epiphany.