Nebraska Concerts

Sunday, November 26th at 1 p.m. Central on Nebraska Concerts.

We’re going to hear Handel on this week's Nebraska Concerts, performed by the Abendmusik Chamber Orchestra and Chorus. Handel was born in Germany, but his fame took him traveling across Europe. We'll hear Handel in England first -- Part I of Messiah -- then Handel in Italy -- his Dixit Dominus -- and then to England again for his Water Music.

The story of Handel and the greatest oratorio of all time is at its heart one of an immigrant seeking to assimilate. Handel was born in Germany in 1685. He became a successful composer, principally of operas sung in Italian. Italian operas became exceedingly popular in England at the end of the 1600s, and in 1712 Handel moved to London. In 1727 he became what, in America, we would call naturalized.

All was going well until tastes began to change, coincidentally not long after Handel had settled in England. Italian was on its way out, and English was on its way in. Handel had to change with the times to make his new life in England a success. He did so by tentatively writing an oratorio or two in English, while at the same time continuing to produce Italian language operas, including his masterpiece Rinaldo.

But he could hold on to opera for only so long, and his English oratorio output increased, culminating in 1742 with what is now perhaps the best known piece in all of classical music: Messiah. With it came fame, fortune and acceptance. He even got a statue of himself erected in Vauxhall Gardens along the Thames.

And speaking of the Thames, Handel’s Water Music, a collection of orchestral movements, was premiered on 17 July 1717 on that very river, in response to a request from King George I for a concert on the river.The first performance of the Water Music suites is recorded in The Daily Courant, the first British daily newspaper. At about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 17 July 1717, King George I and several aristocrats boarded a royal barge at Whitehall Palace for an excursion up the Thames toward Chelsea. The rising tide propelled the barge upstream without rowing. Another barge, provided by the City of London, contained about 50 musicians who performed Handel's music. Many other Londoners also took to the river to hear the concert. According to The Courant, "the whole River in a manner was covered" with boats and barges. On arriving at Chelsea, the king left his barge, then returned to it at about 11 p.m. for the return trip. The king was so pleased with the Water Music that he ordered it to be repeated at least three times, both on the trip upstream to Chelsea and on the return, until he landed again at Whitehall.


Nebraska Concerts for November

11/04 – Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, in another special Saturday night broadcast at 7 p.m. Central, “Rising Star,” with trumpeter Marquis Hill (recorded 12/15/16)

11/05 – Omaha Symphony, “Brahms’s 3rd Symphony,” Thomas Wilkins, conductor; and, Hawthorne String Quartet (recorded 9/18/15 & 9/19/15)

11/12 – Nebraska Brass, “All-American Brass,” (recorded 11/13/16); and, Nebraska Trumpet Ensemble & Friends, with organist Willa Foster Jones (recorded 4/23/17)

11/19 – Nebraska Chamber Players (recorded 1/20/17 and  3/31/17)

11/26 – Abendmusik, Handel’s “Messiah” and “Dixit Dominus,” recorded 11/27/16

Nebraska Concerts for December

12/03 – Omaha Symphony, “Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto,” Thomas Wilkins, conductor and Susanna Perry Gilmore, violin (recorded 9/27/15); and, Nebraska Brass, “A Nebraska Brass Christmas” (recorded 12/6/16 at First United Congregational Church UCC, Crete)

12/10 – Abendmusik at First Plymouth, “Come Let Us Adore Him” (recorded 12/12/16)

12/17 – Dulces Voces and Lincoln Early Music Consort, “Hodie! A Christmas Concert” (recorded 12/17/16); and, Nebraska Brass, “A Nebraska Brass Christmas (completely different program)” (recorded 12/22/16 at Warren Opera House, Friend)

12/24 – Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, “Deck The Halls” (recorded 12/3/17)

12/25 at 730 pm – Omaha Symphonic Chorus, “Christmas at the Cathedral” (recorded 12/1/17 & 12/3/17)

12/31 – Omaha Symphony, ”Dvorak’s Stabat Mater,” Thomas Wilkins, conductor (recorded 11/6/15)

This weekly program usually airs Sundays at 1 p.m. Central on all stations of the NET Radio network.  It is produced and edited by Dave Hughes. Robert Goldberg is the scriptwriter and host.  Most of the concerts are recorded by James Duchesneau and Jeff Smith. UNL Glenn Korff School of Music recordings are courtesy of Jeffrey O'Brien.  Nebraska Brass, Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, and Nebraska Trumpet Ensemble are recorded by Tony Hillhouse and are courtesy of Arts Incorporated.  Omaha Symphony concerts are recorded by Clete Baker of Studio B for Classical 90.7 KVNO.

Nebraska Concerts programs are not available for purchase, or as a podcast. You may stream the show online, and you may also search playlists from past shows.