Libby Burgess conductor
Belshazzar is Handel’s neglected masterpiece. Belshazzar was written two years after Messiah, using words by Messiah’s librettist Charles Jennens. In spite of the drama and beauty of the score, it has long been eclipsed by its better-known sibling. This workshop offers a rare opportunity to discover the power of this wonderful work. Belshazzar tells the famous story of the King of Babylon whose downfall was foretold by a mysterious hand writing a message on the wall. Jennens and Handel had fallen out after Jennens declared Messiah ‘a fine Entertainment … tho’ not nearly as good as he might and ought to have done’. They made up their quarrel to collaborate on Belshazzar. Having received the libretto, Handel wrote to Jennens: ‘Your most excellent Oratorio has given me great delight in setting it to Musick and still engages me warmly. It is indeed a Noble piece, very grand and uncommon, it has furnished me with Expressions, and has given me Opportunity to some very particular ideas, besides so many great Choruses.’
The Border Marches Early Music Forum, BMEMF, exists to promote the enjoyment of early music and organises regular day workshops in Herefordshire and the surrounding counties of England and Wales. These workshops cater for a range of interests and abilities and are led by highly-regarded specialist tutors. Non-members are equally welcome; pre-booking is essential.