Dear Class of ’62,
Well, I see that Luther is going to do Handel’s Messiah. It will have, however, a much different context than the one we were acquainted with in our time. You will think, automatically, that the C.K. Preus multipurpose structure is no longer there and that it added ambiance which went way back before our time. More than any other ritual, Messiah was open to all without regard to one’s musical skill. By a sort of self-enlistment, one could be part of this larger-than-any-of-us event. Not Covent Garden’s, this was Luther’s Messiah in almost every sense of the phrase. To lead the 500 or so members of the chorus was Weston Noble. He employed a number of gestures that I can see in my mind’s eye to this day. Sure, these were part of his extensive musical vocabulary. It is to be remembered, though, that the florid hyperbolae were necessary so that all 500 singers, plus orchestra, could follow his direction. From the audience perspective, the direction was the embodiment of grace.