There are very few composers, if any, who can stand beside Handel in choral writing. After centuries of evolution, music for voices as a definite expressive element reached the apex of development in his works, a peak that never again has been reached. Later masters, such as Mozart and Beethoven, studied his writings sedulously in an effort to compose as tellingly for voices as he did; yet, in net effect, his works stand unrivalled
Handel could incarnate his own unflagging vitality, his breadth of feeling wide as the open skies, his elemental strength, into the singers themselves, making them sing in sweeping comprehensive melodies and in intense close lines that make counterpoint quiver with life. Yet he had a perfect understanding of the capabilities and incapabilities of the singers, and never wrote beyond their capacities, so that the music never is unnatural or strained, as Beethoven so often is. Mozart, on the other hand, lacks Handel's great strength, though his delicate melodic line cannot be challenged
Yet, in spite of Handel's absolute preeminence as a choral writer, his works are today for the most part relegated to obscurity, except for the annual Christmas revival of the Messiah. Music exists only when it is performed. No matter how great a composer's genius, it is dead until it is concretely demonstrated
These are few of the reasons why the performance of Acis and Galatea tonight and Wednesday night at Lowell House is an event that should be of tremendous interest to all music lovers. In rescuing from almost total oblivion this example of what choral music can be, one of the world's greatest geniuses will be made to live again, something people should come miles to witness.